CHRISTMAS IN HAWTHORN BAY
Nora Carson has kept a secret for 11 years: that her best friend, long dead, is actually the biological mother of Nora's son, Colin. But when Jack Killian comes to town and she realizes that her old love must be the boy's father, Nora isn't sure she can keep mum any longer -- especially when Jack suspects that Colin is his son and thinks that Nora gave birth to him because, having been drunk at the time, he has no memory of sleeping with her friend. Kathleen O'Brien's well-written Christmas in Hawthorn Bay (3) has strong but sympathetic characters. Jack and Nora do seem to get over their anger at each other fairly quickly, but that's to be expected in a novel of this length. It is, however, hard to believe that a doctor would have helped falsify a child's birth certificate in this day and age.