Harlequin Silhouette, Oct 2003, 6.50
In Albuquerque, thirty-two years old single mom of three preadolescent children Joanna Swan has had it with her childish ex-husband. He fails to pay his share of child support, doesn't always show up for the kids and when he does he is late, and now has impregnated his latest girlfriend. At the mall, Joanna's efforts to sell homemade dolls for collectors fail until her mother drags her into the toy store. Owner Dale McConnaughy, former Atlanta Braves superstar, offers her $300 a doll. Meanwhile her mom buys an outdoor play set for her grandchildren.
As Dale and Joanna start seeing each other, they begin to fall in love. However, she feels his carefree attitude is too much like her ex while he mistrusts women after a terrible childhood and the betrayal of his ex. Still with neither wanting anything permanent love forces both to reconsider if he can only trust her with his heart.
Fans of contemporary romance between two wounded protagonists will want to read Karen Templeton's fine PLAYING FOR KEEPS. The story line will delight sub-genre fans, as the lead duo is a nice pair who deserve happiness and can achieve this in the arms of the other. The problems suffered by one of the children add depth and serious parenting issues to the mix, but also takes away from the prime theme though it's intended to provide a dilemma to the romance. Still this is a solid tale that will provide pleasure of pleasure to the audience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner