Do You Take This Cop?
by Beth Andrews
(Harl. Super #1634, $5.50, PG) ISBN 978-0373-71635-0
***
Secrets galore and how to handle secrets when entering into a relationship is often the plot line of romance stories. Some characters handle this well, as do some authors when the strength of the story compensates for the issues that always arise. In the case of Do You Take this Cop?, the author gives us a character that has some major secrets and some pretty good reasons for keeping them. She also gives us a character that doesn’t always ring true to form.While I liked the heroine, some of her actions don’t always jive. In the end, however, the story was well done and the hero was well written. 

Faith Lewis and her son Austin are still fairly new residents of a small town in Maine. They have a house that was purchased by hard-earned, hard-saved money. Faith’s goal is for this to be where they settle down, even though she knows that is probably not possible. See, Faith is really Lynne Addison and her son is Jon. While Faith is a divorcee, Lynne is still married to a man who molested their son and others, and who got off scot-free. In order to protect her son, Lynne ran. This is the third or fourth place they have had to start over with new names, new identities and new everything. She is tired of running and like Austin just wants to stay in one place. He is so scared he keeps a packed bookbag under his bed with items he sees as irreplaceable - things like his Lego toys and his comic books.

Faith is determined this time. She thinks she has really hidden herself well, even getting new social security numbers and new histories. Her goal is to protect her son while establishing a life for him. She has never really talked about the abuse she walked in on, or the trial that another little boy went through. She is scared but brave; anxious yet determined. And she is sure this time they can make it work.

Faith has a job as a beautician with a great lady named Brittany Coletti. The only problem is that Brittany has a brother, Nick, who is a cop. Cops make Faith nervous because of her situation.  Nick makes her more nervous because of how he makes her feel…that feeling of attraction, of being a woman, and of possible futures. Faith is determined to be more than she ever was. As a poor young girl growing up, she wanted fairy tales and money. Once she went to New York and found the man she thought was her rich Prince Charming, she discovered that money can hide a lot of things and was no real guarantee of a charmed life.

Now she finds Nick Coletti. He helped his mother raise his five sisters. As the eldest boy when his father died, he took on roles he never asked for. Even today, years later, he is a support to his family…he bails his sister out when she messes up her checkbook, he comes over to fix her washer and he even babysits for his sister when she is in a pinch. Nick may be too good to be true. But Nick is real. He begins to realize that Faith is hiding something when he senses her unease. When he inadvertently gets Austin to tell him his dad hurt him, he thinks he gets the story. But he never guesses the full story.

This is an emotion-filled story of fear, grief, guilt and at times, the depictions of the molestation are disturbing. But mainly it is a story of hope and starting over.  Unfortunately for me, Faith was a little too together at times and then a little too angst-driven at others. I liked her and then I didn’t…then I did. Nick was a good hero, even showing some anger at times, which helped make him feel real and not too goody-goody. Austin was a kid with lots of issues, but one who really just wanted to be a kid. For this type of story, his character was just right.  Do You Take This Cop? is not a perfect story, but it is one that a reader can enjoy. It will pull emotions from you, but not always good emotions. It will ultimately make you smile. 

--Shirley Lyons


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