Among knowledgeable romance writers and readers, the buzz is that some of the best writing is to be found in series books. A case in point is Pamela Bauer's Babe in the Woods.

When Danielle Taylor inherits a rustic Minnesota resort, The Last Place on Earth, from the birth grandfather she never knew, she decides to seek out her heritage and her own identity. Brendan Millar comes to the resort as a seeker, too. A seminarian, he's on the brink of making a final commitment to the priesthood, but Danielle reminds him of everything he'd be leaving behind. When Brendan's teenage niece, Jodie, comes to the resort, she brings new complications. Jodie is pregnant but totally unsettled about her future, questioning whether or not to give up her child for adoption. Dani's teaching background trained her to communicate with teenagers in crisis, but as an adoptee herself she understands that though she can advise, she must let Jodie choose her own way. Brendan is in crisis, too, as he weighs his own choices, and Dani must give both him and herself the space to make their own decisions.

Pamela Bauer's interweaving of sensitive family issues is enhanced by her heartwarming empathy for very real people searching out answers. Babe in the Woods is tender, loving, and ennobling reading.

Reviewed by Sandy Huseby.

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