by Claire Cross

April 2007
ISBN: 978-0-425-21499-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Jen Maitland has a second chance at life. At this moment she is allowing it to pass her by. She is a breast cancer survivor who is afraid to take a risk. Jen grieves for the woman she used to be and for an uncertain future. Hiding is easier than facing the unknown. At this point, Jenís mother is about to rock the boat. Though well-meaning, and certainly intrusive, her mother has threatened to play matchmaker if Jen doesnít come up with a date for Thanksgiving dinner. Jen knows it is not an idle threat.

When Jen meets Zach she figures she has him pegged. He is in all probability cut from the same cloth as her ex-fiancť: a selfish charmer. In truth, Jen is not far from the mark. Zach has quite the reputation for being a scoundrel. If there is an irresponsible stunt that can be done, he has done it. What no one knows yet is that Zach has renounced his black sheep ways and is returning home to make amends. This is good for Zach, maybe not so good for Jen. Jen needs an uptight lawyer who cares more for his image than for his fellow man. Someone her mother will hate. She spies Zach with his old friends and thinks that trust fund boy will be perfect.

Since the death of his father, Zach has walked the straight and narrow. He has much to make up to his family, the ones he hurt the most. As part of the effort, Zach meets with some old law school friends. He sees Jen and suddenly the most important thing to him is to make her smile. But Jen is a tough cookie. Just after he gives up, however, she surprises him with an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.

Neither Jen nor Zach plan a permanent relationship. Itís all put on to keep nosy family members at bay. If those kooky, but loveable, family members has any say in the matter, there will be much more to come for these two.

All or Nothing is both a heart-warming and heart-wrenching love story between two damaged souls who find healing with each other. Unfortunately, old fears remain for Jen. Zach has to show her life will always be uncertain but there is no need to face it alone. Author Claire Cross has given her readers a well-rounded, character driven addition to her Coxwell series.

Reviewed in June 2007 by Rho.

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