I have several of Leanne Banks’s series romances on my comfort read shelf, and I’ve always loved her funny and sexy stories. But I never warmed up to the hero and heroine of Underfoot and the story was forgettable. This one was a major disappointment.
Carter-Aubrey Katherine (Trina) Roberts (will someone explain how you get Trina out of that name?) works for Bellagio Shoes. Walker Gordon is an advertising agent who also works for Bellagio. Walker was engaged to Brook Tarantino, the spoiled great grandaughter of Bellagio’s founder and the wedding was to be on national television. Then Brooke left him at the altar.
Trina and Walker meet in a bar and she offers him a shoulder to cry on. Walker doesn’t do much crying, but they both do a lot of drinking and end up having wild passionate sex. He takes a long vacation in Paris and she ends up pregnant. Trina has a beautiful baby girl, Maddie, and since Bellagio has on-site day care, she has no problems juggling work and motherhood. Sure her love life is non-existent, but right now she’s busy. Then Walker comes back to the company.
I simply couldn’t warm up to either Trina or Walker at all. He grew up with a negligent father and assumes that he is not meant to be a daddy. Walker’s father was no good, so he will be no good – he just knows that. When he finds out about Maddie, his reaction is to help financially, but other than that he seems to think of her as covered with baby cooties and he shrinks from touching her. He softens up a bit by the end of the book, but I still thought he was a cold fish when it came to being a daddy. Walker’s attraction to Trina seemed to be based on sex alone. I never got the impression he liked her all that much.
Trina is competent and capable at work, but her private life is a bit of a mess. She and her mother Aubrey don’t have a good relationship since Aubrey can be very critical at times. Well, given that right after high school, Trina ran away while on vacation at Myrtle Beach and married a biker who ended up in jail for burglary, I think Aubrey has reason to be critical. Despite her faults, Aubrey does drop everything when Trina needs a babysitter, and she gets her own romance as well. Trina is also flip and stubborn. She tells Waker about Maddie in a very offhand way and then refuses any and all help from him. He has to force her to accept his offer of financial assistance. Sure she has a nice job, but honestly! This made me want to slap her.
Walker and Trina’s story shares space with several others. Some friends of theirs at work are getting married and are stressed out because of the elaborate wedding plans. Walker’s uncle has had heart surgery and is recuperating at Walker’s home, and then Walker’s brother BJ and his pregnant girlfriend Danielle show up. Most of those storylines don’t get much page time, and I thought BJ and Danielle were a much more sympathetic couple than Trina and Walker.
Underfoot was a big disappointment. After I read it, I got my copy of Banks’s Silhouette Desire, The Lone Rider Takes A Bride and paged through it. Yep, it was just as I remembered; snappy, and funny with likable characters and great love scenes. When it comes to contemporary romance, Leanne Banks can deliver the goods, but she missed the address with this one.