New York high school counselor Patricia Gilbert is drawn to the plight of a transfer student being razzed by his peers because of his biracial heritage. She understands his pain too well-she grew up being black but looking white. Her concern turns to anger with the boy's father who continues to cancel meetings with her in deference to his high-powered business dealings. Outraged, Patricia storms into Morgan Baxter's office, interrupting delicate negotiations, challenging him to make his son's welfare a priority over business. Even as he tosses her out of his office, she can't help but admire his style and be mesmerized by his handsome, chiseled features.

Wealthy, self-made businessman Morgan Baxter is both intrigued and impressed by the fairskinned, red-headed counselor. That she's already tried, judged and convicted him angers him greatly because he loves his son but has no concept of how to deal with him. It isn't, however, until he returns from a business trip to discover Ms. Gilbert in his home and his son upstairs hungover that he realizes his son's problems are more complex than he'd ever imagined.

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS is a work of art sure to draw the reader into the poignant, heartwarming relationships of three people redefining their identities through the emotional mire of the past to the promise of love, acceptance and personal peace. (July, 394 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cheryl Ferguson