An Unexpected Father
An Unexpected Father had a lot of potential, but ultimately was just too light on romance for me to recommend.
Mimi Green and her nine-year old son Jack are back home living with her parents in Crab Creek, Maryland. Mimi spent the last ten years trying to succeed as a musician, moving from town to town, and band to band. Frustrated and concerned about her son’s failing grades, she gave up her dream in search of stability. In addition to caring for Jack, Mimi works as a bartender at her parents’ bar. Despite the stable home, Jack is still unhappy and will do anything to avoid schoolwork, including trespassing at the local boatyard, where he’s caught by Ian Berzani.
Ian is currently working in the family boatyard, building sailboats and teaching sailing to young children. But this is just temporary; he’s counting down the months until he can leave town for a solo sail around the world. Ian has put off his dream before, but this time doesn’t intend to let anyone or anything stop him.
Ian and Mimi are attracted to each other when they first meet, but neither wants a relationship. But after Ian catches Jack trespassing several times in the boatyard, he begins a relationship with Jack, putting him to work in the boatyard, and including him in his sailing classes.
The book worked for me in the development of the relationship between Ian and Jack; I thought it was a very sweet story. The problem is, Ian and Mimi simply didn’t spend enough time together for me to see much of anything but lust between them. Aside from the instant sexual attraction – that’s not acted upon – it took forever for their relationship to get started.
At one point Mimi realizes that Jack loves Ian, which made complete sense within the context of the story. But then she concludes that she loves Ian too and it was completely out of left field for me. I could see and understand that Jack and Ian would love each other because they spent a lot of time together. But Mimi and Ian? They were hardly ever on the page together. Then, just when it seemed like we might actually get a love story, a conflict is thrown in that prevents them from getting closer.
This isn’t a bad book, but I found it frustrating. I think Ian and Mimi had a lot of potential as characters, given their backgrounds. I enjoyed Mimi’s interactions with a friend, and really enjoyed Ian’s relationship with Jack. I just needed to see a lot more between Mimi and Ian for me to recommend the book.