About That Man

After Tex

Along Came Trouble

Amazing Gracie

Michael's Discovery

The Cowgirl & the
Unexpected Wedding

Flamingo Diner

A Love Beyond Words

The Unclaimed Baby

Priceless by Sherryl Woods
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1603, $4.25, PG-13) 0-373-24603-X
There have been a lot of matchmaking mothers, fathers, grandparents and small town matriarchs and patriarchs in romances in the last few years. In Priceless, the second book of Sherryl Woods' “Million Dollar Destinies” trilogy, the matchmaker is Aunt Destiny.  When her three nephews were orphaned, she gave up her free artist's life in Europe and returned to take care of the three brothers and to oversee the family business.  While I am a bit tired of this device, the story of Tony, a little boy with leukemia and the reason Mack and Beth meet, keep me very involved.

Mack Carlton is a former pro-football player and now part owner of the team.  He is known for dating models and actresses, but never seriously.  His Aunt Destiny is always trying to set him up with a woman to marry, but he does not plan to marry any time soon.  When Destiny asks him to visit a very sick boy in the hospital, he is suspicious, but since he always tries to make these visits, he goes.

Beth Browning is a pediatric oncologist and researcher who is very worried about Tony.  He is back in the hospital again for his third relapse.  His favorite player is Mack Carlton and Beth has been trying to reach him to request he visit Tony.  She finally reached his aunt and is hoping he will show up.  She knows nothing about football and is having a playful argument with a group of male colleagues about how useless the game is when Mack arrives.

Mack visits with Tony and impresses Beth with his wonderful manner with the child.  Beth impresses Mack with her devotion to Tony and her determination to find a way to heal him.  Neither believes they are each other's type, but they both notice a spark.  Mack begins to visit Tony regularly and always stops to talk with Beth.  As they begin to learn more and more about each other, preconceived notions begin to fall. 

I liked both Mack and Beth.  Neither of them has major character flaws.  They both have insecurities, but when they are together they strengthen each other.  I didn't really see why Destiny had to get involved at all. 

Destiny as well as Mack's two brothers and a sister-in-law are all involved in the story.   Several of Beth's male co-workers are also involved, but the spotlight goes to Tony.  He comes across as a sick little kid who tries so hard to get well, but worries about his mother if he doesn't.  The depth of character in both Beth and Mack is revealed in how strongly Tony affects them both. 

Despite the matchmaker theme, Beth and Mack's story and Tony's story are definitely worth reading.  The next episode will be younger brother Ben's.  I plan to read it and go back and read Richard's as well.

--B. Kathy Leitle

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