Greene writes a charming tale of
familial devotion and gives readers
a new, fun-filled spin on romance
with the boy next door. While dialogue from the children's mouths often seems overly precocious, even for bright kids, the conversations between the adults are realistic. The viewpoints of the
main characters are especially well written, and the plot leads us from
a humorous beginning to an emotionally satisfying ending.

When free-spirited Merry Olson moves halfway across the country to take on the guardianship of her friend's daughter, her good-natured optimism is put to the test. She finds herself in a dreadfully affluent suburb with an 11-year-old girl who's nothing like she expected, an appointed guardian who's determined to find fault with her attempts at parenthood and a sexy next-door neighbor who makes her pulse race at first sight.

Jack Mackinnon, a divorced father of twin teenage sons, is the hunky man in question. As a Langley "bureaucrat," he's not the kind to spill his guts to the new girl in town, no matter how cute she is. But Merry's upbeat manner warms his heart, her spontaneity is infectious and the joy she brings to her ward and to his boys makes him reconsider the idea of sharing his feelings and, possibly, even falling in love again. (HQN, Jan., 384 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel