by Geri Guillaume

July 2002
ISBN: 1-58314-364-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Arabesque Books
Mass Market Paperback

I have to begin by saying I was not sure I would like this book when I picked it up. The concept of basing a romance around a family reunion seemed slightly strange to me. Who is one going to meet at family reunion besides their own family? However, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and the family that takes center stage in it.

Shiri Rowland meets football star Jack Deneen while on her way home to help plan her family’s annual reunion. Jack is interested in Shiri and gives Shiri his phone number before they part ways, but Shiri is hesitant to call him and she hates football anyway. Leave it to Shiri’s family the Johnsons to fix the problem. Her grandmother gets in touch with Jack after his phone number tumbles from Shiri’s purse. She calls just to discover what his intentions are towards her granddaughter and invites him to dinner. Jack is a huge hit with the family and Shiri; soon he is joining in at all the family functions. Shiri and Jack’s attraction soon develops into a strong relationship, as they spend more and more time together.

Unfortunately, just as Shiri and Jack are about to tie the knot, Jack finds out he has MS. Afraid that Shiri will be getting a raw deal in their marriage, Jack ends the relationship and tries to deal with his illness alone. Shiri broken hearted moves on with her life, but she can not forget Jack. The Johnsons decide to help their little girl get back the man she loves, and with their help Jack and Shiri must come to terms with Jack’s illness and their love for each other.

Geri Guillaume’s newest novel Hearts of Steel is tender romance concerning the strength of family and overcoming any obstacle that stands in the way of love. The plot centers on one family, the Johnsons, who are planning their annual reunion. The characters that make up this family are full of warmth, love, and humor. The book is full of meaningful, loving relationships; something that is often missing in the world today. The characters interactions with each other are charming, and I often found myself laughing out loud at the family’s antics. The plot is fast moving and full of action, as there is never a dull moment in the Johnson family. The writing abilities of the author shine as the story is told from two different perspectives - Shiri’s and Jack’s. It was slightly disappointing that Jack’s illness was not introduced at little sooner in the story line, as it made the ending appear rushed to the reader. Overall, this book is a wonderful; touching romance that has found a place on my keeper shelf.

Reviewed in August 2002 by Jen.

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