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Healing Dr. Forune
by Judy Duarte
(Silh. Sp. Ed. # 2096, $4.99, G) ISBN 978-0373-65578-6
***
Healing Dr. Fortune is a nice story and holds the readerís attention while reading it. After just one afternoon, however, I had lost many details and had to refresh my memory to write the review. It is part of a series and those who have read the other tales might find it more memorable.

Jeremy Fortune is an orthopedic surgeon who has a lucrative practice in Sacramento. He is in Texas on a leave of absence, originally for his fatherís second marriage ceremony to a close friend of the family. But on the wedding day, dad was a no-show; his car was found a few days later, apparently the result of an accident. There is no sign of his father. Jeremy is staying at his familyís ranch while they wait and search for his father.

Kirsten Allen is relatively new to the town and doesnít remember Jeremy. All she knows is that he is from the Fortune family. She grew up with a father that left and a mother who really didnít know what to do from then on. She practically raised her younger brother, Max. Max is back living with her after losing his job. His ex-girlfriend has dumped a baby off, claiming that little Anthony is his and she canít take care of him. Kirsten came to the rescue and now feels responsible for this little child. She meets Jeremy as she is coming out of the clinic at the hospital. he was hoping to get the child checked, but ran out of time. Seeing Jeremy in the parking lot, she stops him and asks him to just tell her the child looks healthy.

Thus begins a relationship. Kirsten is uncertain, not feeling confident in her appearance. She is also in the midst of a crisis with Max, who resents her mothering, even as he needs her help with the baby. Jeremy is attracted and yet, also knows that his life is unsettled too. The fact that he had a dream about a woman and a baby; a woman who looked a little like Kirsten, is also unsettling. He doesnít know where his dad is, he has a woman he is attracted to and yet, he has a life and practice he left behind in California.

Maxís life becomes more complicated when it appears his ex was lying to him. Anthony may or may not be his child and there may or may not be a bad guy coming to steal him away. Max confides in Jeremy and asks for his help. Now Jeremy is definitely involved in Kirstenís life.

I enjoyed the story mainly because Jeremy and Kirsten were so sure of their growing relationship and enjoyed each otherís company even as the world looks like it is falling apart around them. Max is an interesting man, who comes of age before our eyes. The story is a bit far-fetched, but fun while it lasted. Unfortunately, it didnít stay with this reader. I picked up the book to write the review and truly could barely remember the plotline. That is a sign that while the book was engaging, it is definitely no more than average.

Healing Dr. Fortune holds information about the lost father and sets the stage for more books. It was a fun book to read on its own too. But it is really just that, a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

--Shirley Lyons


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