>Daddy by Default

Father Fever

First Born Son

Gift-Wrapped Dad

The Hunk & the Virgin

Father Formula by Muriel Jensen
(Harl. American #858, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-16858-6
Father Formula is the second of three "Who's The Daddy?" books. Father Fever (HAR #855) was released in November, with Father Found (HAR #866) coming in March. Each book features one of the Ames triplets and three handsome bachelors, all who meet at a masked dress ball. The main connection throughout the books is that seven months later, one of the sisters is pregnant, thus the "Who's The Daddy?" thread.

In book one we met all thee triplets and learned that all three men were ex-CIA and good guys, albeit men with lots of emotional baggage. That story paired David Hartford and Athena Ames. They're now married and for much of this story, are offstage. While they're honeymooning, David's younger brothers will be watched by Alexis Ames, the triplet who's recently back from Rome, and Trevyn McGinty, ex-CIA and now a professional photographer in Dancer's Beach, Oregon.

We've yet to see Augusta, the missing, pregnant twin.

As in book one, Trevyn thinks that he's the father of the missing triplet's baby. He's chagrined by his attraction to Alexis, considering that he's about to become a daddy to another woman's baby. When Trevyn discovers that he wasn't with Augusta, the missing triplet and therefore isn't her baby's father, he realizes that he's free to pursue his relationship with Alexis.

Nothing is ever that easy, though. Trevyn has lots of emotional baggage from his CIA days. He's got lots of reservations about his ability to sustain and maintain a relationship. Added to that equation is Lexie's problem of being emotionally abandoned at an early age by her mother. But when Trevyn finally gets his head on straight, he's a dynamite lover, ready to commit to Lexie physically, intellectually and emotionally. He morphs into a Grade-A hero right before our eyes.

David's younger brothers, Brady and Brandon, add texture and interest to the story. They've suffered the same kind of abandonment as did Lexie, so a common bond has formed. They're also old enough to need a man's advice, so Trevyn plays a big part in their lives. They're good kids, yet mischievous enough to give the story some light-hearted moments.

We're given just enough information about Augusta, the missing triplet, and Bram Bishop, the man who, by process of elimination, must be the father, to keep us aware that there's another love story in the works. At the end we're left wondering where they are, are they together and will the course of their true love be as rocky as the other two couples. While it's not a cliff-hanger ending, it does whet my curiosity.

Muriel Jensen is an author who consistently delivers quality stories. Her plots are well-crafted, with a passionate romance, strong male and female characters who are emotional yet intelligent characters. When I see her name on a book, I can be assured that I'm going to get a story that will satisfy my romance needs.

Father Formula lives up to those assurances.

--Linda Mowery

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