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Three and one half moon gifAvon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0380794829
Knights of old sought the Holy Grail. Katherine Whitfield, a true millennium woman, seeks the Golden Grill, a bar in Paradise Valley, Ky. The grill's name, inscribed on old match covers and napkins, offers Katherine clues to her dead mother's past, and hope for her own future. A letter her mother wrote but never sent to "J" brings Katherine closer to finding her biological father. All clues lead to the Golden Grill where Katherine discovers half the men in Paradise Valley boast names beginning with "J." 

Book: Barbara Freethy, Almost HomeNo one favors the father-daughter reunion, and the Kentucky blue bloods close ranks against Katherine as she shakes up their antebellum traditions.  

Zach, a modern cowboy, knows these blue bloods well. They scorn him and treat him as an outcast because of his family and his past. Zach plans to rid himself of his family's stigma and start life anew. Kat's and Zach's quests collide in Almost Home, Barbara Freethy's seventh novel for Avon Romance. 

As Katherine gives in to her passions while struggling to understand her past, Zach struggles with romance. To Zach, romance means complications. He's close -- within weeks -- of seeing his horse race in the Kentucky Derby. Zach's future hinges on that race, and he must put all of his energy into preparing it.  

Zach chafes over introducing Katherine to potential father figures, and then rescuing her from their wives. He tiredly endures the gossip swirling around about him, his past life, and the beautiful stranger. He wonders why his best friend and mentor, Sam Jamison, pushes him toward this young woman. And Zach only half-heartedly fights his own mind's and body's obsession with Katherine Whitfield. Of course, passions ignite with their first kiss. 

Book: Barbara Freethy, The Sweetest ThingFreethy, a RITA Award-winning author, writes a multi-layered romance complete with con-men, fallen women, family secrets, old money, lost love and second chances. The non-stop action leads from one crisis to the next, one ah-ha after another until heroine and readers discover all the families' secrets. The author opens the closed Kentucky horse-racing society to scrutiny through the community members' own stories.  

Eventually, Freethy's strong leading and supporting characters, and fascinating story lines all draw together into a satisfying and predictably romantic ending. Yet the relationships prove anything but predictable. 

Romance readers will find Freethy's novel a treat. She offers a refreshing change from the usual fare of weak story line and heavy breathing. The passions erupt, the lovers live happily ever after, but in-between, readers meet a community and watch its members change. 

Dawn Goldsmith

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