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I'll admit it--I spent the first half of this book despising the hero, Nick Candellano. Although he makes appearances in FINDING YOU/KNOWING YOU, the first two books in this trilogy, it's not until we get his story in LOVING YOU that we're introduced to how egotistical and self-centered he is. Fortunately, the man changes his ways by the middle of the story, and that's good for all of us.
A former NFL running back, one bad play blew out Nick's knee--and ended his life as he knew it. For years, Nick had everything, including fame, money, and plenty of adoring fans, many of which were of the female persuasion. But now the only way he can stay in touch with football is by reporting about it for the local news station. He hates being cooped up in a cubicle, interviewing the coaches and players of girls soccer teams. How did his life come to this?
To add insult to injury, he's been served by papers claiming that eleven-year-old Jonas Baker is suing him--for paternity. His late mother, Margie Baker, always claimed that Nick was his father, and now Jonas has taken matters into his own hands. His official foster mother has passed away, and although Tasha Flynn, his unofficial mother, loves and cares for him, Jonas is determined to get his father's attention.
It's definitely got Nick's attention--and so does Tasha, the first time he meets her. But Tasha has secrets of her own (she spent two years on the street as a runaway, and she fails to mention to Nick that Mimi, Jonas's foster mother, is dead) and is scared to death that Nick will take Jonas away from her.
LOVING YOU is a great story, once I got over my aversion to Nick. He doesn't change overnight, which gives the story credibility, and as he and Tasha develop feelings for each other the story really picks up steam. Fear of losing the only family she's ever known holds Tasha back from taking a chance on love, and fear of being a good father keeps Nick from being the man the reader knows he can be.
Definitely a fine ending to the trilogy, Maureen Child has penned another winning story with true-to-life characters and situations.
***SPOILER*** ***SPOILER*** ***SPOILER***
The only thing I found hard to believe about LOVING YOU is that fact that Tasha is a twenty-seven year old virgin, especially since she spent two years living on the streets of Los Angeles. However, the author weaves it into the story seamlessly, as the only thing that Tasha had control over. Although it seemed improbable, it didn't distract from the story.