Lean on Me

Sourcebooks Casablanca. (Family Is Forever, Bk. 1). Jan. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781728212531. pap. $12.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Tabitha Knicely is reeling. Caring for her elderly aunt is more than she anticipated—the symptoms of Aunt Tweet’s dementia seem to be ever-changing—and that stress, combined with her new high-pressure job, has turned her life into something she barely recognizes anymore. When her aunt begins making clandestine early morning visits to a neighbor, it just might be the last straw. Marcus Whittington doesn’t trust easily, and he suspects that Tabitha and her aunt are up to no good. But the more time he spends with the duo, the more his heart is engaged, and soon he can’t imagine his life without them. This is a slow-burn romance; at times Tabitha and Marcus’s relationship seems to progress more quickly in their heads than it does on the page, and the emphasis on themes of forgiveness and second chances often overpower the story and the romance.
VERDICT Fans of Simmons’s books (“Love at the Crossroads” series) will probably want to pick up this first in a new series; others may wish to pass.

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