Trapped in a horrible marriage, Melanie Hart is in the process of divorcing her wealthy husband when he dies in an accident. Taken in by her mother in law, Melanie soon finds herself enmeshed in an even more controlling relationship. Seeking to escape, she finds herself without a job, and notices that those who help her are ending up in the hospital.
To protect her son, Kevin, Melanie flees across the country.
Pursued by an evil henchman in the employ of her mother-in law, Melanie makes her way to the home of Mildred Witherspoon, a 92-year-old former customer with whom she had become friendly over the telephone years before while managing an antique shop.
Unfortunately, in the two weeks since they had last talked, Mildred had died and left her home and furnishings to the Killian Shawnessy Foundation, an organization that helps women in need.
Cara Sinclair, the vice president of the foundation and wife of its founder, quickly enlists her brother, Gabe, to take an inventory of the house, determine what repairs need to be made, and make them so that the house can be sold and the proceeds can be utilized by the foundation. When Gabe arrives, he finds Melanie in the house. Her claim that she had spoken with Mildred a few days prior makes her less than trustworthy in Gabe's eyes.
Finally, a few misunderstandings later, and under the gentle auspices of his sister Cara, Melanie is persuaded to stay for a couple weeks and help inventory the contents of the house so that they can be auctioned off for the benefit of the foundation.
The romance between Gabe and Melanie flourishes as Gabe, the tough guy, succumbs to Kevin as well as Melanie. Meanwhile, Melanie must grapple with trust issues and with her fear of her mother-in law's "enforcer." And her reluctance to tell Gabe what her problems really are hinders his ability to help.
Barbara McCauley has written several stories which feature the Sinclair family, all published in the Silhouette Desire series. Although this is the first one I have read, it is nice to be able to say that it can stand alone. McCauley does a good job moving from one character to another, and shifting scenes seamlessly. Her dialogue is crisp, although occasionally peppered with clichés.
Gabriel’s Honor features a large warm, loving family that sticks together. While the plot has been used many times before, the emotional worries of these characters are consistent with the issues presented, and McCauley deftly draws characters that one can care about - which makes it an easy, enjoyable summer read.