Title: Not Without Her Family
Author: Beth Andrews
Copyright: 2008 (Harlequin); 243 pgs.
Series: Super Romance #1496
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Jack Marin: Serenity Springs’ police chief. A fair and honorable man. Suspects that Dillon Ward may be the murderer, as the initial evidence suggests, but the feeling he’s missing something important makes him hesitant to make an arrest — in spite of the pressure to do so. An error in judgment nearly ruined his career and he’s not going to let that happen again. Jack’s also a widower with six-year-old daughter named Emma.
Kelsey Reagan: Dillon Ward’s younger half-sister. Arrives in Serenity Springs before the murder takes place. She’s there to reconnect with her brother. The pair of them had a rough childhood. With their mother having recently passed on, all they have is each other and Kelsey is tired of being alone. However, Dillon isn’t interested in reconnecting with Kelsey. Antagonizes Jack Martin within minutes of meeting him. Has no idea how to cope with the cute, and somewhat talkative, Emma.
Roadblocks to Romance: Besides the fact he’s the police chief, she’s the prime suspect’s sister? Kelsey keeps people at arm’s length and doesn’t let people get close enough to hurt her. She was a rebellious teenager, always getting into trouble with the law. Kelsey’s deeply held belief that her behavior eventually resulted in Dillon being sent to prison has affected her self-worth. She believes herself unworthy of someone as decent as Jack Martin. And to top it all off, Kelsey’s abusive step-father was a cop, so she has a hard time trusting them.
Comments: I had a hard time warming up to Kelsey. She was almost too prickly for me. Oddly enough, it was her uneasiness around Emma that help sooth the edges for me. She didn’t develop maternal feelings for Emma five seconds after meeting her. It takes time, and some of her internal commentary is funny. Speaking of the little chatterbox, I liked the fact that Emma was a well-adjusted, normal six-year-old. I also liked the fact the Jack’s doing just fine raising Emma by himself, regardless of his ability to make cookies. He’s not out looking for a mother for his daughter.
I enjoyed the story and I really was shocked to learn who the murderer was. I didn’t guess beforehand, which is always a plus. I have two more books by this author, Wade’s story and Allie’s story. Hopefully I’ll get to them this year.
Start: 16 January 2011
Finished: 24 January 2011