Prim, Proper . . . Pregnant
by Alice Sharpe
(Silh. Rom. #1425, $3.50, G) ISBN 0-373-19425-0
***
Anybody who's a new romance reader will in all probability like Prim, Proper . . . Pregnant. It has several things going for it. The lead characters are honest, mature, caring, humorous and responsible, people you'd like to know. The dialog is realistic, and the writing is crisp. What caused me, a romance reader from way back when, not to recommend the story is that the premise can't work in a romance. Let me explain . . . or try to, without spoiling any surprises.

Using more courage than she thought she possessed, Amelia Enderling tells Ryder Hogan, a man she hasn't seen in four months, that she's pregnant with his child. She's leaving Oregon and doesn't want to marry this lying philanderer, but she knows she's doing the right thing by telling him about his impending daddyhood. She likes his parents and wants them to know that they'll soon be grandparents. The problem is, she hasn't confessed her pregnancy to Ryder but to his twin brother Rob.

When she does tell Ryder, he's belligerent, far from pleased with her news and accuses her of trying to trap him. What a toad! No kiss is going to make this guy into a prince. He's been drinking too much and as he gets in his car to leave, he won't listen to Rob's advice not to drive. In a last ditch effort to help, Rob climbs in the passenger side. Soon thereafter Amelia learns that there's been a terrible wreck. Rob is dead and Ryder is in a coma.

When Ryder awakens, he has amnesia and remembers nothing about his past. His memories begin when he seems a lovely young woman in his room. The Hogans beg Amelia to stay with Ryder while they're in California taking care of Rob's estate. She grudgingly agrees. After all, this Ryder is a new and improved version, a clean slate.

All of this happens in the first quarter of the book. After that Amelia begins a crash course of reintroducing Ryder to his old haunts, hoping that something will jar his memory. Nope. He hates the bars and restaurants he used to frequent. He's bothered by the way women throw themselves at him, in front of Amelia, no less. He's puzzled that he now hates grapefruit yet used to eat it regularly. His apartment and his office offer nothing familiar, nothing comforting.

Logic has never been one of my strengths nor am I particularly intuitive. However, there was never any doubt in my mind as to the outcome of this story. As I said in the first paragraph, readers who know what to expect from their romances will know immediately where this plot is leading. A leopard can't change his spots, and bad guys don't turn into good guys just because they have amnesia.

Yes, I'm skirting around the big plot point of this story. I'm trying to draw attention to it without pointing. If you understand what I'm hinting at, then you'll know what's in store when you read Prim, Proper . . . Pregnant. If you're still wondering what the heck I'm talking about, then buy this book. It's good. I just happened to know exactly where the story was leading and thus, there were no surprises for me, no shock at the Great Revelation.

--Linda Mowery


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