by Carla Cassidy

August 2004
ISBN: 0-263-83846-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Mills & Boon
Mass Market Paperback

Claire is surprised when her estranged husband, Joshua, returns to the small town where they grew up. They parted 5 years before when their beloved toddler, Sammy, died of a rare heart condition.

This is a wonderfully written story. The author traces the parent's grief at the loss of a loved one. In this case, their way of handling it drove them apart. The sensitive way Carla Cassidy handles it is very moving.

I loved both characters. They strike the reader as a couple destined to be together. Claire has had so much tragedy to deal with in her past and her way was to shut everyone out. What she can’t shut out is the passion that Joshua can still ignite in her. The reader will feel the sexual tension that is present whenever the couple are in close proximity to each other.

The added bonus in this book is the little touch of almost magic in the form of an old photo the couple found while on a treasure hunt. The faded photo, dated a century ago, reveal the faces of Joshua and Claire. They begin to investigate the couple in the records office in order to find out if they have a connection to them. When the photo appears to change poses, the couple is baffled.

The photo provides a unique twist in this romance and adds a little mystery. The story also explores relationships and deals with caring for a beloved invalid. In this case, Claire’s grandfather. He was her sole guardian most of her life.

The grandfather, affectionately known as Sarge, plays a significant part in the story.

A Gift from the Past is a lovely, warm-hearted tale well worth a read. A five roses read for this reviewer.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Mary.

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