Family Ties

Forever Always

Hidden Blessings

Resolution of Love

Someone Like You

Love’s Miracle by Jacquelin Thomas
(Arabesque/BET, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-126-X
Romance novels are deeply vested in the happily-ever-after. But haven't you ever wondered about those stories that involve a whirlwind courtship and a lightening fast wedding just days later?

Jacquelin Thomas’ Love’s Miracle is a variation on that theme. It is the latest installment in her Ransom family series. The family was introduced in Forever Always, a spinoff of her first novel, Hidden Blessings.

Washington, D.C. attorney Laine Ransom is one of ten siblings in the large and loving Ransom clan. He is the best friend of Marc Chandler, the hero of Thomas’ summer release, Family Ties. Laine’s marriage has recently ended as a result of high expectations and low sperm count. He is unable to father a child. Undaunted, his ex-wife has remarried and is pregnant. Laine’s family encourages him to get away from D.C. - or at least just get away. For his birthday, his relatives book passage for him aboard a singles' cruise.

Regis Melbourne is a California businesswoman. She owns a salon and specializes in inner and outer beauty. She has a sister, Samantha, and a cousin who live nearby. While the sisters may lack the number of relatives the Ransoms have, there is no shortage of love and camaraderie between them.

Regis’ engagement broke up shortly before the wedding when she discovered that her fiancé and her best friend had an affair and were expecting a child. Coincidentally, Samantha encourages Regis to get away on a singles' cruise. Samantha, who has psychic ability, tells her sister that she will meet a man named “Joseph” who will be her destiny.

While Regis doesn’t meet Joseph, she does meet Laine. The two hit it off immediately and spend their time together. Laine proposes and Regis accepts. They are married aboard the ship - less than a week after their first meeting. The wedding night, which generally marks a new closeness between couples, nearly signals the end of Laine and Regis’ marriage. The first of several big misunderstandings occurs and they are separated before the ship docks. Jacquelin Thomas has crafted an interesting story of trust, the impetuousness of love-at-first-sight, faith, forgiveness and an eventual reconciliation.

Despite the obstacles placed in the couple’s path, Thomas has developed a realistic relationship between Regis and Laine. There is a wonderful set of secondary characters readers will want to know more about. Although it is a large cast, they never overshadow Regis and Laine’s story, but rather add definition and dimension to it. There are several surprises. And, in addition to the Ransom clan, Marc and McKenzie Chandler from Family Ties make an appearance as does Daryl Larsen Turner from A Resolution of Love.

With the release of Love’s Miracle, Jacquelin Thomas has completed a complete package of year-end holiday romances for Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s. As her fans await publication of the much-anticipated story of Kaitlin Ransom, Love’s Miracle is a welcome gift.

I recommend it.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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