by Cathy Maxwell

February 2000
ISBN: 0-380-80832-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

This is the first book I've ever read by Cathy Maxwell and I loved it! Ms. Maxwell's style is smooth and easy to read. Her characters are real and heart warming and they grow. That is what makes this book a keeper. You can actually see the change and you can see their personalities alter.

Leah Carrollton, is a much sought after debutante who wants the one man she can't have, Devon Marshall, Viscount Huxhold. Devon is a rake. He's made it his life's work to break the rules but getting involved with a Carrollton is enough to give even him a pause. Until of course he's told he can't have her.

As Devon pursues Leah they fall in love. But disaster strikes and the feud that has been between their families for generations tears them apart before they can pledge themselves to one another.

Months after their parting, Leah and Devon meet up again, but this time circumstances are much different and it is a more mature Leah who accepts Devon's proposal of marriage and offer to care for her and her son.

Watching these two characters learn to trust each other again was incredibly touching. Devon's love for Leah's baby was wonderful to read about. Once they got over their doubts of one another, Leah and Devon were a united front and that was exactly what they needed to be to heal the rift between their families. Scandals and skeletons are brought out of the closet and finally dealt with.

The importance of family and the impact one's relatives have on one's life played a big part in this story and the reader is left with the sense that Cathy Maxwell knows that a real family isn't always perfect but they are always there for each other, ready to support each other.

This book may be the first I've read by Cathy Maxwell but by no means is it the last.

Reviewed in November 2001 by JaToya.

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