The Doctor Wore Spurs

The Secretary &
the Millionaire

Expecting His Child by Leanne Banks
(Silh. Desire #1292, $3.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76292-5
In a perfect world, a reviewer would get to choose every book she reviews. On the other hand, the luck of the draw may also give her the chance to read a book she might not otherwise choose herself. This book is a case in point. I will declare my cover bias up front and admit that I would probably never have chosen Expecting His Child based on the cover. Neither the title, nor the picture of a pregnant woman lounging in the arms of a strapping man, particularly appeal to me. But…as it says in the old adage, I would indeed have judged this book wrongly if I’d gone by the cover. For what awaits inside Expecting His Child, fourth in the ‘Lone Star Families’ series, is a warm, sexy love story.

Martina Logan had the most exciting three weeks of her life during her wild, romantic affair with Noah Coltrane. She was playing with fire since the Logans and the Coltranes are arch-enemies, rival families with adjoining ranches in Texas, but she was far away from home, living in Chicago when she had the affair, so she took a chance that she could have a brief fling and then call it quits. However, as so often happens in life, Martina’s plans didn’t turn out quite the way she had anticipated.

To her dismay, she discovers she is pregnant. Determined not to let the mistake ruin her life, Martina decides to have the baby on her own. Of course, when she was busy making all these plans, she forgot to consider one teeny little factor -- the father’s opinion on the subject!

Noah Coltrane is a man who takes his responsibilities seriously. When he finds out Martina is pregnant, he is just as determined to get back into her life as she is to keep him out of it, in fact, he’s been trying to track her down ever since she ran off. From Martina’s point of view he ‘contributed genetic material’. From Noah’s point of view, he’s the father and that’s that.

Leanne Banks has taken a tried and true romance plot line and given it some nice modern twists. In Martina, she has created a strong, independent heroine who has lots of backbone and smarts. Noah is a likeable, sexy hero with enough charm and intelligence to be a real match for Martina. We are also introduced to the other Coltrane brothers and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about them in future ‘Lone Star Families’ books.

The chemistry between Martina and Noah is one of the nicest elements of the book. The sensual awareness between them sizzles off the pages. It’s clear that they care for each other, but they both have hang-ups that get in the way of the relationship. Noah cares for Martina, is wildly attracted to her and feels duty-bound to look after her and her baby although he mistrusts an ephemeral thing like ‘falling in love’

Although Martina is torn between family loyalty to her beloved brothers and her feelings for Noah, she admits to herself that the main reason she can never be with him is that she doesn’t want him to stay with her out of duty. This is a well-worn plot in the world of romance, but Banks manages to keep it fresh and alive. Martina and Noah are both so likeable: we want them to win at the game of love and it’s lovely to watch their deeper understanding of each other unfold.

Noah is a little too perfect to be real, and Martina doth protest too much, but this is the gentle fantasy world of romance where dreams come true, so these sins are easily forgiven, especially when the book is otherwise enjoyable. If you like a sexy, romantic tale that takes a gentle and humorous look at life’s unforeseen dilemmas, then Expecting His Child will live up to your expectations!

--Tina Nigro

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