cover image Autumn Blue

Autumn Blue

Karen Harter, . . Hachette/Center Street, $12.99 (292pp) ISBN 978-1-931722-61-2

Single mom Sidney Walker has a problem. Her son, Tyson, a troubled teen already on the wrong side of the law for armed robbery, has been missing for a week. Now police have implicated him in another crime. Sidney's family includes two young daughters who also need care, and Sidney's stretched to the limit when Millard Bradbury, senior citizen and retired teacher, comes to Ty's rescue. Sidney, an insurance agent with the soul of an artist, is grateful for Millard's help, but knows what her family really needs is a full-time father. Her wannabe rock star husband abandoned them long ago, and she still regrets turning down a perfectly good marriage proposal from ex-boyfriend Jack. Maybe with a man in his life, Ty would not have turned into a rebellious hellion. Sidney decides to give romance with Jack one more try, but she's more attracted to Sheriff's deputy Alex Estrada, a tough cop with a grudge against good-looking women. When Ty's worsening situation brings Sidney to her knees, she begs for God's guidance. A touching story of family and faith, Harter's second novel (Where Mercy Flows is her first) doesn't shy away from gritty realism. But she tempers the grim truths of broken families by delving into her characters' hidden dreams and giving them the courage to choose again. (Mar.)