Bringing up Baxter
Any hope that I may have harbored that this book would be as clever and fun as Hepburn and Grant’s Bringing up Baby was dashed fairly early on, when the hero, who has only recently met the heroine, feels her up in a country general store while pretending to pet her puppy. Subtle this book is not. While its sequel, Angels on Zebras, is a guilty pleasure, this book should have been sold not in bookstores but next to vibrators and love oils in the local sex toys shop.
When buttoned-down lady lawyer B.J. Corban’s sister sends her for some R&R in the mountains to recover from a broken engagement, she expects the only fight she’ll have is with the tent she doesn’t know how to set up. Who should come roaring by but Crash Beauregard in leather and denim on his motorcycle, oozing sex and the essence of bad boy? Before the first day is through, they’ve shared a heady kiss, cuddled through a rain storm, and found adorable puppy Baxter. And shared some major sexual tension and dialogue where he parried, he thrusted – and she threatened to knee him in the groin. What’s not to love?
On day two, the aforementioned feeling up occurs, as does B.J.’s getting lost at night in the mountains, only to be found by Crash, who just “knows” she’s lost, and just “knows” exactly where she can be found. After he rescues her, things really get hot and heavy, but just as he’s contemplating her “sweet honeypot” (that’s also “hot, slick and swollen”), he realizes his free-spirited lifestyle would never mesh with her “big-city” lawyerly ways. And so, after he’s gotten the prim and proper B.J. all worked up, he extricates himself from the situation, leaving her to feel rejected once again.
This might have all made sense had Crash actually been a free-spirited biker, but he’s not. Oh no – he’s a lawyer. Oh no – he’s actually a judge, which B.J. discovers when she has a case in his court. Things take a considerable turn for the worse when B.J. gussies herself up one night to seduce Crash – seems her biological clock is ticking away and she wants a real-life sperm donor.
Author Webb substitutes outlandish sexuality for deep-felt emotion in Bringing up Baxter. The result is that B.J. seems ever more desperate and Crash constantly crass. The more he heats her up, the worse her rejection feels when he changes his mind. While this allows the characters to progress in their relationship, such as it is, it is annoying for the reader because the book doesn’t really fulfill its true destiny, which would be a boink-fest.
I didn’t buy this book looking for a boink-fest, but it would have been a better read had it been a boink-fest. A crass hero and a desperate heroine aren’t my idea of romance. If you can find Peggy Webb’s Angels on Zebras, you might enjoy it as a guilty pleasure, but there’s nothing to enjoy in Bringing up Baxter, not even the dog.