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Brennan Sisters #2

The Good Daughter

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Love was given to all, except herself . . . Kit Brennan has always been the most grounded of her sisters. A Catholic school English teacher for seventeen years and a constant giver, her decisions have been sound—just not very satisfying. Her fortieth birthday is right around the corner, causing Kit to consider some wilder notions, like skipping right past the love and marriage to raising a child all by herself . . . A girls’ weekend away is just the reprieve Kit needs from school, Mr. Wrongs, and life-changing decisions. It’s there that she meets a man who’s dangerous; a man who challenges who she thought she was, or rather should be. Kit wants to indulge herself this once, but with one of her students in crisis and the weight of her family’s burdens weighing heavy on her heart, Kit isn’t sure if now is the time to let her own desires take flight . . .

384 pages, Paperback

First published February 5, 2013

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About the author

Jane Porter

491 books1,689 followers
Born in Visalia, California, I'm a small town girl at heart. I love central California's golden foothills, oak trees, and the miles of farmland. In my mind, there's nothing sweeter in the world than the heady fragrance of orange blossoms on a sultry summer night.

As a little girl I spent hours on my bed, staring out the window, dreaming of far off places, fearless knights, and happy-ever-after endings. In my imagination I was never the geeky bookworm with the thick coke-bottle glasses, but a princess, a magical fairy, a Joan-of-Arc crusader.

My parents fed my imagination by taking our family to Europe for a year when I was thirteen. The year away changed me (I wasn't a geek for once!) and overseas I discovered a huge and wonderful world with different cultures and customs. I loved everything about Europe, but felt especially passionate about Italy and those gorgeous Italian men (no wonder my first very Presents hero was Italian).

I confess, after that incredible year in Europe, the travel bug bit, and bit hard. I spent much of my high school and college years abroad, studying in South Africa, Japan and Ireland. South Africa remains a country of my heart, the people, the land and politics complex and heart-wrenching.

After my years of traveling and studying I had to settle down and earn a living. With my Bachelors degree from UCLA in American Studies, a program that combines American literature and American history, I've worked in sales and marketing, as well as a director of a non-profit foundation. Later I earned my Masters in Writing from the University of San Francisco and taught jr. high and high school English.

I now live in Seattle and Hawaii with my three sons. I never mind a rainy day, either, because that's when I sit at my desk and write stories about far-away places, fascinating people, and most importantly of all, love. I like a story with a happy ending. We all do.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 167 reviews
Profile Image for Desere.
758 reviews77 followers
August 11, 2013

Always doing the right thing is tough. Sometimes it is a situation of being cruel to be kind and other times it is more about just doing the right thing simply because you feel you have no other choice.

But we all know there is always a choice, it might not be the right one or the best one, but in the end there is still a choice, making it is hard but learning to live with it is even harder and not always something everyone can handle. Therefore it is always wise to look deep into your soul before taking the leap of faith, but if you are so blinded by helping others that you cannot find your soul the only leap you will be taking is into a deep dark place of loneliness.

In this read from Jane Porter she tells the story of Kit, a soon to be forty year old teacher that has always been there for everyone. Sorting out issues making life as easy as possible and along the way she becomes tired of it in the sense that she feels so overwhelmed she is ready to walk away from the normal protocol of life and go straight for the end goal, she wants to be a mother and a mother she shall be, but with every single guy she dates being a loser she reckons adoption is her option and right here is where her mind starts spinning into all kinds of directions and there is no way she will find her way out of the maze she has entered.

But before she can focus on any of the whirlwind directions a student in her class needs help and it seems she is the only one that cares enough to want to help, that is until she comes face to face with take-me-am-your's -Jude.

A bad boy with a good heart, yes ladies the perfect kind of hero ! He is also trying to help the poor student but he is also not the average kind of bad boy. Nope ladies this one is the kind that challenges and pushes any woman to reveal her true self to let go and push for the happiness she wants. He sees in her eyes the kind and nurturing person she is but knows that there is more and he forces her to release it.

The characters of Jude and Kit were both amazingly written. Always wanting to help others is a brilliant part of anyone's personality but knowing when to stop is sometimes the advise such a person cannot take and the advise of someone else is the only thing that will indeed open the path to happiness and understanding. The author brought this element to life through Kit and Jude so perfectly I found myself wanting to crawl into the minds of the characters and simply soak up the wisdom.

The author did a brilliant job at letting the psychical differences between Kit and Jude take a back seat and rather let their connection of both wanting to help others, come to life with such vivid descriptions and intensity it left me breathless and wanting the story to go on and on. In some reads I have found the authors focus more on the he is this and she is then the real emotional connection shining through, often leaving me with a case of " Okay so they are different but what about the ..... ". This author really pulled it all together very nicely.

This is a very emotional read, I cried, I laughed and I could not stop thinking how amazing it is that this author writes her characters with such realism that it is as if I am watching the entire read unfold in front of my eyes, the characters were so much more than just names,emotions and words on a page.

I highly recommend this read for anyone looking for a romance with a powerful message of life, trust, guidance and self discovery. Jane Porter delivers on every page and simply does not disappoint.

5/5 star review
" He will love and protect her, all she needs to do is let him into her heart"
Profile Image for Pamela .
1,417 reviews72 followers
August 5, 2013
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I had a lot of issues with this book. Yes, religion does have a huge presence here, but not only am I not bothered by this, it has nothing to do with my opinion on the novel except for the fact that it’s tediously annoying as it’s mentioned time and time again.

At the heart of this story is Kit, a 40 year-old high school teacher, single, comes from a well-to-do Catholic family, and believes in her faith whole-heartedly. Based on this, everything she does or has done just doesn’t make any sense to me.

- She won’t date a married man, who’s separated, and who’s only two weeks away from his divorce being final. Yet she lived with a man for ten years and they weren’t married. WTF? She doesn’t believe in divorce but is okay with living in sin? I guess her faith only makes an appearance when it justifies HER means. Good grief.

- How can she be a high school teacher and be unbiased about her students when she keeps telling herself that her family will not approve of Jude based on what he wears, his tattoos, the motorcycle he rides, etc.?

- The book goes on and on about her family members, their careers as firefighters, how well loved they all are, and how everyone knows them.

- Even when she’s filling out the adoption application, the questions that pertain to her family are once again talked about at great length. Felt like fillers just to make the book longer.

- If the family is so devout, then how is it that her brother Tommy and his wife Cass went thru IVF? I mean, the Church is opposed to this as they believe “it’s unethical because it undermines the dignity of the sexual act designed by God”. Am I wrong?

- Felt that Kit was trying to be a martyr. Thinks she’s too selfish for wanting something that means a lot to her. Give me a break!

- She thinks that every couple can work thru their problems. Is this why she stayed with her ex-boyfriend for ten boring and wasted years?

- The title of the book is “The Good Daughter.” She’s one of five girls and she’s the only one who’s good? Arrogance.

- I had a serious issue with Kit’s best friend, Polly, when she tells Kit that single people should not adopt children. Sure, her own father up and left her and her mother. I get where she’s coming from but to not support her best friend who really wants to adopt? Talk about selfish.

I’m still surprised I finished reading this novel. There was a second mini-plot going on that I thought was very good. I also wish a little more was written pertaining to Kit and Jude’s story. In the end, I don’t think I’ll be reading any other novel written by this author.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,102 reviews415 followers
January 19, 2013
Jane Porter is one of my favorite Chick Lit authors. Chick lit is not romance, by the way. A good book of this genre delves into relationships. This is what Porter has proved to be wise beyond her years.

This is the second book of a series starring a family of four daughters and one son. All grown and and all dealing with the throes of middle age growing pains. The first book was mostly about Meg, the oldest sister. I absolutely loved The Good Woman. Porter pulled no punches when writing about infidelity. She doesn't skip over the hard parts like when the spouse confesses and the fallout that follows. You can read my review of that book so I'll stop ranting and raving about it, but the character and story development was thorough and ended at a good spot in time. Not completely resolved but well enough to end the book.

We also met the rest of the clan. Tommy and Cass were struggling with Cass's infertility. Kit and her fraternal twin, Brianna were introduced. Both single and pushing forty. Rounding out the children was Sarah, 32, mother of 2 and married to Boone, pro baseball player. They'd survived Boone's infidelity. The parents were middle class, retired from working, Catholic Irish folks. The mother, Lynn, had terminal cancer.

Finally, I am ready to start The Good Daughter. This one is mostly about Kit, although a fraternal twin, she is the middle child. She is the peace maker and the rock of the generation. She teaches middle school and has finally ended a ten year relationship with a man that was solid but non-committal. And that's where we begin.

Kit is not necessarily ready to enter the single fray. Regardless, she finds herself dipping a toe in the waters and joins an online dating service which proves to be disappointing. She inadvertently meets some guy at a bar who introduces himself then tracks her number down. He is aggressive in his approach and she wants nothing more to do with him. But he is creepy and oddly persistent.

For a semi-triangle (although Kit has no interest in Man #1), we meet a tattooed, long haired, and somewhat PWT-ish Jude. He rides an orange motorcycle and is incredibly appealing to Kit. Strange because he is everything Kit has never wanted. Of course, both men have their secret lives and it becomes apparent they will both be forced upon her in one way or another. So Kit grapples with what she wants and the expectations of being the "good" daughter. She grapples with her Catholic faith and right and wrong. Lastly, Kit is the mainstay for her mother who is at the end stages of her cancer.

The book can stand on its own. It doesn't need to be read with the first book of the series. On the other hand, it felt more like a bridge to me than a complete story. It doesn't show so much growth in Kit as it continues the story of the family and, I would guess, sets the stage for the next book. Although not central to the story, there were still some hanging threads that need to be addressed. The man Kit chose was still mysterious. Brianna is hiding a secret regarding her health. Some childhood memories arise for both twins that explain why each chose their paths.

I loved the writing and the way Porter delves into the realness of relationships, both good and bad. I didn't love it as much as The Good Woman. It started feeling like a soap opera at one point but that is not to say it isn't a good, even great book. It's a nice diversion and probably contains a good starting point for the next one. It could be that I feel slightly disappointed because I can't empathize as much with Kit as I did with Meg due to marital status and parental obligations. I still highly recommend.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews210 followers
March 26, 2013
Reviewed by:Crystal B
Book provided by: BookSpark PR
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

I really wanted to read this book partly because of the title The Good Daughter, I consider myself a good daughter so it caught my eye. However I wanted to read Jane Porter’s latest work even more after I read a little bit about.

I was so into this book that I kept losing track of time. I get involved in a lot of books, but this one kept me hooked all the way through. I hated to put it down when I had to do something else.

Kit is a loving, caring, nurturing, busy teacher turning 40. I felt a connection to Kit right away and what all she is going through. She’s dealing with her mother’s illness that isn’t going to get any better, she has a child in her class that is in a bad situation that she’s trying to help, and she’s tired of dating losers. She also wants to be a mother and she’s ready to become a mother even if she has to adopt and be a single mother. You can tell Kit has what it takes to be a good Mom.

Watching Kit interact with her family shows us a great view of a loving family that is always there for one and another. Kit takes care of her Mom for a week while the family has another commitment. This part has some emotional moments. Keep the Kleenex handy.

When Kit is trying to save Delilah the girl that she knows has family problems she meets Jude. Jude isn’t Kit’s idea of the perfect man for her at all but she can’t control her feelings. She finds herself falling for Jude.

Jude is a good guy with a Bad Boy imagine. How can you not like a Hot Bad Boy with a good heart? He too is also trying to help Delilah, he’s the next door neighbor to her family.

Jane Porter has wrote a fabulous story. This book is part of a series but I didn’t have any trouble following along with out reading the book before this one. After reading this book I will certainly be looking for the first book in this series and anxiously awaiting the next book.

This book has a lot of emotion in it, wow I just really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Profile Image for K.
75 reviews5 followers
April 1, 2013
As an English teacher from a close Catholic family, I expected to enjoy reading Jane Porter's The Good Daughter, but I didn't expect it to resonate with me in such a powerful way. I loved reading this book which perfectly blends the reality of being a high school English teacher with the challenges of being part of a big family.

Kit Brennan is an English teacher at a Catholic high school and is nearing 40. She has resigned herself to the fact that she will not meet a man, yet wants to pursue adopting a child on her own. After a series of horrible dates, Kit becomes more determined to begin building a family, but, as a good daughter, doesn't want to isolate her traditional Catholic family (especially her mother who is battling terminal cancer). Kit decides to escape the chaos of her life by heading down to Capitola for a weekend away with one of her best friends. In the midst of some quality girl time, Kit runs into a mysterious biker who is everything that she needs to stay away from, yet she finds herself strangely drawn to him. Leaving him behind, Kit is certain that their chance encounter will fade into a distant memory, but when a troubled young student is enrolled into Kit's English class, she has no idea that she will cross paths with the mysterious man once again.

Kit must work hard to save her student, savor the remaining moments with her mother, and complete her adoption application all while dealing with a situation that she never expected. The Good Daughter is a great read with an engaging plot and strong characters. I also loved the details Jane Porter has added which helped me to visualize the story as it unfolded. Well worth adding to your spring read shelf! From shelfishness.blog.com
Profile Image for Chelsey Wolford.
685 reviews96 followers
March 2, 2013
Kit Brennan has three sisters, well four, counting her sister-in-law, Cass. As a family they have always been relatively close and Kit still remains the most reliable of them. Kit is about to turn forty and is facing quite a few trials in life: her mother has cancer that is slowly killing her, her sister-in-law and brother cannot conceive a child, and Kit has so far in life been unlucky in love and is starting to reconsider this entire area of her life. Kit’s story, and the second in this series, takes readers on the journey that Kit out of her element and causes her to realize what is really important in life. Does she want the happily ever after? Does she want to be the loyal wife and companion to some deserving man? Or does she just want to be a mother and be devoted to only a child?

Being a high school English teacher, I was able to connect with Kit on so many levels. Her passion and desire to bury herself in books is something I think we can all connect to, but then there was her spirit. She was so passionate about many aspects of her life, like her family, her friends, and let’s not forget her students too of course. Kit was so supportive of her family and their problems and happiness were part of her everyday life. She is always there for her sisters and the bond between them was completely beautiful. Being an only child, I never experienced the bond between siblings, and better yet sisters, so I have to rely on books to provide that for me. I think this whole series does a pretty good job of this. All my avid readers know that I love books about sisters and this series is at the top of my list as far as that sisterly love goes!

I loved the fact that Kit was almost forty years old and just then starting to reevaluate her life. Some would say that this sends a disturbing message, but the reality is that not everyone figures in out in their twenties or thirties. Kit was by no means a weak character and I respected her for the moves she made this much later in her life. This book takes us on an incredible journey and I wished it would have lasted longer. Kit discovers a new meaning in life and for once in her life, she starts to put herself and her own desires first. This book was so sad and emotional at times and I wish that I would have felt happier rather than sad so much, but I understand that it is necessary to the plot of the story. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series which I believe is due to release this coming fall!

***A BIG thank you to the publishers at Berkley Trade for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***
Profile Image for Laura Kay Bolin.
165 reviews77 followers
February 20, 2013

The second book in the Brennan Sisters trilogy, focuses on Kit Brennan. Kit is about to turn forty and she is still single and without kids. She loves her job as a teacher at Memorial Catholic High School, but she is ready for a family. With her days filled with teaching, but at night and her weekends are filled with helping take care of her mother. Her mother, the woman she looks up to is dying of terminal cancer. Between her mother's illness and having gone on a number of bad dates Kit realizes maybe a husband isn't in her immediate future, but maybe a baby could be. Kit is considering adoption.

After telling her girlfriends her plans to adopt, they push her to keep dating instead. Well to date everyone except that scary biker guy, Jude Knight. So instead she goes out with Michael. Michael, good looking, smart, appears to be perfect. The right kind of guy. Kit is the good daughter, maybe she should keep dating Michael even though she really wants bad boy Jude. Battling her own inner voice Kit unravels a childhood secret, one that may just finally free herself to trust her instincts.

Jane Porter is one of my favorite authors. I've always enjoyed reading her books, but THE GOOD DAUGHTER is by far my favorite novel by her. Maybe it's because I connected to Kit so much. I was privileged enough to take care of my mother was dying of terminal breast cancer. The scenes with Kit and her mother were so well written, so truthful...I was laughing while still wiping away my tears.

This is a very different book, than THE GOOD WOMAN (the first book in the series). This for me was a page turner. I wanted to know if Kit would give in and go for Jude, how Kit would deal with her relationship with Michael. There is an issue with one of Kit's students and you want to see how that whole story unfolds. I didn't want to say good bye to the end of this book and I don't get that a whole lot, but I am very happy to know THE GOOD WIFE will be out this fall and I get to catch up with the sisters again. I HIGHLY recommend!
Profile Image for Marlene.
216 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2013
Kit Brennan has always been known as the good daughter by her other sisters.  She's a school teacher, loves to read and is always there for her family.  While in Capitola, where her family has a beach house, Kit meets Jude. He’s everything she’s not and not someone that her family would approve of. He’s a bad boy that wears a leather jacket, rides a motorcycle and has tattoos. They couldn’t be more different, but there’s just something about him that draws Kit in. Can opposites really attract? Or are their lives too different?

At school Kit gets a new student, Delilah. She’s very withdrawn and not like the other kids. Kit finds out that Delilah is hiding a very dark secret. One that can threaten her very own well-being. Kit is caught between wanting to do the right thing as a teacher and adult, but not wanting to do anything that would potentially put Delilah in harm’s way.

In the meantime, Kit is battling being single, but wanting a child of her own. She has been seriously considering adoption, but not getting the support from her family. They don’t think that a single parent should have a child and they’re not too keen on adoption. Will Kit listen to her family’s advice or will she follow her heart?

Once again, Jane Porter has written another 5 star worthy book. This book is full of twists and turns, passion and romance and love and heartache. The author does a great job touching on some serious subjects in a tasteful, respectful manner. I really enjoyed reading this book and getting to know the Brennan sisters more. I think it’s a story that many can relate to, but not a lot would admit to. I would definitely recommend this book to others. I would, however, suggest reading the first book in this series, The Good Woman, prior to this one. It will give a better sense of the dynamic of the family. I loved this book and read it in a day. It was one that was hard to put down and you didn’t want to end.
Profile Image for Monica Tillery.
Author 27 books30 followers
February 6, 2013
I loved The Good Woman, so I was eager to read The Good Daughter, but I didn't think there was any way I could enjoy it as much as the first. Little did I know that this book would exceed all my expectations. We meet Kit in the first Brennan Sisters book, and she's sweet. Nice enough, very helpful, supportive, and the kind of woman you'd want to be friends with. In The Good Daughter, we find that Kit has an extraordinarily complex story and a rich inner life that I just didn't expect. I won't spoil the book for those of you who haven't read it, but I'll tell you that this book made me laugh, cry, and grip the chair cushions in suspense. This is definitely one of Jane's best books to date, and that's saying a lot! Jude Knight also happens to be one of my favorite heroes...as a lifelong fan of the bad boy, I definitely appreciated the love story in this novel. All in all, The Good Daughter is a beautifully written, intensely personal, gripping look at one woman's life, career, and family at 40. I can't wait for the next book. September can't come soon enough!
272 reviews1 follower
February 24, 2013
Jane Porter in the Good Daughter addresses the misconceptions of first impressions. Once the stage is set and all the characters connect, it is hard to put down and leaves you hanging for the release of The Good Wife.

Jane is able to include in her books, everyday situation’s that you are able to easily picture having to deal with on a daily bases. Kit’s has to deal with family expectations, sister rivalry, the dating scene, hard decisions and Catholic upbringing of worrying what everyone else thinks. I do agree that Jude has to be my favorite male hero. He has strong values to do the right thing and not turn the other check, which is so common in society today! Which leads to Michael, who is a perfect perception to society and evil behind the scenes.
Profile Image for Leslie Lehr.
Author 7 books120 followers
March 8, 2013
The Good Daughter continues the tale of the Brennan sisters from Jane Porter's last mainstream novel, The Good Wife. This is a stand-alone story made all the more intimate if you have any familiarity with the characters from the previous book. There is a wonderful sense of place and history here, and realistic maternal longings of the main character, Kit.
Since I write about mothers and daughters, this book was particularly compelling because there are so many permutations of this relationship. And yet, the main action line follows Kit's desire to help a young girl outside the family. And in fine Porter fashion, there is a romance that brings in an element of fantasy and kept me turning the pages. The ending came quickly and left me wanting more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Debbie.
51 reviews
February 8, 2013
Loved, loved, loved it! I don't live in a world like the Brennans, never have....but what a beautiful picture of family this book painted, their commitment to each other, flaws that are overcome and forgiven because above all else they love each other, the way they respect each other and stick together and share each others triumphs and heartbreaks. And this story about Kit.....strong, yet vunerable with an attraction to the stereo typed bad boy and trying to do the right thing...to be the Good Daughter. Relatable! What a wonderful world it would be if we all belonged to a family like the Brennans.
Profile Image for Cindy Huljack.
9 reviews
February 26, 2013
Oh My Goodness!! This book will make you want the story to never end!! Kit Brennan is awesome! She is so fiery yet sheltered. She doesn't realize the bad in the world when it's right in front of her. Maybe it's because of her loyal Irish Catholic family who would never treat their family members the way Kit witnesses for her student. Every story needs a bad boy!! Jude is hot, dedicated, and maybe just maybe not as bad as you think he is...

Can't wait for the 3rd book to come out!! The Good Wife is bound to be amazing!! Jane Porter never fails to make you not want to put the book down. She tells a story like no one else can.
Profile Image for Katie.
944 reviews15 followers
December 17, 2017
When I picked this book off the shelf I thought I’d really like it. A 40 year old single Catholic school teacher seeks to adopt a kid to become the family she’s never had the chance to have. There are some great references to the church and being faithful. One of the sisters remarks on surrogacy and IVF. Kit says she believes what the church teaches. But then we hear more of her story about her 10 year cohabiting relationship and this new guy Jude who’s just here for the hot steamy sex. She has no recollection of even considering church teaching here. If the church is going to be ignored then it should be entirely or at least have the character wrestle with other teachings as well.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jean.
459 reviews10 followers
September 17, 2014
The second book in the Brennan trilogy follows a different sister than the first book, but picks up about where the first book left off. Again, Jane Porter did a wonderful job of catching my interest and getting me, once again, emotionally attached to Kit in the same way she got me attached to Meg in the first book. This book was a real page turner - I just couldn't put it down. I found myself itching to have time to read so I could try to get to the end of the book to see how it all turned out. I am definitely looking forward to the next Brennan novel.
147 reviews
January 15, 2014
I have read all of Jane Porter's novels and enjoyed them, but not this one. The story lines were interesting but I found the main character, Kit, hard to like. She had had bad things happen to her yet a few of them were due to her own poor judgement and she didn't do anything to change herself. She just beat herself up about e decisions she'd made. I also thought her treatment of her young student, Delilah, was not good. She cared about her, yet she did things that jeopardized Delilah with no follow up. I also didn't care for the heavy Catholic overtones.
Profile Image for Karen.
Author 15 books73 followers
February 25, 2013
I seriously didn't want this book to end. It's about a Catholic school teacher who has never had the joy of falling head over heels in love. She also hates that she has never married or had children, which she assumed would have happened by now. When she falls for clearly the wrong man, a typical "bad boy," she tells herself to move on. But he keeps popping up in her life when she least expects it. Then she realizes that he isn't quite what he seems. . . .
Profile Image for Lisa.
204 reviews4 followers
August 11, 2013
Decent book, but I found the "Catholic" ideology of the main characters frustrating and hard to believe. Do people really stick to antiquated ideas like these gals who are in their 40s? Not believable for me, especially considering the sisters have had premarital sex, extramarital affairs and an abortion. Holier than thou people rather than holy! I don't understand why the author wasted space going on and on about the family's religion.
Profile Image for Sheryl Martin.
226 reviews22 followers
November 2, 2016
I won this through Goodreads first reads and as for the basic story I enjoyed it. But I just really couldn't get into the main character. She was so unlikeable for me and it seemed like everything that happened was her own fault. I realize that is often the case but still it just kind of turned me off. The actual story itself was good though. I have not read the first book so that may change my opinion as well but I thought it was pretty good.
Profile Image for Melinda Garza.
54 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2013
OMG! The Good Daughter was very difficult to put down. Its a fab story about Kit (one of four sisters) who is a teacher and loves to read. She is the good daughter but meets Jude, the typical bad boy that all women love. Are they perfect for each or just too different? This Jane Porter story also brings into light the dynamics of family. Another must read by JP!
62 reviews5 followers
August 29, 2016
I enjoyed this book a lot, but it could have benefited from having an epilogue to give us a better perspective of what came next.
Profile Image for Christine Bode.
Author 2 books23 followers
January 8, 2013
Stars: 5.0

The Good Daughter is the second book in the Brennan Sisters series by award-winning, national bestselling author Jane Porter. I was very fortunate to receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) from Jane but the public won’t get to read it until its release date: February 5, 2013. My review contains spoilers, so read it at your own discretion.

This is the story of Catholic school English teacher, people pleaser, and all around grounded good girl, Katherine Elizabeth “Kit” Brennan whom we first meet in The Good Woman. Kit is about to turn 40, she’s single, hates dating, and all she knows for sure is that she wants to be a mother. However, her family is dealing with some heavy burdens and for now, they have to come first.

Although I don’t care for the book cover as much as I did for The Good Woman – it’s a little bit too girly and I would have rather seen a cover style similar to that of The Good Woman, with a beautiful, curly red-haired, blue-eyed model looking up at the camera from under her lashes, sporting a sweet but mischievous smile on her face – the story is superlative.

The Good Daughter opens with Kit and most of her family celebrating her sister-in-law Cass’ 36th birthday. Cass, a labor and delivery nurse, who after six years of trying to have a baby, and who was pregnant at the end of The Good Woman, miscarried, and is now devastated. Her firefighter husband Tommy Brennan has made up his mind that he’s finished with trying to have a family. He won’t consider adoption or surrogacy and he doesn’t want to go through another miscarriage with his wife. He’s done. Kit’s heart is breaking, not only for Cass and Tommy’s predicament, but also for her father Tommy Sr. and mother Marilyn, who is in the final stages of fighting terminal breast cancer.

I know it sounds depressing, but it’s actually far from it. These are issues that most of us or someone we know has had to deal with and Porter writes about them with perception, grace and compassion. Kit had left her boyfriend of ten years in The Good Woman and in this book we find her living happily alone in her newly purchased 1895 Queen Anne style home in Oakland’s Highland Park where she loves to curl up and read when she’s not busy grading papers, visiting with family, or going out with her best friends, Polly Powers and Fiona Hughes, fellow teachers at Memorial High.

Although she’s really not into it, Kit’s friends encourage her to date. However, the smart, beautiful, red-haired Kit reveals that although she loves to have fun, she hates the torture of online dating, has had some pretty horrific experiences (which I totally identified with), and now feels that she would rather just adopt a baby and be a single parent.

Kit, Polly and Fiona head to the Brennan family’s beach house in Capitola, California for a much needed girls weekend in January. While they’re at a local bar having drinks, they run into an old beau of Polly’s and his handsome, cocky, aggressive friend, Michael Dempsey. Dempsey quickly asks Kit out for dinner and against her better judgment, she goes out with him once, only to find out that he’s not yet divorced. That’s a real deal breaker for her so she tells him that she won’t see him again, but he doesn’t want to take no for an answer.

As it turns out Dempsey is the devil in disguise but his character opens the door for Porter to introduce his step-daughter Delilah Hartnel (who we first met in She’s Gone Country) who becomes one of Kit’s students and we soon discover is living in an unfathomable hell with her wickedly cruel stepfather who beats her mother regularly. Delilah is a fifteen year old emo girl who has had to move from place to place, enrolling in school after school, where she never fits in, because of her family’s deep dark secret. We care about her and so do the heroine and hero of this novel.

Dempsey’s next door neighbour is the smoulderingly beautiful, tall, long black haired, dark eyed, tattooed, leather & denim wearing biker, Jude Knight, who Kit had a brief chance meeting with the weekend of her girlfriends’ getaway in Capitola. Upon first seeing Jude, she’s immediately attracted to him but judging a book by its cover, she just as quickly dismisses him as being a bad boy and entirely unsuitable boyfriend material. He wouldn’t fit into her tight knit, Irish Catholic family, so she writes him off in her mind right then and there. I knew Jude would appear again so when he showed up later as Dempsey’s neighbour I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next because frankly, he’s the type of man I can’t take my eyes off.

It took me to almost half way through The Good Daughter to realize that I liked it more than The Good Woman and I did because of the characters and subplot. The theme of child and spousal abuse is not only heartrending, but is one that needs to be shared and yet isn’t often, if ever explored within the parameters of chick lit. This is what makes Porter better than any other chick or Mom lit author that I’ve ever read. She doesn’t make light of serious situations and she wants to include a substantial, thought-provoking subplot in each of her novels. I loved how Porter wove Delilah and Shey from She’s Gone Country into the story and I fell for Jude Knight more than any other love interest she has ever written because he’s quite simply my kind of guy!

Jude is not at all what he appears to be and his looks, personality traits and hidden life makes him a fascinating hero. The love scenes that Porter has written for Jude and Kit are far more stimulating to me than what I’m currently reading between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m half way through the book and the sex scenes have left me cold, while Jane Porter’s scenes with Jude & Kit had me reaching for my vibrator. Although I realize that there’s a place for soft core pornography in women’s fiction (and women obviously want it or Fifty Shades of Grey wouldn’t be the bestselling book of all time in the UK – or are British girls just hornier than the rest of us?), I personally want to experience an emotional investment in the protagonists of a novel and with Jane Porter’s stories, I always do.

I saw a lot of myself in Kit although there are considerable differences as well, but I could relate to how she feels about men after we discover that she was sexually abused as a small child by a neighbour, as was her wild child sister Brianna (an infectious diseases nurse in the Congo), who we learn more about in this story, and who I really hope that Jane will write a book for.

I didn’t want The Good Daughter to end. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Kit and Jude. This is the best contemporary women’s fiction novel that Jane Porter has written yet, and after writing 41 novels, she certainly has the right to write the stories that she wants to tell. Because Jane Porter knows what matters to women and she’s damn good at telling their tales!
1 review
July 6, 2021
Kit and her family are portrayed as a good Catholic family, yet Kit, who is not married, has lived with a man for 10 years and is currently having sex with her newest boyfriend. She misses Mass on Sunday to stay home to have sex. Her sister had an abortion and her mom kept it a secret from her father. Another sister has been trying to get PG via IVF which is against Catholic doctrine. The author should have left the Catholicism out of it. As a practicing Catholic, I found the book offensive because of this.
Profile Image for Vivian.
789 reviews
November 7, 2021
This book is probably passed over by a lot of readers because it looks and sounds Hallmark movie worthy. That said, there is a lot packed into this book…toxic relationships, death and dying, childhood trauma, etc. There were a few parts where I did not agree with Kit’s decisions but she was a likable character. I could have screamed when Kit’s mother was talking about getting last rites but the book read “last rights”. Argh!!
235 reviews5 followers
May 10, 2017
I loved Jude! I did think it was wrapped up too quickly and wish the "bad guy" had gotten his due. I'll most likely read the next "Sister" installment in #3, and in general, I've enjoyed Jane Porter's novels.
390 reviews
February 11, 2019
The biggest problem here was the characters. I was frustrated when they did stupid things, and they were so one dimensional. The book was easy to read and kept me interested, but upon finishing I just felt unsatisfied.
Profile Image for Eileen133.
71 reviews
November 11, 2017
Well, I did check this out by mistake. I wanted the Karen Slaughter book with the same title. It was really a romance book which is not my genre of choice.
4 reviews
October 6, 2018
A realistic depiction of what happens when neighbors really get involved in a domestic abuse situation. The ending was happy but soberingly realistic at the same time.
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