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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Starfire by Mary Manners

Starfire by Mary Manners
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Young Adult
Length: Short Story (43 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Austin McGill has one goal: to satisfy the conditions of his estranged father's will. After living on Starfire Ranch for three months, he'll sell the property and leave East Tennessee and its heartbreaking memories...forever. At least, that's his plan until Samantha Lakin comes along.

Samantha Lakin has one goal: to save Starfire and its summer camp for special-needs kids like her foster daughter, Jenny. To succeed, Sam will have to soften Austin's stone-cold heart. Not an easy task, especially when she realizes the ranch isn't the only thing that needs saving.

Can Sam's devotion and the love of a little girl teach Austin to let go of the past and to trust God for the future...before the ranch and any chance at a happily-ever-after are lost?

Starfire Ranch is a different place than the one Austin McGill remembers. Dragged from his home and his drunken father at the age of fourteen, his visits since were few and far between. Now his father is dead but if Austin wants to inherit he has to obey a clause in the will which requires him to live on the ranch for three months. After this he can do what he likes with the it and what he wants is to sell the place to finance his foundering city business.

Sam lives in the guest house on the property. The John McGill she knew is not the same one as Austin remembers. Over the years she helped John develop the property into a summer riding camp for the disabled. During this process she started adoption proceedings for her autistic foster daughter Jenny. Austin’s plans for the ranch could destroy her home, her happiness and lose her the one person she loves - Jenny.

A man from the city - a girl from the country. Could these two agree on the present, let alone the future? Austin seemed a little unbelievable. Would a man who has to “maintain the property to the present standards” sit back and watch a woman struggle to keep it going? If she fails so does he, as he will lose the ranch to a nature reserve.

Sam, on the other hand, reminded me of many women who survive on their own. Strong, unwilling to ask for help, capable of many tasks and a loving mother to her daughter. I don’t know much about autism, but Jenny sneaked into my heart. A lovely child who obviously adores her new mama.

Starfire is a beautiful sweet romance which I enjoyed reading. Short but complete and well written, it flows smoothly from beginning to end. Children, animals and love all blend together to make a very pleasant book.