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Understudy
Carole Bellacera
Forge
ISBN: 0765306557
June 2003
Contemporary Romance

Ever since Amy Shiley was a little girl she wanted a family, a real family. Amy had grown up poor, moving from trailer park to trailer park with parents who were more involved with substance abuse than with their daughter was all the childhood that Amy had. In college she meets Robin Mulcahey, she is her roommate but soon the two are much more like sisters. Robin takes Amy home for vacations and holidays. Robin's family treats her like a daughter and Amy finds the family she has been longing for.

Amy feels much more than brotherly feelings for Robin's older brother Paul. He is a college football star and Amy's first real love interest. As they spend more time together they experience young love. But, as they part ways to go back to school, Amy later learns that Paul has found someone else..

She is hurt and confused over Paul's confession. When she attends a party with Robin she starts drinking, something she never does. When the two leave, Amy drives them home in Robin's car. However, they never make it home as they are involved in a fatal car accident.

At the hospital, Amy, barely conscience, hears Robin's parents calling her by Robin's name. Amy's face is injured beyond recognition so her parents believe that Robin was the one driving and Amy was the passenger who died. Amy has a choice to make, admit who she is and continue leading a lonely life or become part of the family and take Robin's place?

Strong characters and a storyline that is very detailed come together to make an engrossing read. The story has some twists that add a few surprises. I enjoyed UNDERSTUDY by Carole Bellacera and found it hard to put down.

Tami Sutton, April 2003

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