by Dorothy Clark

July 2005
ISBN: 0-373-78542-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Steeple Hill
Mass Market Paperback

Returning to Philadelphia and the characters of Beauty for Ashes, Laina Brighton, Justin’s sister has recently been widowed. While dealing with her grief over her loss of her husband, she is also dealing with the fact that she believes herself to be barren. Without children or a husband and knowing her state of fertility she feels she will have a hard time finding a man willing to look beyond her health and love her for who she is.

Thaddeous Allen is the town’s doctor and every orphan child’s best friend. He looks for homeless children on the streets and tries to find them loving homes where they can be taken care of and feel safe. In doing so, he meets Laina and together they make it their mission to take care of these abandoned children.

It was a lot of fun to revisit the characters from the previous novel, however, the heroine in this one never quite rubbed off on me completely. I was glad to see her mature quite a bit by the end of the novel, however she spent more time worrying about herself than she did even grieving the loss of her husband. Had she not wallowed so shamelessly in self-pity throughout a good portion of the novel, I may have begun liking her a lot sooner.

And the children made this a fun read. Introduced to several orphaned children that come into Laina’s care, they added a cute level to the story that kept the reader turning pages. All in all, a cute read if one can overlook a somewhat annoying heroine in the beginning.

Reviewed in July 2005 by Katy.

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