The marriage was a mistake from the very beginning. Seventeen-year-old Jory Ryan had become pregnant by wealthy, young attorney-to-be Ross Landers. When Ross seems uninterested, Jory threatens him, causing Ross to arrange a hasty ceremony. But the marriage lasts only a few months, as Jory miscarries and decides to leave Philadelphia for college in Florida.

Five years later, Jory returns, taking over the small house she inherited from her father. Jory and Ross have had no contact during these years, but now Ross feels it is time to officially call it quits. Jory surprises him; she is not the girl he remembers.

Despite the progression of divorce proceedings, Ross begins to question his decision. The more he gets to know the new Jory, the more he likes her. Pete Woo, Ross' best friend, has also always had a soft spot for Jory. The Woos nurtured Ross during his lonely adolescence, and Jory's return will change all their lives.

With her unique, compelling voice, Fern Michaels explores an intricate web of relationships that has brought pain and loneliness to its members who continue to strive for happiness despite the obstacles. Some of the transitions and resolutions, however, are not particularly satisfying. (June, 377 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith