Ever since the untimely death of her police officer husband, Athena Moran has just been going through the motions in life. For her daughter Callie's sake, Athena perseveres, but she has been unable to get enthused or involved in anything.

When Mayor Dante Rossi offers her a job in his office, Athena decides it's time to move on. Dante Rossi has basically run Woodside Height, NJ, as a fiefdom for a good many years. But, since the city charter won't allow him to run for another consecutive term, the battle is on to choose his successor. To her amazement, Athena is talked into running for Mayor with Dante's full support and backing. When Athena wins, she finds her power limited to public appearances; Dante still runs the town.

Reporter Quentin Forbes is both frustrated by and attracted to Athena. She is a bright, caring woman, but she is letting herself be used as a puppet. Athena is hurt and angered by Quentin's attacks in the press, but she too begins to realize that she is being manipulated and wonders why.

When Athena hooks up with Ms. Evelyn, the town's one-woman redevelopment task force, she begins to buck the old boy system and start her own agenda. Needless to say, the old boys, especially Dante, are none too pleased and do everything in their power to discredit her.

For the first time in years, Athena has a reason to really live. It will take a lot of guts to fight and win, both in politics and in love.

Marvelous author Mariah Stewart brings her special touch to this character drama of compelling individuals fighting for their dreams. A DIFFERENT LIGHT is warm, compassionate and fulfilling. Great reading. (Nov., 336 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith