Family (Firstborn, #4)Family by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It is time for a trial. The crazed attacker that Katy Hart and Dayne Matthews faced months earlier has finally gone on trial. Katy has went to Los Angeles for the trial and longs to spend just a little time alone with the newly reformed Dayne, but every time they try to get alone or even just spend time together, the clicking of cameras follows them. The paparazzi again!!

John Baxter has finally made contact with his son Dayne, but will the rest of the family ever know about him? This is the question driving Ashley crazy!! When can the rest of the family find out about their brother? When will she find out who he is? Ashley is nothing but persistent, and it won’t be long before she uncovers the secret behind her mystery brother!

This book is truly one that centers on Dayne’s LA life. The center of the book is trial, the paparazzi, and the fallout from Katy becoming tabloid fodder. The main developments in this book all happen in Dayne’s life as he grows spiritually, works through his feelings for Katy and for his family. Here are my thoughts about each of the point-of-view characters.

Dayne: He actually is an excellent character with excellent development. He’s come a long way spiritually, and he is no longer drifting through life without purpose and meaning. By the end of this book, he knows what he wants and is willing to do anything he needs to do to pursue it. God is top of his priority list. There’s something awesome to be said about that. He’s probably my favorite character right now in the Baxter universe because, despite being a movie star, I feel like he’s the most real. Love him!!

Katy: My first impulse is to say that I don’t even know what she’s doing in this book. She loves her reputation more than she loves Dayne. She is unwilling to meet him halfway and refuses to have a relationship with him that has anything to do with Hollywood and paparazzi. She is a flawed character who doesn’t really realize how flawed she is, and in many ways, she gives off the impression of self-righteousness and of needing propriety above relationship. I go back-and-forth about whether I like her or not, and I really just don’t like her in this book. Having said that, she shines best in her friendship with Rhonda and her work with the children.

Jenny: This matriarch of the Flannigan family doesn’t have much point-of-view time in this book, but she is charming in the time that she has. I understand that the books in the next series of books focus on the Flannigans, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. I’m loving the glimpses of them that I’m getting in this book.

Ashley: She’s finally grown on me over the past few books, but her pushy personality does get on my nerves sometimes. Here she’s enjoying her little family and her painting (which I love), but obsessed with telling her siblings about their long-lost brother and finding out who the brother his (which I hate). It’s not her secret to tell, and her badgering of her father is dishonoring and leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I do love her moments with Landon and the boys though 🙂

John: By the end of the book, there are no more secrets left, which is a wonderful load lifted off of him. He is an excellent grandfather and father. I love to see the conversations where the relationship is building between him and Dayne. I also loved seeing the budding relationship between John and Elaine. I hope to see that develop even further in coming books!

So, that’s my thoughts on this book. Dayne and John were great. Ashley and the supporting characters were only so-so, and I wasn’t crazy about Katy. I am really still interested in this story as it unfolds, but really this is a weak entry in the series, and if I weren’t so emotionally invested in Dayne and John’s storylines, I would not be continuing with the series. All series have to have a down book sometimes, so I’m mostly hoping that the next book is better. Because there was so much in this book that was discordant for me, I also had a hard time feeling emotionally connected with the great emotional scenes in the book, so I feel a little distant from it at this point.

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