For most of his life, Nick Candellano skated by on his looks, charm and talent on the football field. When his pro career is cut short, he goes on a bender that frightens the rest of the close-knit Candellano family. Nick is halfheartedly attempting a new career when a bombshell is dropped into his lap: A 12-year-old boy named Jonas is suing him for paternity.

Tasha Flynn is a woman desperately seeking to hang on to what she loves— Jonas Baker. Tasha had been one of the lost children whom foster mother Mimi Castle saved, and now it is up to her to protect him. When the elderly Mimi unexpectedly dies, Tasha fears Jonas' social worker will take him away. Knowing nothing about Jonas' proposed paternity suit, Tasha is terrified when Nick shows up asking to see Mimi. As far as she's concerned, Nick is just one more jock who has no idea how the rest of the world struggles to survive. Tasha is unlike anyone Nick has ever met, and for the first time he may learn to put someone else's happiness before his own.

The boisterous Candellanos are back for a third go-round in this latest heartwarmer. The self-centered Nick is a prime candidate for a major overhaul and Child does an admirable job completing the transformation. (Jun., 352 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith