Beyond Desire

Naked Soul


Wedding Bells

Fools Rush In by Gwynne Forster
(Arabesque/BET, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-037-9
The next time you're ready to complain about the day you're having, consider Justine Taylor Montgomery.

Justine is eight months pregnant. She and her husband have been married four years. Kenneth Montgomery leaves for Boston unexpectedly to tend to a business "emergency of gargantuan proportions." He even leaves Justine a note jokingly asking her "to be ready" for him when he returns.

Neither Kenneth nor his gargantuan proportions leave town. He is taking care of business in a nearby motel with Marian Iverson, a white woman who has been his mistress for 12 years. The couple is so busy, they don't hear the fire alarms and are the only people killed in the fire.

Less than an hour later, Justine goes into premature labor and gives birth to a daughter. She plunges into a deep "postpartum psychosis." When she emerges, Justine learns journalist G. Duncan Banks and his wife have adopted her baby.

Months later, providence intervenes when Duncan's wife leaves him and he needs to hire a nanny. Justine, a psychologist by training, applies for the job to care for her daughter. Although he is apprehensive about hiring her because she seems overqualified for the position, his daughter is immediately taken with Justine. He can't quite identify the reasons for his concern, but Duncan keeps a close eye on her.

Both Justine and Duncan are heart-weary and fight their attraction to one another. They are by no means foolish or rushing into anything! There's so much sexual tension in their scenes together, I kept wondering why they kept lighting the fireplace!

Justine lives an emotionally exhausting double life as young Tonya Banks' mother and nanny as each day brings her closer to discovery. Duncan is an investigative journalist who is unable and unwilling to see what is right before him. As his daughter grows she takes on Justine's characteristics. Justine reminds him of someone, but he can't remember who! Gwynne Forster has created an additional layer of tension between the couple as Justine's deception extends.

In Fools Rush In, Gwynne Forster has created another winning romance about a couple in which adorable children round out the story. Another element of the plot examines the relationship between fathers and daughters. The main characters are very well drawn and the secondary characters provide shading, comic relief and drama. There are several interesting subplots based on Duncan's work as a reporter that provide depth and definition to his character.

Fools Rush In includes a wonderful secondary romance featuring Duncan's sister, Leah, and his best friend, Wayne Roundtree. Wayne and "Banks" were characters in Against All Odds. There's even a mention of Rufus Meade, my favorite Gwynne Forster hero, from her first novel, Sealed with a Kiss . (These two romances are still available and I also recommend them)

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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