Everybody's Hero

Family Be Mine
by Tracy Kelleher
(Harl. Super #1678, $5.50, G) ISBN 978-0373-71678-4
Family Be Mine is the heartwarming story about two people who are at a crossroads in their lives Ė one is recovering from lymphoma and the other is pregnant and single. Both have issues but the story really is about finding love and really growing up.

Sarah Halverson is a respected physical therapist. Her luck with men is not nearly as good as her career. First, she lived with a rock musician whose music was more important than their relationship and then she was willing to settle with a man she respected but who did not engender earth shattering passion in her. On her wedding day, she found out why when she found him making love with another man. She is now 6 months pregnant and determined to have the baby on her own.

Huntington Phox is a very wealthy man, having made a fortune on his own and having money from his father. He has just been cleared and determined to be cancer free so far. Physically, he still has some recuperation to go and mentally, he is ready to start living again, but not completely convinced he is ready to acknowledge he is out of the woods.

These two hit it off and find themselves needing each other. Hunt needs a reason for moving on along with needing help with his new puppy Fred, which he recovered from the Humane Society. Sarah has some complications with her pregnancy that keep her from driving because her blood pressure unexpectedly spikes, causing fainting spells. So Sarah and Hunt reluctantly agree to help each other. Sarah moves into Huntís huge empty house. They find themselves in a water aerobics class together and ultimately, Hunt becomes Sarahís maternity coach.

Fred, the dog plays a big part in getting their romance going, as he also needs obedience training. There are characters galore from the small town in New Jersey. It seems as if this is the second of a series and many of the characters are friends of Sarahís. Ben and Katarina play roles as their primary friends. Hunt and Sarah have issues with their parents. I was a little disappointed that Huntís story was summed up in one scene at a restaurant and then just left hanging.

This story is evenly-paced and yet, there were times with not much happening. The romance unfolds slowly with a few kisses here and there. They share some sarcastic humor and both Sarah and Hunt are easy to like. When they finally consummated their love, it was with tenderness and little sexual build-up unlike so many novels today. I enjoyed the story and felt good about it.

Predictably, the tale reached a crescendo when there was a crisis that made the two people confront their feelings. Again, the author handled this adroitly, but it was calmly resolved, so while leaving me with a feeling of rightness and general well being, it did not get me excited or leave me feeling blown away.

--Shirley Lyons

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