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Feels Like Family: The Sweet Magnolias    by Sherryl Woods order for
Feels Like Family
by Sherryl Woods
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Helen Decatur is a career woman with goals that she set for herself years ago. Being a divorce lawyer has made her cynical about love. She now feels as though she let life pass her by, as she watches her two best friends living with husbands and children. After getting her blood pressure under control and receiving the doctor's blessing to have a baby, Helen finally decides, at forty-two, that she has found the perfect man to father her child.

Erik Whitney is the pastry chef at Sullivan's, a restaurant owned by Dana Sue, who is one of Helen's best friends. Helen helps out in the kitchen frequently and the sparks fly between herself and Erik. Dana Sue suspects that they have been meeting secretly and is happy that they finally gave each other a chance. Erik does not want children for reasons to do with his past. When Helen falls in love with him, a web of deception threatens not only her happiness with Erik but her relationships with her two best friends.

Helen and Erik are also brought together while helping two of Sullivan's employees. Karen is a single mother who struggles to get to work because of child care issues and the kids getting sick. Tess is a new employee, hired to share duties with Karen and keep the flow of the kitchen moving nicely even if Karen has to call in sick. Tess's problem is that her husband was deported even though he had the proper papers. When Helen steps in to help, Erik's admiration for her grows.

This third in phenomenal The Sweet Magnolias - following A Slice of Heaven and Stealing Home - is Helen's tale. Sherryl Woods has a fantastic way of telling a story that makes you feel as if you are right there in the town of Serenity amongst friends. Feels Like Family ends the trilogy and brings the three friends full circle. The trio appear in each book and I recommend getting hold of all three, and settling down for some great reading.

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