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The Girl Who Came Back    by Barbara McMahon Amazon.com order for
Girl Who Came Back
by Barbara McMahon
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2005 (2005)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

Eliza Shaw has come home to a place of both good and bad childhood memories. She was raised in the small town of Maraville, Mississippi, mainly by a foster parent, Maddie, who has recently suffered a stroke. Eliza returns home to help, temporarily abandoning her career as a promising chef in Boston. She also has left behind her fiancÚ, Stephen. For some reason she has been afraid to set a date for the wedding.

Eliza was one of three foster children living with Maddie, but the girls were separated when Maddie was wrongly accused of beating one of them. Now, fourteen years later, Eliza is ready to renew friendships with her foster sisters. And Maddie is the mother Eliza never appreciated, a woman she treated badly as a teenager. She now appreciates that Maddie gave Eliza and her foster sisters a life they would not have had otherwise. One thing Eliza is not ready to deal with is her high school sweetheart Cade. He still unfairly blames her for the suicide of his sister Chelsea. Eliza wants nothing to do with him, but still feels the pull of attraction they once shared.

While I enjoyed the story of Eliza's return home, and her relationship with Stephen, I did not buy the blossoming relationship between Cade and Eliza. Although they shared a passionate love as teenagers, it didn't make sense that his anger and resentment would dissipate so quickly. Though the physical relationship made sense, I felt that it did not equate emotionally that they would both so readily forgive and forget. But I enjoyed the bulk of the story, which held my attention.

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