A Child of Her Own
I enjoyed Beverly Barton’s Protectors series and thought I’d try one of her stand-alone books, so I read A Child of Her Own. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I was fully prepared to give it a 4 rating until just before the ending when one scene jarred me out of the mood and caused the book to drop a notch in my estimation.
A Child of Her Own is set in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and Beverly, thank you for using the term “y’all” correctly – I’m a southerner and when I see that word used wrong, it upsets me. Lori Lee Guy was the high school golden girl, she was head majorette and homecoming queen. She is from an old and respected family. She married her college sweetheart but divorced him when she discovered his infidelity. Now she gives baton lessons to the young girls of the town and owns a costume shop with her Aunt Birdie. When the heating system in her studio breaks down, Rick Warrick comes in to fix it. Rick went to high school with Lori Lee and had a reputation as the town bad boy. The respectable people considered him a hoodlum and shunned him. Despite his reputation, he and Lori had always been attracted to one another, so when they meet again, the sparks fly!
Rick is determined to make the town respect him and forget his hoodlum past. He is a widower now and working two jobs in order to buy his own business. He has a sweet and talented little daughter named Darcie who looks uncannily like Lori Lee. Rick is determined that Darcie will not have to go through the pain he did because of his background. Unfortunately there are some people in the town who will not let Rick forget his past.
The attraction between Rick and Lori Lee sizzles. Beverly Barton can write some of the most passionate love scenes in the business and there were times I thought the pages would catch on fire. Rick is a real alpha male, but is more wounded and suffering than arrogant and overbearing. His drive and determination for success had me cheering him on.
I was all set to give this book a 4 rating until the scene where Rick and Lori Lee are talking about Rick’s daughter Darcie, and her uncanny resemblance to Lori Lee. Rick tells Lori Lee that on the night Darcie was conceived, he was drunk and thought her mother was Lori Lee and it was to Lori Lee that he was giving this child. Lori Lee tells Rick that on that same night she discovered her husband’s infidelity and could only make love to him if she pretended he was Rick. So, through some cosmic substitution, Darcie is really Rick and Lori Lee’s child.
Please! Why not keep it simple and just say Rick married Darcie’s mother because she looked like Lori Lee? Why the mumbo jumbo? That aside, I did enjoy the book. I love a macho, wounded, bad-boy and Rick is a prime specimen.