Baby.com by Molly Liholm
(Harl. Tempt. #745, $3.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-25845-3
***
Baby.com is a sweet book that's a fun, fast, enjoyable read. Those people who aren't ‘net knowledgeable' might not see the humor in a baby with its own web page. Those of us who spend a great deal of time here will likely appreciate it more.

Computer genius Sam Evans is in the final stages of completing a project that will make him and Ellen, his cousin/partner, rich, Rich, RICH! Sam just has to work a few glitches out of Diva, a voice-activated daytimer that will revolutionize the industry. Ellen is in Seattle, getting ready to sell Diva, knowing that Sam is almost finished.

Sam can spend hours and days in front of his computer, oblivious to his surroundings. When a noise finally breaks his concentration, he discovers that it's coming from a darling baby...on his doorstep. Sam spots a note : For Sam Evans. From www.baby.com. There's no way that he can concentrate now. Luckily for Sam, help arrives the next morning, from two fronts: a nanny and the ‘net.

Nanny Anne Logan has been hired to watch after Sam's baby. Anne and Sam learn that his Aunt Gwen is the reason for the baby on his doorstep. Using the Internet as her means of communication, Aunt Gwen tells Sam that the baby's mother has disappeared, and Gwen's got to find her. A wonderful family has been found to adopt Juliet, as Sam now calls the baby, but the mother's got to give her permission.

Anne and Sam have both been burned by past relationships and are gun-shy to begin a new one. Sam found out that his fiancée didn't love him, but just wanted the home, security and family that he could give. Anne's former boss got a bit too amorous, so she's trying to squelch any feelings for Sam.

A mystery that's not really mysterious concerns someone trying to steal Sam's plans for Diva. This thread is so weak that the thief is obvious as soon as he appears for the first time.

There's a two-fold reason for this less than recommended rating. First, I had a hard time believing that a baby can be placed willy-nilly to act as a catalyst to bring two people together. I was enjoying the story, so I placed that fact on my mental back burner. However, when Anne becomes a star of her own television show, ala Martha Stewart, that was the final straw. Yes, I can suspend disbelief, but not for things that big, that implausible.

There's no doubt that this title is catchy. I've been looking forward to reading it ever since I heard about it. I think you'll enjoy it. Books with the Internet and computers may replace cowboy daddy stories. I'd rather have computer daddy stories for a while. This is a good start.

--Linda Mowery


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