cover image Touching Stars

Touching Stars

Emilie Richards, Author . Mira $24.95 (521p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2

T he setup of Richards's 50-somethingth book is wince-inducing: Gayle Fortman's ex-husband, hot-shot TV journalist Eric, has had a nasty run-in with the Taliban; at Gayle's invitation, he returns to the Shenandoah Valley, Va., B&B they bought together to convalesce. Eric, who is in a relationship with L.A.-based fellow journo Ariel Kensington, knows little about the three sons he left behind 12 years ago: 13-year-old Dillon, 16-year-old Noah and 18-year-old Jared. Over 500-plus pages, each boy confronts his father in his own way, while Gayle harbors hopes that Eric will stay. Sidelines include Jared's relationship with hot-to-trot Brandy Wilburn (which may jeopardize his chances at an MIT scholarship), and a neighbor, Travis Allen, waiting in the wings for Gayle. Romance Writers of America award–winner Richards gets the emotions right and writes credible dialogue when the adults speak to children. The result is a fine, light family melodrama. (July)