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Liz Loves Books

I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.

For the Love of Family (Harlequin Super Romance #1590) - Kathleen O'Brien This is the second book I've read by Ms. O'Brien. The first, The Vineyard of Hopes and Dreams was one of my favorites for 2012. For the Love of Family is also a wonderful, second-chance romance with very sympathetic, likeable main characters, several well-written secondary characters and a tight, engaging plot with a touch of mystery. I think (and hope) that the second-chance romancy/mystery is a recurring theme with this author, at least for this series. I think she also may like Halloween almost as much as I do.The plot itself starts with a little bit of a Cinderella story. The heroine crashes a party, meets the hero while both are in costume and departs from him without exchanging contact information. And then the hunt is on. But instead of a remaining a simplistic fairy tale, the story develops into something much more complex and interesting. Family loyalty and honesty play a big part in the plot. The hero and heroine are both presented with some tough choices over the course of the book and as they mature their decisions do as well. The underlying Cinderella-mystery theme does flow through the story and the hero's and heroine's moments of recognition were two of my favorite parts of the book. We also get to meet the Malone family and their business (for the first time for most readers, but I read these out of order). The Malone boys are far from flawless but they have been raised to be stand-up men and the family is a close-knit and loving one. It is contrasted starkly with the heroine's tiny, cold and falling apart family. It's pretty easy to be drawn into the Malone family generally by this book.There are some other secondary characters introduced and interestingly none of them are ever cartoonish or flat. There is no real villain, and the one character who comes closest is one of the more interesting characters in the book (and also the hero in book 2).I have to admit I liked The Vineyard of Hopes and Dreams just a bit better than For the Love of Family. Only a bit, though. Really, I loved them both. Finally, I suggest ignoring the series link in the title on this page. This book may be somehow related to the Diamond Legacy series, but it is actually the first book in the Malone series. The entire series is listed correctly in order here:http://www.goodreads.com/series/94685-maloneAs mentioned above, the two books in the series I've read so far have both been excellent. In fact, they've been two of the best books I've read recently. The two books I have not yet read have high ratings (though sadly few reviews) here on goodreads. I recommend reading the entire series, and reading it in order. I think the books can be read as stand alones, but there is character development that occurs through events across the entire series.