Some Kind of Wonderful
I don’t usually go for the baby books in the romance section of the bookstore, but I know that in the hands of a gifted storyteller, a plot that I normally do not like can be raised to another level. Ms. Freethy is just that, a gifted storyteller, but here her efforts are undermined by her main characters – a hero and heroine who remained hard to warm up to throughout Some Kind of Wonderful.
San Francisco investigative reporter Matt Winters finds a crying baby outside his apartment door. As it turns out, Emily is his sister Sarah’s baby, and he hasn’t seen Sarah in over a decade. He assumes the baby belongs to his neighbor, and when he finds out bridal shop owner Caitlyn Devereaux has nothing to do with little Emily, he asks for her help. Well, “asks” might be too mild a word.
Matt doesn’t exactly make the best first impression on a reader. While his anxiety at the baby’s appearance in his life is understandable, why on earth he thinks he has the right to dump his own niece on someone else was beyond me. He doesn’t even know Caitlyn – all he knows is that she is very, very busy businesswoman, yet he has no problem leaving her to deal with Emily. Caitlyn is a pushover; it doesn’t take that much convincing for her to help out with the baby. Not only is Caitlyn a pushover when it comes to Matt (she finds him hunky and manly) but she’s also a pushover where her perfectionist mother is concerned, and a doormat to her former fiancé, Brian, who has returned to San Francisco and wants their relationship to resume.
While Caitlyn takes care of Emily and Matt tries to find his sister, a minister named Jonathan discovers a beaten up young woman in his church. The young woman is Sarah, and she can’t believe anyone would want to help her, or that she’d be worthy of help. But she is won over slowly by Jonathan, the kindly minister with problems of his own, such as the fact that he is nowhere near filling up the church and may not meet the deadline his superiors have given him to accomplish just that. It’s fairly clear from the beginning that their relationship will go beyond one of help. Frankly, although they are both sympathetic characters, I thought that a romantic relationship could have been put off for a while.
Matt and Caitlyn quickly grow close as they struggle with caring for baby Emily, and thankfully become a little better as characters as the book moves forward – but not much. Caitlyn does behave immaturely when she realizes Emily will have to be returned to her mother when Sarah is found. Matt has to face the painful past he shares with his sister, and Caitlyn has to face her own past with Brian. That’s a whole lot of characters – and a whole lot of angst.
I’m a fan of Ms. Freethy’s work; I love the emotion her books evoke and the heartwarming scenes they contain. That said, however, Some Kind of Wonderful is not one of her better books. On the plus side, Emily was a quite realistic baby, and a supernatural thread is understated enough to be a nice touch, but as a whole, I’ll pass on recommending this one and look forward to her next book.