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Friday, April 8, 2011

A Father at Last by Jan Scarbrough

A Father at Last by Jan Scarbrough
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (136 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rated: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

With her daughter all grown up and married, single mom Kelly Baron can start her new life in North Carolina, responsible only for herself. But first she must help her mother by returning to the small Indiana town she fled years ago.

Newly divorced lawyer, Rob Scott, seeks solace in his small-town roots. The last thing he’s looking for is a relationship—until he runs into Kelly, and the secret she’s been keeping from him for twenty-one years.

A Father At Last, seems a misleading title for a story that is really all about fresh starts.

Kelly Baron might once have been a 'small town girl from the wrong side of the tracks,' but she's lived up to responsibility for years and years. She's worked, been a single mother, and looked after various family obligations. She's kept her secret and her dignity intact.

It seems almost suddenly finds herself footloose and fancy free, with options and offers before her. However, she's not all that decisive. We're afraid she'll lose her chance almost the moment she gains it!

She's so likable - perhaps the more so because of that mild inability to stand up for herself. She's a 'maybe' person, who doesn't want to hurt other people's feelings, so she ends up taking on more, just when she should be racing for the door. It makes her all the more admirable, and you can't help wishing that for once, things will go Kelly's way. Her friends mirror that feeling; pal Rachel knows Kelly maybe better than she knows herself.

Rob Scott, still back in that small Indiana town, reflects on their entire history the moment he sets eyes on Kelly. Heartfelt though it is, it certainly slows a few passages down. In fact, their past history is always recounted in such a passive style, it sits at odds to the lively in enthralling storyline in present time. The actual story is super, so this story remains very readable...I just wish past sequences were brief and livelier.

Yet, he sees her and immediately, instead of going the way we hope or expect, Kelly's Mom throws a monkey wrench into what seems like an obvious, even easy, path. It's then that the secret crops up...

Personalities are simply great throughout, as are the revelations: Kelly is not the only one with a secret. Kelly's mother is a lively surpise - not all the person we, or her daughter, expect. In fact, this story is all wonderfully unpredictable, and still a delightful romance (or romances... theres a lot going on here).

Don't let the odd title put you off; it all makes sense at the satisfying end.