Avon, Jan 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
West Coast Magazine writer Angela Buchanan detests all the accolades bestowed on Stephen “Artist of the Heart” Whitney as a noble family values guru upon the man's death. Angela knows the real story behind Stephen and not the phony eulogies praising him. She was the daughter he ignored when he abandoned her mother years ago. Angela sells the idea of exposing the real Stephen.
At the funeral in the Sur, California area, Angela meets her teenage half sister for the first time as well as the great man's wife, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. Through the help of her editor, Angela gains access to the extended Whitney family over the objection of brother-in-law Cooper Jones. However, as she begins to know each one, Angela finds that she genuinely has affection for them. Still she especially worries about falling in love with attorney Cooper Jones, who seems to want no part of her as he suspects she has a hidden agenda.
Though the use of an emergency to propel relationships seems unnecessary, fans will enjoy this strong character study just bring your own coffee. The story line is well written providing the audience a deep look at key players especially Angela and Cooper, but also several secondary players too. Readers will take immense delight with this fine contemporary look beyond the public image.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner