In ultra-purple prose, the author of Pearl Moon (1995) and others returns with another three-coupled romance, once again leading six worthy souls through tough-time purgatory into true-love heaven. Gray-eyed Cole Taylor is the Heathcliff stand-in here, a rough boy who is befriended by an elfin forest girl, redheaded Claire Chamberlain. Cole has been badly abused by his father, Jed. One night as he tries to murder his son, Jed himself is killed, and Cole is forced to flee small-town Harlanville, Louisiana, eventually returning home a wealthy, world-famous singer. But when Cole seeks out his bayou sweetheart, he finds that Claire is blind--the result of a car accident on her wedding day to another. Divorced now, and still a virgin (the marriage was never consummated), Claire joins Cole in London to help track the baby brother he gave away many years before at a truck stop in West Texas so that the little boy could grow up in a loving home. In London, Claire meets her British pen pal, Lady Sarah Pembroke, not only a world-famous war correspondent but a lonely, bourbon-drinking ""ice queen"" now being threatened by a serial killer. FBI consultant Jack Dalton is sent to rescue Sarah, who's been so emotionally wrecked that she can't envision anyone loving her. As a young woman, Sarah was kidnapped and raped, then gave birth to a baby girl she believed was born dead. In truth, the infant was secretly switched with the dead child of a Cornwall couple--Emma and ""menacingly sexy"" sculptor Lucas Cain. Emma, unconscious after a Caesarean, didn't know that her child wasn't really her biological daughter. By the close, however--improbably if predictably--there'll be happy endings all around. Soap at its most operatic, though the playing on the heartstrings occasionally strikes an affecting emotional note.