The Favor - Megan Hart
Release Date - June 25, 2013
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
During her rebellious teen years, Janelle Decker is sent to live with her grandmother. In her grandmother's care, she develops a strong relationship with both her grandmother and the neighborhood boys - Gabe, Andy, and Michael Tierney. It's Gabe that Janelle falls in love with, but tragedy strikes and Janelle goes away feeling she is to blame for that tragedy. Despite her self-blame, she doesn't know the entire story of events leading up to the tragedy.
Twenty years later, Janelle learns that her elderly grandmother has a brain tumor and is opting against treatment. She leaves California with her 12-year-old son and moves into her grandmother's home to become an around-the-clock caregiver. She soon finds that two of the Tierney boys, Gabe and Andy, still live next door with their ailing father. Janelle's given a second chance to find love with Gabe, but he's so cold and distant that she's not sure he still even cares. As she gets to know Andy and Gabe again, the truth about the events that drove her away begins to unravel.
The Favor isn't quite a romance, but there certainly are romantic leanings. What did strike me as the strength in this book is the relationship between Janelle and her grandmother, Nan, and Janelle's role as a parent, especially as she watches her son make many of the mistakes that drove her to her grandmother in the first place. The family dynamics keep you involved and rooting for all of the characters. There's also the realistic portrayal of Janelle becoming the primary caregiver to the woman who raised her. She's frustrated by how poorly Nan is on some days, and Nan is equally frustrated by her limitations.
I read The Favor in one sitting. It grabbed me and kept me metaphorically glued to the pages. I've read some of Megan Hart's erotic romances, so this was definitely a change of pace, and a memorable one at that.