The Dad Next Door
Harlequin SuperRomance, Feb 2008, $5.50
Raising his twin daughters Samantha and Tory by himself after his wife Marianne McLaughlin left them, architect Gavin Gray is horrified when Sam dies in an accident. Deciding he owes Marianne that information and hoping seeing her mom will help his surviving daughter, he and Tory travel to her hometown of Squam Lake where the classic On Golden Pond was filmed.
No one in town seems to know where Marianne is. However, Gavin is distracted by the woman next door, interior decorator Allison Bennett, who just ended an engagement six weeks before the wedding. Not only does he want her, she is terrific with the reticent grieving Tory. As the trio bonds into a family, an ailing Marianne shows up begging Gavin to help her with her crisis.
THE DAD NEXT DOOR is a superb family drama due to the emotional reactions of each of the key quartet. Gavin own the show as he loves the woman next door, but his daughter comes before his desires and his feelings are further turmoil by his guilt re his ill former wife and his deceased offspring. C. J. Carmichael provides a powerful cast driven relationship tale.