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Her Best Man

Her Second Chance Family
by Christine Scott
(Silh. Int. Moments #929, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-07929-X
When Maggie Conrad was divorced, the judge awarded custody of her son, Kevin, to her abusive ex-husband. Fearing for both Kevin's life and her own, she kidnapped him and traded her assets for a chance to go underground. Armed with new identities for them both, Maggie fled.

Eighteen months later she has made her way eastward to a small town in Missouri where she is working as a waitress. Maggie is gradually beginning to relax although she remains a fugitive from justice. The fact that the judge was in the pocket of her former husband and all the evidence proving she was an abused wife had been destroyed prior to trial does not lessen the gravity of her offense.

Maggie's hard fought harmony is destroyed one day when she cautiously answers a knock on the door and discovers the chief of police. His introductory welcome as her new next door neighbor only slightly mitigates Maggie's terror and she makes plans to leave town. Kevin is finally comfortable in his new school and persuades her to wait the couple weeks until school ends to move.

Chief Jason Gallagher is in the diner where she is working when Maggie saves the life of a man having a heart attack. The palpable fear he sees in her eyes whenever he is near alerts him to the fact that she is hiding a lot of her background. He falls rapidly in love with Maggie and Kevin, but is unable to trust her because she will not reveal her past.

Meanwhile, contrary to her good judgment, she is falling in love with him as well. Have you read this plot line before? If so, you know what to expectů

The book is well structured; the scenes shift seamlessly and predictably toward the conclusion. The characters are drawn to evoke the maximum amount of sympathy, but the secondary characters are a bit shallow and lack a liveliness within that would infuse some zest into the book. Was it because it was too predictable that I did not feel involved or was it these characters? If it was the predictability, and you are new to Intimate Moments, then you may find it a better than average read.

--Thea Davis

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