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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another Man's Son by Katherine Stone

If Sam Collier's life has taught him anything, it's that promises can't be trusted. . .
Especially promises from the people who were supposed to love him. People like his father. . .

Ian Collier abandoned him when he was four, and Sam was a drifter for years afterward. He's finally begun to make peace with his past--and that's when he learns the shocking news. Ian Collier is dead.

He returns to Ian's house in Seattle and finds a woman named Kathleen Cahill living there, the woman Ian had planned to marry. Within weeks Sam has fallen in love with her. Deeply in love--for the first time in his life. And then Kathleen tells him she's pregnant. With his baby? Or Ian Collier's?

Now, thanks to Kathleen, he learns a secret about his father. A secret and a truth. And now--for the first time in his life--Sam Collier understands what fatherhood really means.

This is a very touching, emotional story. As with all of her books, it's not a quick, light read, and it's flowery prose can, at times, be a little over the top, bur for the most part I really enjoyed it.

Our story begins with Ian Collier and Kathleen Cahill. They meet when she's in high school and he's trying to talk her into accepting a scholarship that his company offers to select students. We come to find out that her mother had disappeared months before that and she's (Kathleen) is very scarred by it.

Ian talks her into accepting the scholarship and over the years they keep in touch via phone calls and letters. They become great friends with mutual respect for each other, and when Kathleen decides she wants to have children (via artifical insemination) Ian offers to be the donor.

Because he lost a son in a vicious divorce years before this, he wants to marry Kathleen and help her raise their child together. She refuses at first, but comes to understand why he's offered and agrees, sure they'll keep their relationship platonic and friendly.

In the meantime, we meet Sam, Ian's long lost son. Because his mother was a psycho witch he had a horrible childhood and remembers nothing of the time he spent with his father as a child. He left home at age 16 and finally settled in a small town in Oregon, Sarah's Orchard. Sam is sweet and keeps mostly to himself, befriending only a few old ladies that won't leave him alone.

We also meet a good friend of Ian's, lawyer James, and his realtor, Natalie. There's an interesting subplot that evolves from the pair.

All in all, it was a fairly good read. We get lost a little bit in the middle, but she smoothes things out in the end. Though I did think the relationship between Sam and Kathleen was rather rushed at the end.

Not a must read, but if you're in the mood for some Soap Opera type drama, this is the book for you.

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