Rachel Gibson, Author . Avon $6.99 (370p) ISBN 978-0-06-000925-0

To call Gibson's newest contemporary romance "humorous" and "affecting" wouldn't be doing it justice. Gibson is in top form here, and the sheer magnetism of her characters and the warmth of her small-town setting will ensure that her fans devour this tale as readily as they did her last (See Jane Score ). Thirty-three-year-old Daisy Lee Brooks possesses a rare maturity for a romance heroine. She has been a wife and mother for 15 years and now, as a widow, she has returned to her hometown of Lovett, Texas to set things right with the one person she has terribly wronged, Jackson Parrish, her former lover and the unwitting father of her 15-year-old son. Jackson, however, has never forgiven her for abandoning him the week his parents died and marrying their mutual best friend, Steven, and he's determined to avoid her—a task made difficult by Daisy's persistence and his still intense attraction to her. Although the sexual chemistry between the two is near palpable and their banter never lacks for wit, what's really impressive is how much the protagonists grow throughout the book and have grown since their initial affair, which is revealed through flashbacks. Secondary characters like Daisy's smart-alecky son and her bitter, newly divorced sister also shine, making this a well-rounded and truly noteworthy read. (Feb.)

Forecast: This book's appealing pink and white cover, decorated with daisies and blurbs from Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Karen Robards and Susan Andersen, will help ensure that it sells through Valentine's Day and straight into spring.

Reviewed on: 01/26/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 465 pages - 978-0-7862-6652-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0060-8
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