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    Review of VANESSA'S MATCH by Judy Christenberry (see her website)


    Harlequin American Romance #1117, June 2006

    Business tycoon Richard Austin cut off his relationship with his step-mother when she tried to seduce him--even though doing so meant losing touch with his young half-sister, Lindy. Now, though, the step-mother is dead, Lindy has attempted suicide, and Richard learns that the lawyer he trusted to keep his sister safe has fallen down on the job. Lindy is turned over to the care of sexy Vanessa Shaw--a psychologist in training--and Vanessa doesn't want to let her go.

    Vanessa has spent years reassembling her family around her (she and her siblings were adopted out), and feels for the tortured sixteen-year-old who feels that no one can love her. Vanessa's heart goes out to the girl--even as her body responds to the attractive older brother. Vanessa has plans that have nothing to do with romance, but Richard will only agree to let Lindy stay with Vanessa if he can stay in close contact. That means contact between Richard and Lindy, of course, but it also means contact between Vanessa and Richard.

    When Richard learns that his occasional date, Sharon, is only after his money, he asks Vanessa to fill her role--escourting him to business dinners at expensive restaurants. But soon Richard wants more than an escort--he wants a wife. Sharon throws a monkeywrench into the works, though, with an unexpected announcement.

    Author Judy Christenberry (see more reviews of novels by Christenberry) concludes her CHILDREN OF TEXAS series with the story of Vanessa--the young woman whose drive for a family created an entire chain of romances as she discovered and matchmade for each sibling. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing how Vanessa's need for family drives her into Richard's arms--and threatens to tear her right back out. Richard makes a great hero--all stuffy and rich at the start, but gradually thawing out as he re-learns the joys of a positive family. Vanessa starts by clinging too hard to the damaged Lindy, but she too learns the need to let go.

    If you're looking for a tender story of growing attraction, you'll certainly want to check out VANESSA'S MATCH.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 4/22/06

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