by Carolyn Davidson

January 2006
ISBN: 0-373-77149-5
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Mass Market Paperback

Jake McPherson was once a gifted musician until the Civil War left him without the use of his eyes. If this wasnít enough he then lost his young wife to pneumonia. His days are now spent as an angry recluse while his nine year old son tends to run wild.

Alicia Merriweather chose to ignore the rumors and the obvious sign on Jakeís front door stating no visitors were welcome. As his sonís teacher she is determined to help young Josh McPherson who is wreaking havoc in her schoolhouse.

Jakeís temper is no match for the schoolteacher. Alicia has spent most of her adult life knowing that she is too large and too plain to ever be more than an old maid teacher. However she is determined that one angry boisterous man wonít intimidate her.

Alicia and Jake quickly realize they may have met their match in each other and resolve to work together to keep Josh When Jake proposes a marriage in name only in order to provide a mother figure for Josh, Alicia accepts knowing its probably the only offer of marriage sheíll receive.

What seems like a simple solution for everyone slowly develops into something much more. Aliciaís persistence will allow Jake to open the doors of a heart he thought sealed forever. What started out as a marriage of convenience soon blooms into a relationship that neither ever expected.

After starting this newest story by Carolyn Davidson I realized it went along with one of her earlier books, The Wedding Promise which still resides on my TBR shelf. This special story will read fine as a stand alone romance; however Iím very anxious to pull the first book out to catch up with the story of Jakeís brother and his wife.

Carolyn Davidson always offers what I call a gentle romance. This book is no exception. I particularly loved the less than perfect characters and breathed a sweet sigh of relief when they reached their happily ever after. Anyone who makes this story one of their first reads of the New Year wonít be disappointed.

Reviewed in December 2005 by Shelby.

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