The Reasons To Stay
Harlequin SuperRomance, Aug 5 2014, $6.75
Priscilla Hart leaves Pueblo to drive to the funeral of her mom in Widow’s Grove, California. She feels no regret about not seeing her mother for over a decade before she died because they were estranged ever since she left behind her unhappy childhood. At the grave site, only Priss, a child and a woman attend. Priss realizes the boy is her half-brother Ignacio whom she never met and the adult she recognizes from her own experiences as a social worker.
Though feeling no remorse re her mom, Priss feels guilt when she considers abandoning Nacho to the system. Instead of returning to Colorado, she rents an apartment in Widow’s Grove to raise Nacho while he finishes the school term and then decide what next. However as Priss struggles with her brooding, grieving gangster in training sibling, she also is attracted to her landlord pharmacist Adam Preston.
This wonderful Widow’s Grove (see Her Road Home) family drama works because of Priss, whose life goal is not to be her dysfunctional mom. As Priss drowns trying to take care of Nacho; to her vexation her time with her brother turns her into her worst nightmare: her dysfunctional mom. The engaging opposites-attract romance is well written, but takes a back seat to the heroine’s motherhood revelations as raising (or not) Nacho enables Priss to better understand her late mom even while she considers fleeing before her brain turns to cheese.