Dee Holmes, Author . Berkley $5.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-19302-0

Three longtime friends who are at crossroads in their lives unite to repair a vandalized house and reevaluate their priorities in Holmes's (The Boy on the Porch , etc.) formulaic but heartfelt tale of friendship, love and second chances. Olivia Halsey earns a modest living renting the Rhode Island house she grew up in and working as a teacher in Massachusetts. But after breaking off a relationship with her handsome, caring, marriage-minded boyfriend, Daniel Cafferty, and learning that her childhood home has been vandalized, Olivia decides to tackle the repairs single-handedly. Her friends Lexie and Claire, however, won't let her. Party girl Lexie recently lost her broadcast news position in Chicago, and scrupulous homemaker Claire must cope alone with her wayward son's drug abuse while her emotionally distant husband travels for business. As the women restore Olivia's house, they help each other work through their dilemmas. Meanwhile, Daniel arrives to offer his assistance and convince Olivia to reconsider his marriage proposal. Holmes's characters are fully realized, but it's the universality of their problems and concerns that will really strike a chord with readers. Although this book is categorized as a romance, it holds as much appeal for women's fiction fans as for romance aficionados. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 11/24/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-58724-655-5
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