His Daughter...Their Child

Author: Karen Rose Smith

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: February 2011

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5.0


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Clay Sullivan is a tour guide, leading excursions around the nearby areas of flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, among others. His three-and-a-half year old daughter Abby is the light of his life. Even after his wife, Zoie, had an affair, he had forgiven her, hoping to save his marriage. They had even attended marriage counseling together, but his wife seemed to need more excitement. Her dream had been for Clay to go to work with his father as a banker. She was very upset when he set up his own business as a tour guide.  But this was his dream job and he had no intention of giving it up, though he had tried in the beginning.  When his ex-wife left over a year ago, she had given him sole custody, and he was determined it was going to stay that way. He and his daughter live in a house situated in the foothills of Moonshadow Mountain. While he works, his mom takes care of Abby, not trusting the young sitters his ex-wife had employed. Now it is hard for him not to be cynical and mistrusting. He has not even dated since Zoie left.  His whole life is wrapped around his young daughter.

Celeste, a website designer, has had a crush on Clay since high school, but it was her extroverted fraternal twin sister, Zoie, who swept him away. His parents had not considered either Zoie or Celeste good enough for their son, since they were from the wrong side of the tracks. They had lived over the bar, where their mother worked; left alone much of the time while their mom often brought men home with her at night. The two girls had been there for each other, taking care of themselves. But Celeste had never been able to get Clay to really see her. Once he and Zoie started dating, she had given up on him. Since the divorce, Celeste has waited for some sign from Clay, allowing her to be a part of his daughter Abby’s life. But he has not given her one. After being hurt in a romance with a pilot, who cheated on her, she has returned to Miner’s Bluff, intent on getting to know three-year-old Abby.

After emailing Clay that she needed to speak to him, Celeste had come back to their hometown for their fifteen-year high school reunion. His sole reason for attending the reunion had been to speak to her, in answer to her email. She had always been the quiet, understated twin, but now he saw a fiery determination in her eyes. Although they had never been any more than friends, he could feel the attraction sparking between them now. When she asked to be able to spend time with Abby, he reluctantly took her to his home, so she could see that Abby was doing fine, hoping she would leave town after that.

But when they entered his house, they heard Abby cry out. She was having one of her nightmares. When Celeste took Abby in her arms, the child looked at her as if she recognized her.  After all, Celeste was more than just her aunt; she was her surrogate mother. It had been hard for Celeste to give her up to Clay and Zoie after carrying her for all those months. Now all she was asking was to spend some time with her daughter under ordinary circumstances, to get a chance to get to know her.

Reluctantly, Clay agrees to let Celeste spend time with Abby, but he is afraid of the attraction he feels for her. So he makes sure he is not home whenever Celeste comes over, but this does not keep her out of his thoughts. Unable to deny their attraction to each other, he kisses her. But she can’t help wondering if he is over Zoie, or does he see Zoie when he kisses her? As she spends time with Abby, will he see that unlike her sister, she is ready for a future with her daughter and more, if he will allow it?

HIS DAUGHTER…THEIR CHILD is a heartwarmingly emotional contemporary romance. As Celeste struggles to get better acquainted with her daughter, she also has to deal with Clay’s domineering dad, who is very free with his opinions, including his estimation that like Zoie, Celeste is a gold digger. However, the real star of this story is three-year-old Abby, who takes to Celeste immediately. Infused with charm, charismatic characters, sensual tension, romance, humor and a delightful plot, this story is unforgettable. I highly recommend HIS DAUGHTER…THEIR CHILD to anyone looking for a terrific story with loads of appeal.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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