Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Perfect 10: THE BRACELET by Karen Rose Smith

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THE BRACELET - Karen Rose Smith
A Perfect 10
Harlequin's Everlasting Love #14
ISBN: 978-0-373-65416-1
August 2007
Contemporary Women's Fiction, Series

York Pennsylvania, Now and in Days Past

THE BRACELET is a powerful story of love and family. Its heroine and hero, Laura and Brady Malone, met in April of 1969. Laura had chanced upon a peace demonstration and joined in on impulse; then her eyes locked with those of a bystander and she felt an immediate connection. Brady saw that the demonstration was about to erupt into violence, so he made his way through the crowd to rescue the girl who had attracted him so suddenly. Now, the tie between Laura and Brady may be slightly frayed, but the two have always loved each other.

The two main points of view in THE BRACELET belong to Laura and Brady. Their memories of the good and bad times are laid bare: Brady's time in Viet Nam that changed him so; their marriage and Laura's miscarriages; the loss of their infant son; the adoption of Sean and Kat; and the building of Brady's successful robotics firm that took up so much of his time.

But what about the present? Two crises that affect the whole Malone family bring things to a head, crises that could mean the end of them as a family...or a new beginning. Eighteen year-old Sean's problems with his father and with life in general also play an important and moving part in THE BRACELET.

Karen Rose Smith is the author of many sweet and passionate series romances, but this extraordinary book may just prove a breakout for her. It contains everything found in a major single title novel. THE BRACELET takes Laura and Brady through almost forty years of ups and downs. Some of the experiences they face are heartbreakingly real, but so are their strengths and their love. So well written is THE BRACELET that I never felt I was being told a story; I felt part of the family and experienced all the fears and joys of its members. For that reason, and for the lesson in hope it provides for us all, I'm awarding THE BRACELET one of RRT's rare Perfect 10s.

Jane Bowers

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