by Anna DeStefano

June 2005
ISBN: 0-373-71280-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #1280
Mass Market Paperback

Ms. Amy Loar is getting her life back on track. After being married to a man who controlled every move that she made, she was determined to make it not only in her career but in raising their daughter. Her ex-husband, Richard, not only often said she would never make it, but he could also engender a feeling in Amy so that she felt like she was incapable of making any decisions on her own including what clothes to wear. The day he hit her was the day she said no more. Her daughter Becky had witnessed the abuse and blamed her Mom for not getting out sooner. In order to make it in Atlanta, Amy had to send Becky to live with her Grandma in Sweetbrook, North Carolina. Becky felt she was an outcast and did not hesitate to let her feelings be known not only to her Grandma and her Mom but also to one of her class mates, Daniel White. She was acting out a great deal, both at school at at home with her Grandma. Becky wanted to go home to Atlanta, but that was not possible because Amy was putting in some very long hours at her job. Amy wanted a promotion so that she could give Becky the things that she needed. Amy had to prove herself not only for Enterprise Consulting but to herself too.

Josh White is the principal at the school that Becky is attending. He is also the guardian to his late sister Melanie’s child, Daniel. Daniel lost his mother in a car accident. Melanie came to the one place she knew she could be safe and keep her child safe. With her death, Social Services must try to contact Daniel's natural father. Daniel does not want to see the man who is his father. There are things that he cannot talk about, even after being in therapy to help him remember he is still running. Josh is trying very hard to give him his space but also to let Daniel know he loves him and does care. Daniel is afraid, and now that his father has been contacted, he may have no choice but to see him. Josh has promised he will do everything he can to protect him.

Amy understands what Daniel is going through and has helped him through several rough times. Becky is being tested for ADD, and Josh will be there to help her whenever he can.

Amy and Josh have been friends since grade school. She was the only one who could get away with calling him butt head and still does. Amy has to go back and forth to Atlanta to close the deal of her life.

Josh loves Amy, and even though she loves him in her mind, it will not be enough for a successful relationship. Amy is damaged goods, and no relationship would be a good one. What about the career that she has wanted for so long and has worked so hard to have? Will she be willing to give it up to not only make A Family for Daniel but for Becky too? Will she be able to help Daniel remember what his father did and tell the judge before it is too late? Will Amy learn to trust Josh enough?

Anna DeStefano has written a tender love story that has its ups and downs. It tested the bounds of love not only for two adults but also for the children who were each having their own problems. This is a keeper for me. Sorry you will have to go buy your own.

Reviewed in June 2005 by Theresa.

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