Did You Say Married?

In Bed With the Enemy

The Rough and Ready Rancher

Baby at His Convenience
by Kathie DeNosky
(Silh. Desire #1595, $4.50, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76595-9
I truly enjoyed this story, despite the rather mundane plot device of “I want to have a baby, so let me find a man and we can make love without emotional entanglement”. We all know by now that this doesn’t work as planned and it is interesting that authors haven’t. Luckily the strength of DeNosky’s characters carry the story and Baby At His Convenience is worth the reading time.

Katie Andrews is a small town girl and loves it. She is running her parents’ diner so they can go play grandparents to her quadruplet nieces in California and she is contemplating her life. What she discovers is a family history of women who enter menopause very early and her biological clock running low. A sperm bank is an option, but she is so worried about trying to pick a dad from a list that she keeps putting it off. When she sees loner and newcomer Jeremiah Gunn, an idea erupts in her mind and she decides to act on it before she chickens out.

Jeremiah is ex-Marine and is hiding out in tiny Dixie Ridge, TN because he needs time to recuperate from the knee injury that got him a medical discharge and because he needs to figure out what to do. He has no family, having been abandoned as a small child and grown up in foster homes. One of the locals, with whom he has become friends, wants him to join his hunting and fishing tour company as a partner. But Jeremiah is enjoying living in a rented cabin and fly-fishing every day. He eats lunch at the diner and enjoys watching Katie serve the meals. She is not a model, but she is well-built and attractive.

Katie approaches Jeremiah and asks him to help her create a baby. Jeremiah decides to scare her off by saying he will only help if they do it the old fashioned way. Thinking he has scared her off, he relaxes. But she accepts. So they begin the affair that will lead them both to love and happy ever after.

To get there, they both have to accept their feelings and recognize the other feels the same way. Even though they put the cart before the horse, the enjoyable part of the tale is watching their relationship develop. They talk and get to know each other as they spend the time together to have this baby. When Katie fears she is pregnant (a situation that will thus end their affair) she is happy and sad at the same time. Same with Jeremiah. How they resolve everything is fairly typical but is fun to watch because they are nice people.

There are some funny parts that add to the tale. Jeremiah gets a fishing fly caught in his finger and Katie runs him to the doctor. Since the doctor just saw her about having a baby, he assumes Jeremiah is there to donate sperm. It is embarrassingly funny to watch. Katie’s brother shows up and decides to flex his overprotective brother muscles. This too is a well-written and enjoyable scene.

Overall, predictability and “same old thing” syndrome could easily have sunk this story before it got started. But some well-written characters and an easy-to-read style saves DeNosky’s tale. When all is said and done, Baby at His Convenience is an enjoyable look at love.

--Shirley Lyons

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