Avon, Feb 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
In Lovett, Texas, Jackson Parrish is the owner operator of Parrish American Classics, a business that restores vintage cars. Fifteen years ago, he and his best friend Steven Monroe, who just died from brain cancer, had a big fight over the third musketeer Daisy Lee Brooks as both insisted that they loved her. At the same time Jackson's parents died. While Jackson grieved, Daisy Lee married Steven.
Though her family including her son knows that Jackson sired her boy, the biological father does not know he has a teenage child. Daisy Lee is back in town to tell him the truth, but he refuses to have anything to do with the person who most hurt him. Daisy regrets not informing Jackson over the years. She reflects back to when she learned she was pregnant while he was grieving the deaths of his parents; she leaped at what she felt was her only salvation. Time slipped away, but she knows she still loves Jackson and always will, but though he will detest her even more than he does now, she must tell him the truth. Jackson loathes himself as he does not trust her with his heart, yet reciprocates her feelings.
This is a solid contemporary romance starring two hurting individuals struggling with a decision she made that still leaves both raw. Though why Daisy Lee feels a need to tell Jackson the truth after fifteen years even with Steven's deathbed encouragement, will make readers will question that decision. Still, she shows courage as she defies her feelings and her concerns to confront the injured lion in his den. This is a terrific tale that just avoids soap opera status.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner