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All-American Father Mass Market Paperback – April 3, 2007
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Fortunately for them, Bailey Greenwood works at the convenience store where Leslie was caught stealing. Bailey knew Derrick when he was the star quarterback at Western High School. That is to say, she had a massive crush on him, and he barely knew she was alive. Bailey uses her influence with the storeowner to arrange for Leslie to work off her debt at the store, rather than pressing charges. Soon though, Derrick realizes that Bailey has built a relationship with Leslie, and he enlists her to try to have some success with Leslie, where he has had none. But, Bailey has her own problems. Even though she had great promise when she was in school, her responsibilities didn't allow her to go to college, and she's now working multiple jobs to keep open the bed and breakfast that has been in her family for years. She and Derrick begin at odds, but slowly they begin to realize their attraction to each other.
DeStefano puts a relatively fresh spin on a tried-and-true romance story. Derrick is a convincing single father who has genuine concerns about his child's welfare after a nasty divorce. Bailey is clearly the "cool" love interest that his oldest daughter begins to admire. Leslie rang less than true for me. She behaved like a brat without any redeeming values throughout the book, even after the hero and heroine had gotten together. Derrick's ex-wife plays her role as the evil villain to the hilt. Despite this, I found myself flying through the book and thinking about it a few days later. The book, while going over a well-known path, provides an entertaining, fun read.
Armchair Interviews says if you're looking for a quick, diverting read, All-American Father provides it.
Bailey herself has enough problems of her own; she is trying to help save her grandmother's inn which is near bankruptcy. For the past eleven years, Bailey has put her own dreams on hold and has stayed home working multiple low paying jobs to support what she thinks is her grandmother's dream.
Derrick, Bailey, and Leslie all have issues that cloud their visions for their lives. Each only seeks happiness but they need guidance to arrive at their destinies. What these three lively characters don't know is that their lives will become entwined as they find their way out of the messes they have created, that they will fall in love.
Ann DeStefano is a talented author who takes a tale and makes it shine with her storytelling abilities. Her characters go beyond multi-dimensional and will make a lasting impact on reader's hearts. She takes real life people and tells their stories in a way that will leave your heart aching for Leslie and her need for love.
While not the main character Leslie spoke to this reader's heart. Her father is a work-a-holic, her mother is absent from her life, and when she does return, she comes only out of her own selfishness - not for the love of her daughters. Derrick's need to do right by his daughter makes him a perfect hero, and throw Bailey and her need to help no matter what the cost into the mix, and you have a perfect family, but will they work out their own issues to come together? As readers know, romance novels always come out right, but the trials to the right ending make this an endearing read that any lover of series romance does not want to miss.
Review courtesy of LoveRomancesandmore :)