Awakening Alex

Blackthorne

Briana

Courtship of Izzy McCree

Return of the Prodigal Son

Rory

The Sea Nymph

The Sea Sprite

The Sea Witch

Snowbound Cinderella

The Wildes of Wyoming: Ace

 
His Father's Son by Ruth Langan
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1147, $4.50 PG-13) ISBN 0-373-27217-0
***
Now I know why so many authors write about dysfunctional families and tortured heroes. It's because the normal, well-adjusted ones are so boring. His Father's Son, part of the Lassiter Law series, is just one big happy, emotionally stable and, unfortunately, dull book.

The story opens with young Cameron Lassiter on the verge of being kicked out of yet another military school for fighting. Cameron is full of anger because his cop father was killed in the line of duty when he was a boy. Along comes Cam's grandfather, Kieran Lassiter, the world's most supportive and understanding grandfather. Keiran convinces Cam that fighting with his brains is better than fighting with his fists.

Flash forward several years and now Cameron is a highly paid, and successful lawyer with Washington D.C.'s most prestigious law firm. Lest the reader think he's an arrogant rich boy, Cam also does a lot of pro-bono work for his mother Kate, a well-respected family advocate.

One night, Cam goes home for a typical Lassiter family dinner. All the happy couples from the previous Lassiter Law books are there, helping to set the table, or making salad, or just being a supportive, loving family. It was a bit much. At the dinner, Kate asks Cam to look over a difficult case involving a young Hispanic boy who is in danger of being placed in a juvenile facility. Tio has been skipping school to see his father, who is in prison for killing a cop. Cam bristles at the very idea of helping a cop killer, but eventually agrees to meet with the boy's caseworker.

The caseworker is Summer O'Connor. Summer is beautiful and comes from a very prominent Georgetown family. She has never liked the trappings of wealth however, preferring youth hostels to spas and helping the poor children in whatever foreign country her family was stuck in over shopping. Unlike her socialite older sister, whom we meet only long enough to provide a chance second meeting between Summer and Cam, Summer is content to live the life of an underpaid social worker because she's doing the right thing. In short, she's just wonderful.

When she first meets Cam, she assumes he's just a spoiled rich boy, judging by his fancy car and expensive suit. The two start off on the wrong foot when Cam makes a disparaging remark about Tio's caseworker, not realizing it's Summer. She treats him coolly and doesn't fall for his usual charm.

That is about the extent of the conflict in this book. After their second meeting, Summer finds out that Cam is actually a nice guy since he helps his sainted mother for free. They have some romantic dinners at her house and fall for each other. Cam realizes that Summer is the one woman he thinks of as more than just a "woman of the moment" and it's all good from there.

That's the problem with His Father's Son; everything is all good. The hero and heroine have no real conflict to their relationship, and the characters don't change and grow because frankly, they're perfectly fine from the beginning. That sounds like a petty complaint, but with everything pulled together from the get go, it leaves the book with nothing to do. Nothing that is, but complete the Lassiter Law series, which one strongly suspects was its job.

Even the little bit of drama involving Tio and his father is bland. There are a few threats, and one obligatory action scene. Cam's law enforcement family is on the job, however, and all is quickly and easily solved with no real danger involved. Then they all sit down and have a great family dinner.

His Father's Son is not really a bad book. The writing is clean and the pacing makes it a quick read. It's just that it had no spark, nothing that grabbed the reader and made them want to hang on. Rather than a roller coaster ride, it was the merry-go-round, pleasant and nice, but unexciting.

--Anne Bulin


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