Just Married...Again

The Last Southern Belle

A New Attitude

Night Kills

Valley of the Shadow

Millionaire Cop & Mom-To-Be
by Charlotte Hughes
(Silh. Desire #1456, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76456-1
Even though it is a silly name for a book, Millionaire Cop & Mom-To-Be is a good example of the recent trend of pregnant ladies without husbands who marry for convenience in the modern world.

The millionaire cop is Neil Logan, heir to a magazine fortune. But Neil is his own man, and rather than follow in his fatherís footsteps, he entered the police force and has successfully moved up the ladder to detective. Neil has closed his emotions off from most encounters, mainly due to the loss of his best friend in an auto accident when he was 18. He was devastated by the loss and never wants to feel that intensity again.

The mom-to-be is Katie Jonas, whose life just gets more and more complicated by the minute. Katie is an entrepreneur, owning her own bookstore. She is thirtyish, seven years Neilís junior and is ready to settle down and raise a family. Only problem is, her fiancť left her standing at the altar, literally. Now she is alone and pregnant and embarrassed about it all.

Neil and Katie go way back. Katie is the daughter of the Loganís housekeeper, who died when Katie was ten. The Logans took her in and raised her. Since Neil was so much older, he and Katie usually argued and never really bonded. Now Neil steps in and offers to marry Katie to give her child a name. I realize this sounds a little unusual, but Hughes does a great job of writing this to make it believable.

The entire story revolves around these two people making this work, and finding love along the way. Katie is shaky after her desertion, but is a resilient person. She has worked hard to be a self-supporting woman, and strives to make everyone proud. At the same time, deep down, she suffers from a vulnerability that she needs to prove she deserves all she has received. She is attracted to Neil and fears she will let him down, or that he will desert her too.

Neil has to learn to open himself to the love Katie is yearning to share. He is strong, forceful, and cares deeply about helping the people he encounters in his work. Yet he is careful to protect his inner self from loss.

It is a testament to the authorís skill that this tale is engaging, humorous, and so entertaining. The sexual tension builds nicely and the culmination of that tension is pure pleasure. As both Katie and Neil discover the depth of their love, they also grow as people. And the reader is eager to see their progress.

The humor in this story is infectious. The initial scene when Katie is driven to Neilís apartment in her wedding dress following the disastrous no-show is hilarious and captivating. And the action and humorous situations kept pace throughout the story.

I felt a little bit of a disappointment in the final couple of chapters. Neil seemed to go out of character, leaving Katie to stew, rather than continue to explore their feelings together. This also made the final climax feel a little rushed. After all this self-discovery and learning together, they each went off on their own to make the final breakthrough. I didnít think it fit the traits they had shown throughout the story. Luckily, by this time, I wanted them to figure it all out, so my satisfaction was secure.

Ultimately, Millionaire Cop & Mom-To-Be is a funny, romantic story I suggest adding to your reading list.

--Shirley Lyons

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