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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A great romance

    Fifteen years ago in Indiana, the River Rats graduated from Riverbend high school. Considered the town¿s postal wall pin up, Aaron Mazerik left town, vowing to never return, but he is back because his mother Evie, a waitress at the Sunnyside Café, needs him. Aaron coaches basketball and counsels students at his alma mater. <P> Another rat, formerly Lily Bennett now Holden married a millionaire Boston attorney who died in a car accident. Lily returned home because living in Massachusetts was no longer the same for her. <P> Needing funds to finance a sports program for teens from poor families, Aaron turns to the last person he wants to beg for money, Lily. Not only was she a pain, he remembers her father the doctor dropping off cash to his mother. Still, when they meet, Lily and Aaron surprisingly remain attracted to one another. Soon that blossoms into love, but both have demons from the past plus several townsfolk who do not believe the once bad boy is now good enough for the daughter of their doctor. <P> BIRTHRIGHT, the first novel in the six-book Riverbend series, is a warm contemporary romance that provides a vivid picture of a Midwest town. The story line is fun to read as the audience obtains a glimpse of adults who were once best friends in high school. The lead couple is a charming duo struggling with reputations and other ghosts. The support cast makes Riverbend seem like a genuine Indiana town. Judith Arnold has set a high benchmark of quality that places much pressure on subsequent authors (see THAT SUMMER THING by Pamela Bauer in August) to match or surpass over the next five months. <P>Harriet Klausner

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