The Misconception

One Hot Chance

Snoops in the City


Anything for Her Children
by Darlene Gardner
(Harl. Super Rom # 1490, $5.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-71490-4
This is an enjoyable tale with a bit of a twist.  The kids are adopted and are older teenagers whose mother was killed in a car accident.  The mom’s best friend and co-worker, who is only 25 herself, decided to adopt them and raise them.  Keri Cassidy is not a saint, but truly loves the kids and wants the best for them, even though she doesn’t feel at all qualified to raise them.  Her love interest is the new high school basketball coach, who is hiding from a scandal.

Keri is a hard worker and does her best with Bryan Charleton, age 17 and his sister Rosie, age 14.  Bryan is a junior and star of the Springhill High School basketball team.  Rosie is shy and reserved, primarily because she suffered a leg injury and has a prosthesis as a result of the same accident that killed her mother.  Bryan gets star treatment, often getting free food at restaurants, free movie admission and even some passing grades despite substandard work.  Being 17, he sees this as his due.  Keri is unaware of the grade leniency; primarily because everyone tells her Bryan is smart.  She assumes he is earning the grades, until the new basketball coach suspends him for cheating.

Grady Quinlan is new to the town and is trying to get away from a scandal that erupted at the college where he was assistant coach.  Apparently there were some recruiting violations and Grady was the proverbial lamb led to the slaughter.  He left with a cloud hanging over his head and is grateful to his brother-in-law for this job. His brother-in-law is Springhill’s athletic director and ex-fiancé to Keri.  Grady realizes that Bryan had one of the girls complete his homework paper and he suspended him from the team for one game.  Bryan is upset as is the entire town.  Ultimately the girl rescinds her story and Grady is forced to reinstate Bryan.  However, he sees the path Bryan is heading down and no one seems to want to listen. 

Meanwhile, Keri and Grady meet and share an attraction despite their differences over Bryan.  The set up is there for a nice little romance but there are complications galore, primarily over whether Bryan is able to slide his way through or whether he can be made to see his other options for getting a scholarship.  A side story involves Rosie and her effort to rehabilitate her leg so she can still run track.  Grady gets involved and helps her.  Keri’s dilemma is to determine which man is the real Grady – the hard-ass who seems to be on Bryan’s case or the generous and caring person helping Rosie. Her ex-fiancé throws in a few kinks too.

This story was engaging while I was reading it.  Keri seemed to be a bit naďve but overall was just trying to find her way clear to see how she could have a life and still raise these two children.  The kids were obviously teenagers and did have some depth to their personalities.  Grady was a bit of an enigma, especially in the beginning when we saw the story from Keri’s point of view.  Once the author gave us some insight into Grady, he became the kind of hero that a reader could believe in and root for.

There were some fun romantic scenes that helped cement their relationship but these were diminished when the author presented the past scandal and Keri too quickly believed the worst rather than relying on her feelings about Grady.  This was a bit disappointing and led me to keep the rating at acceptable rather than at the recommended level.  Overall, however, Anything for Her Children is a nice story and worth the reading time.   

--Shirley Lyons 

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