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A Gift of Grace    by Inglath Cooper order for
Gift of Grace
by Inglath Cooper
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

Inglath Cooper's A Gift of Grace deals with adoption. Three-year old Grace was adopted at birth by Sophie Owens, a divorced woman who had a rough childhood, having lost her own parents at the age of eight. Sophie was raised by her mother's sister, and there was no love in that household, only resentment. Despite her troubled childhood, Sophie wanted a child of her own and Grace needed a mother.

Caleb Tucker gave Grace up for adoption. The particulars of her birth were tragic. Caleb's beloved wife Laney had been raped and left for dead, never coming out of her coma. When she was found to be pregnant by her rapist, Caleb said that Laney would never have wanted an abortion, so baby Grace was delivered nearly nine months later. Laney did not survive the delivery, and Caleb's grief was intense. Since the baby only reminded him of his loss, he immediately signed away Grace to be raised by someone else.

Now, three years later, Caleb has noticed that the child of one of his Feed Store customers has to be his wife's daughter. Grace is the spitting image of Laney at that same age, judging by the baby photos he's seen. Caleb's life, which never returned to normal after Laney's death, is now in an even bigger turmoil. He realizes that giving away Grace was a mistake, and wants to get her back.

Sophie's worst nightmares come true as her world is torn apart. The book deals with a serious ethical question: does the birth parent have a right to disrupt a child's life after she has been given up for adoption? Grace has only known one parent (Sophie) her entire young life. Their lives are complete and Grace has received the best care and all the love that Sophie has to give. Caleb's desire is a selfish one, and it takes a lot for him to see how his actions are destroying a number of lives, including those of his own parents. But, as he gets to know Grace, he also gets to know Sophie ...

I've enjoyed all of Inglath Cooper's stories so far, and this one is no exception. It is one of the most serious of her romances, a real page-turner. I highly recommend A Gift of Grace.

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