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    Review of FINDING A FAMILY by Judy Christenberry (see her website)

    Silhouette Romance #1762, April 2005

    With his father in deep depression over the loss of his wife, cowboy rancher Hank Brownlee comes up with a plan--he'll hire a widow to handle the cooking and cleaning. Who knows, maybe a woman could spark a return of interest to the older man. The plan backfires, though, when the widow he hires turned out to be beautiful twenty-something Maggie Woodward who arrives, along with her four-year-old son, while Hank is out of town.

    By the time Hank returns, Maggie is firmly a part of the family--his father is crazy about her, is eating again, and is showing more energy than he's shown since his wife died. Even better from his father's point of view, Maggie has an attractive aunt who sweeps Hank's father's feet from under him. All of a sudden, all of Hank's fears are brought out in high relief. Is his father's finding a new woman a sign of rejection for his mother? When Maggie uses his mother's recipes, Hank feels torn and conflicted.

    Since losing her husband several years earlier, Maggie has devoted her life to her son, Timmy. While Hank is a hunk, he's always sure of himself and he hurts Maggie's feelings. Even when he impulsively kisses her, she knows that the only future the two can share is that of employer and employee. Still, a girl can't help a bit of harmless daydreaming, can she? Daydreaming about how wonderful it would be to have a real family. Both Maggie and Hank have a lot of growing to do, though, before either is ready to let go of their protectiveness and trust their hearts to another.

    Author Judy Christenberry (see more reviews of novels by Christenberry) spins another heart-warming cowboy romance in FINDING A FAMILY. Hank and Maggie have both suffered losses that make them afraid to take another chance. But country living, Hank's obvious affection and caring for Timmy, and plenty of chocolate cake help them overcome their initial friction. Christenberry's approachable writing grabs the reader early and involves us in this warm-hearted story.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/13/05

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