Cassandra Riley Logan is very pregnant and nearly out of money when she sees a picture of a missing, presumed-drowned man who closely resembles her dead husband. She can't quite bring herself to exploit the man's wealthy family by claiming a connection with him, until a struggle with her sexually aggressive landlord forces her to flee the law for killing him.

Morgan Tolliver, the presumed-dead man's older brother, doubts her story from the beginning, but his dying father seizes on the consoling hope of a grandchild. Both Morgan and Cassandra are compelled to keep the charade going—she because she's desperate for safety until her baby's born and he because it makes his father happy.

As time passes, their intense attraction develops into real love, but each must hide the truth of their feelings. Cassandra believes Morgan will hate her for lying. Morgan can't decide what's true anymore but has no options either way. If Cassandra lied to gain for herself and her child, he can't trust her; if she's telling the truth, she belongs to his brother, who may still be alive.

The story is suspenseful and involving. The ending a bit facile, but it's also a satisfying confirmation of the superior importance of love and family. Sensual (May, 300 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger