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On the one-year anniversary of her husband, Richard's, death, Annie Hunter arrives home from work to discover a scruffy teenaged boy asleep on her porch. Cullen Gallagher awakens after the police are called. He points out that he wasn't doing anything wrong; he just wanted to meet his mother, Annie. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Annie and Richard tried to conceive for years, to no avail.

Cullen comes to the devastating conclusion that though Annie is not his mother, Richard must have been his father. With that seed of doubt planted in Annie's mind, she wonders about her picture-perfect life with Richard. Her confusion is further complicated by her attraction for Linc, the director of a home for troubled boys.

Annie begins to question all that is important to her: the success of her interior design business, having the perfect home and preserving the pristine reputation of her husband. With the increasing complexity of Annie's life, she finds herself drawn to Cullen, who, along with Linc, teaches her to see outside the microcosm of her existence.

Holmes' latest ripples with a freshness and originality, as the main focus is the depth and complexity of the characters.

No heavy-handed descriptive language here; just a thoughtful study of the primary players and their interaction with one another. Surely, this author is quickly on her way to becoming a household name in the romance genre. (Jan., 320 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick