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VINE VOICEon August 26, 2006
FAMILY AT STAKE by Molly O'Keefe

August 26, 2006

Amazon rating 4/5

"Mac Edwards and Rachel Filmore were once best friends, but Rachel decided not to stick around. Because of a horrible family situation, she left home after high school graduation, leaving behind her beloved younger brother and Mac, the teenage boy she didn't realize she loved. After a one-night stand on graduation day, Mac believed Rachel when she said she'd stay for him. But he was wrong.

Thirteen years later, Rachel is a social worker in Santa Barbara County, living not too far from her hometown of New Springs. Her new clients, unfortunately, happen to be Mac and his teenage daughter Amanda. Lying to her boss and good friend Olivia (as this is a conflict of interest) Rachel feels she can help Mac and his troubled daughter. Mac is angry when he finds Rachel back in his life. She betrayed him years ago, and is the worst person to be their social worker." - complete review at BookLoons - M. Lofton

Very intense romance drama, FAMILY AT STAKE will definitely keep the reader's attention. The focus is on Mac and his teenage daughter, Amanda, who are both dealing with the loss of his wife and her mother. Rachel is able to relate to Amanda, and hopes she can help the girl. And at the same time, Rachel and Mac revisit their past, trying to resolve the anger and the resentment that Mac has built up in his mind against the girl he once loved. Recommended.
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on August 12, 2006
The previous case worker recommended that single father Mac Edwards lose custody of his twelve years old daughter. To insure the right thing is done for the child, social worker Rachel Fillmore is assigned to investigate whether Mac is abusing his daughter.

Rachel should recuse herself from this particular case as Mac was her first lover back in high school and remains the standard she judges men by though he was a boy at the time. Mac also wonders if he needs to demand a change at a time when he stands to lose his beloved child as he does not trust the woman who betrayed their love when they were high school lovers. However, both quickly put aside their personal grievance to try to learn what is disturbing the preadolescent as it is not her father who is a great dad.

This is an interesting contemporary romance in which the troubled preadolescent makes the tale. Mac knows he is running out of options and would prefer anyone but Rachel on the case. Both know that their mutual distrust of one another caused by youthful miscommunication could lead to failure as they each want what is best for his disturbed offspring. The second chance at love subplot supplements a strong family drama.

Harriet Klausner
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