Autumn Leaves by Annie Smith

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Karen Matheson, a child psychologist and head of Newfoundland Dog Rescue, is great with other people's kids and her huge, gentle canines. But with her own daughter, Katie single mum Karen feels like a failure. Growing up without a father has taken its toll on Katie, who, in her final year of high school is moody, resentful, and loath to confide in Karen. Katie's estranged dad was a marine, and the need to somehow connect with that unknown part of her prompts the girl to begin hanging out at a local gym, taking boxing lessons from ex-marine Steve Songer. To non-violent Karen, Steve has three strikes against him: the Corps, a boxing gym, and, of all dogs, a pit bull. Worse, she blames him when Katie secretly enlists in the Marines! Yet as the distance between mother and daughter grows, Karen turns to Steve for help. The emotional fire that ignites between them stuns her. She has long given most of her affection to the Newfies she rescues. But real love means finding the courage to take a leap of faith, face a long-kept secret, and perhaps risk everything to follow her heart...

About Annie Smith

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Annie Smith is an artist, author and lecturer in art history at Sheridan College and an Associate Professor Adjunct at the University of Toronto, developing and coordinating the Art and Art History Program shared by these two institutions. An acclaimed speaker who has travelled to many parts of the world, she is a mentor and favorite of students and colleagues alike. She has not let her gruellng experiences with cancer diminish her love for the outdoors, nor her passions for sailing and tennis.
Published November 1, 2003 by Zebra. 302 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction