Act of Contrition
The story focuses on the intimate relationship between Regina Browning, a librarian newly moved to Kentucky, and Michael Panelli, a Catholic doctor whose wife left him for another man. Regina, quiet and artistic, lives alone since the death of her husband. Michael comes from a large, affectionate, and deeply religious family, yet he harbors a secret guilt.
Though they are afraid to love again, Regina and Michael can't fight the sparks that fly between them from the beginning. Their love, however, does not go unchallenged. As Regina finds herself falling for the good doctor and begins to let down her guard, she must deal with his alternating burst of passion and mysterious brooding.
In the eyes of the church, Michael is not free to divorce his wife and marry Regina. The couple's devotion to each other could lead to scandal and exclusion, even for Michael, excommunication. Regina finds herself battling for Michael's heart against his own painful confusion, prove what she herself knows---that the love they share is holy and true. She must decide if she will force him to chose between his God and her.