by Joan Kilby

December 2001
ISBN: 0-373-71030-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #1030
Mass Market Paperback

Child of his Heart deals with some pretty heavy modern day issues, and the notion that families come in all shapes and sizes!

Erin Hanson moves back to her hometown in Washington State to take care of her ailing grandmother, and leave behind a broken relationship. When Erin meets the new handsome Fire Chief, the hot flames of lust erupt, but are quickly doused by Erinís predicament. Erin finds out sheís pregnant with her former fiancťís baby, and she fully intends to have the baby and raise it on her own!

Nick Dalton moves to Washington to get his very mature twelve year old daughter Miranda, away from the bad influences in Los Angeles, and to recover from the death of her mother. On her deathbed, Nickís wife confesses to having an affair, and not knowing if Nick is really Mirandaís biological father.

Nick pursues Erin with gusto until he finds out sheís pregnant. In Nickís mind history is repeating itself, and he doesnít want to get involved with a woman thatís carrying another manís child. What will Nick do if he finds out Miranda isnít his biologically? What will Nick do if he canít help falling in love with Erin, despite the fact that sheís carrying her former fiancťís baby?

Nick and Erinís romance got off to a slow start, with Nickís concerns over Erinís pregnancy and his daughter, who held quite a grudge about their moving. Erin too, blew hot and cold, she wasnít terribly upset over the breakup with her fiancťe, though I think in her heart she knew he was horribly self-centered. However, she did become distressed with Nick when he only wanted to be friends after the news of her pregnancy, yet she avoided getting involved with him prior to finding out she was with child. Erin is a strong woman and patient while she waits for Nick to come around, more importantly sheís self sufficient.

That aside, when they did find their way to one another, it was simply lovely! I loved the family feel to this read. Erin, her sisters and grandmother welcomed Nick and Miranda, and supported Erin no matter what path she chose to take. I understood Nick grappling with the idea that Miranda might not be his biologically, trying to sort out whatís right when youíve raised a child for twelve years isnít easy when your heart is involved! And the very difficult issue of whether to allow that child access to that information is difficult. So many tough issues were addressed with great style, there are too many to mention. All dealt with compassionately and comprehensively.

The author dug deep in her character development bag, and served up a well written, enjoyable read that kept me guessing and asking myself what I would do if faced with a similar situation, in this readerís mind, itís an essential aspect for a good read!

Reviewed in March 2003 by Connie.

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