Back In Baby's Arms
The back cover of Back In Baby’s Arms tells of a dying husband’s promise to send an angel to take care of the story’s heroine. This did not make me want to tear into the book and start reading. Rather, I expected a syrupy trip down the Highway to Heaven with a saintly hero who would heal the sick with a touch and be able to talk to the animals. But I was quite pleasantly surprised and inspired by this romance.
The heroine, Maddie Schaefer, also known as “Baby,” is thoroughly unlikable when the book begins. She’s a fragile, pampered woman who completely defers to her affable but controlling husband Wayne. When Wayne dies in a boating accident, Maddie, who is not leading the most stressful life as it is, completely retreats from reality and moves back in with her parents who have always coddled her (she was sick as a child). The only thing that keeps her going is Wayne’s promise to send her an angel. When she sees a double rainbow ending at her uncles boathouse, she takes it as a sign. There she finds Chase Hammond.
Memo to God: if I am getting an angel, can I reserve this model? Chase is a hunky drifter hired to work on Maddie’s uncle’s boat. His one drawback, besides his emotionally distant personality, is that he is a amnesic. Found adrift on the sea, Chase has no specific memories of his life before; he knows only that he loves boats. And he’s not having any of this angel business.
Does Chase dote on Maddie or feel sorry for her? No. He tells her to grow up. He forces her to face some harsh truths about herself, Wayne and their marriage. And he awakens her urges. Her new self knowledge and confidence forces Maddie to stand up for herself to her parents and sister Colleen. And she in turn brings out the mushy side of Chase. When Chase’s identity is revealed and his character brought into question, Maddie sticks by him.
This book is impressive for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the natural and geniune chemistry between Chase and Maddie. The supporting characters will drawer readers in as well. The only problem I had was Chase’s attitude of “I can’t love you for your own good.” I know this is meant to be selfless, but it almost always comes off looking like a romance novel cliché guaranteed to bring needless misery to a couple. The third act features a mystery surroundings Chase and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, which seems tacked on. Chase and Maddie are interesting enough as a couple, and between them they have enough emotional baggage to sustain the story.
Still, seeing Maddie come into her own and watching Chase reluctantly melt is joyous; author Wainscott has style. She adds just the right amount of humor and hormones to her writing. I would recommend Back In Baby’s Arms – even for the inspirationally challenged.