When Kira MacGregor learns that her lifelong friend Jake McKenna is dying, she rushes back to her home- town of Brook Hollow, Mass., to be with him. She turns around and returns to Boston when she learns that Jake is going to be OK.

Although Kira has strong feelings for him, she has no plans to return to Brook Hollow permanently. Kira left after graduation, and Jake is the hometown hero who plans never to leave. However, when Kira returns for Christmas and learns that Jake is about to be married, she realizes that she may be missing out on a chance for true love.

Damschroder's characters are likeable and realistic, but the emotional drama between Jake and Kira could have been more fully developed at the beginning by not resolving Jake's illness so quickly. But the intensity does pick up later, when Jake introduces his fiancee. (Jul. '05, 204 pp., $16.00)
Reviewed by: 
Roseann Marlett