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A Hero for All Seasons
by Marie Ferrarella
(Silh. Int. Mom. #932, $4.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-07932-X
***
Marie Ferrarella has begun a new miniseries centering on a detective agency that finds missing children. The first installment brings together Sam Walters, a former police detective who has joined the agency and Savannah King, whose daughter Aimee disappeared while the two were shopping one afternoon. A desperate Savannah comes to ChildFinders, Inc. because of their sterling reputation for recovering missing children.

Sam is moved by the lovely Savannah and promises that he will recover Aimee. But Savannah isn't content to wait patiently at home. She wants to participate in the investigation. Sam resists, but his boss, Darin Townshend, himself the father of a missing child, understands Savannah's need take an active role. And so Sam and Savannah are thrown together in the most trying of circumstances.

Much of the story recounts the investigation, the patient digging for evidence, the examining and reexamining the events surrounding Aimee's kidnapping. While the police have been doing their best, they can't give the case the single-minded concentration that Sam brings to the search.

Forced together by circumstances, Sam and Savannah learn about each other. Sam learns that Savannah is a single mother whose older lover left her before he even knew she was pregnant. She works for a software firm and has made a good life for her daughter. Savannah learns that Sam is devoted to his family, especially to his nieces and nephews, but doesn't believe that his career and a family mix.

Sam's strength and kindness comfort Savannah, the comfort turns into something more passionate, but Sam feels guilty for taking advantage of a client, a woman whose feelings must be running high.

Sam is a really good guy; Savannah is a really nice lady. The mystery is solved; Aimee is recovered and we move on to the HEA.

If the above sounds a bit simplistic, perhaps that's because A Hero for All Seasons seemed a bit simplistic to me. I had a pretty good idea who was responsible for the kidnapping quite early on, and frankly, felt like saying to Sam, "Yoo hoo! Don't you think you ought to take a closer look at whatsisname?" Of course, Sam does and there you have it.

Let me state that this is a perfectly acceptable category romance. But to tell the truth, A Hero for All Seasons didn't have the emotional resonance I have come to expect in Ferrarella's books. There's nothing wrong with the book, but there's nothing to set it apart either.

--Jean Mason


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