I am never completely satisfied with love stories that depend on “instant attraction.” I know it is a personal preference, but I do like to see my romances to develop rather than burst suddenly on the scene. Also, I admit to finding it hard to believe that a man would become erotically aroused by a woman who is almost eight months pregnant with
another man’s child. Thus, despite the fact that I liked both the hero and the heroine of Barbara Boswell’s tale, I find that I can not recommend it unconditionally.
Luke Minteer and Brenna Morgan meet when they are both chosen to serve on a jury. (By the way, I think it a bit unlikely that a very pregnant woman would be called for jury duty). As all the other jurors are either too old or too weird, the two are thrust together. Luke soon discovers that Brenna is unattached despite her condition. He presses
her about her circumstances and is surprised to discover that Brenna has chosen to get pregnant via artificial insemination.
Brenna also discovers some facts about Luke; like the fact that he was fired by his congressman brother for political dirty tricks; that he is viewed as a bit of a disgrace by his family; that he is a successful crime novelist; and that he has quite the reputation as a ladies’ man. Despite all this, Brenna finds herself enjoying Luke’s company, the
quips, the jokes, and the little kindnesses he performs. In short, the two are simpatico.
Luke is nothing less than astounded at his response to Brenna. After all, he has cut a swath through the ladies of Washington and Johnstown, PA. Why in the world is he turned on by this unusual woman who gives as good as she gets and who elicits from him these strange feelings of protectiveness and, yes, lust? I must admit that Boswell does a fine job of describing how one of these instant attraction things works.
If everyone knows everything about Luke, it soon becomes clear that Brenna has secrets, painful secrets that have shaped her life and led to her unusual decisions. Luke has to help her overcome her past if they are to have a future.
As I noted above, I liked both the hero and the heroine. For all his surface insouciance, Luke has been hurt by the rejection of his family. Brenna comes to see beneath this surface to the kind and caring man beneath. Brenna is a strong heroine, a talented artist who has made a good life for herself in the face of great odds. The two complement
each other very well.
Boswell inserts a fair bit of humor into her story. The court case - a dispute about an engagement ring and silicon implants - adds some fun, as does Brenna’s confrontation with Luke’s relatives. Boswell also poignantly portrays how events when Brenna was only thirteen have shaped her life and continued to cause her pain for thirteen long years.
My own reservations about elements in the story may not matter to other readers. In that case, they may well enjoy Irresistible Impulse more than I did. Boswell has created an attractive heroine and a hero and placed them in an interesting situation. I ended up rooting for them and believing in their “happily ever after.”