In the past two years, I've read at least seven of Holly Jacobs' romances. Unexpected Gifts, the twenty-eighth she's written for Harlequin Books, is filled with the same type of likable, loving characters that drew me to her earlier books.
Fifteen years ago, Elinore (Eli) Cartwright, a teacher in the George County School District in Pennsylvania, saw the need for a teen parenting programming in the largely rural county. In all those years working with single mothers, she never thought she'd be in the same boat. But, at forty-four, she found herself pregnant, with an older, stuffy boyfriend, who never wanted to be a father, and had no interest in a baby. Her break-up with Arthur, along with her intent to help one of her students, put her together with Zac Keller.
Zac, the manager of his family's chain of grocery stores, had been interested in Eli, but he wouldn't poach as long as she was dating Arthur. As one of six adopted children, he came from a close, loving family, and that's what he hoped to have someday. Although Eli just wanted to be friends, Zac hoped he could eventually persuade her he was interested in her, and her baby. Eli sees more problems than Zac, because she's offering Arthur every chance to have a relationship with his child. And, she knows she's ten years older than Zac. Zac only hopes she'll see he loves her.
Eli's students, her friends and family, and Zac's family, all hope for the best for them. And, those characters add to the warmth and charm of this book. From the very beginning, it's obvious that the relationship will work out for Zac and Eli. And, it's that big, loving family, of adopted brothers and sisters, that offer glimpses of hope. Unexpected Gifts is the story of two people falling in love, despite problems. Zac sums the book up beautifully. "Life happens. What truly defines us as people is how we handle what life throws at us." And, when Holly Jacobs writes more romances, I'll treat them as Unexpected Gifts.
Holly Jacobs' website is www.hollyjacobs.com
Unexpected Gifts by Holly Jacobs. Harlequin, ©2009. ISBN 9780373783465 (paperback), 320p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received Unexpected Gifts from the author, with hopes I would review it.