Happy New Year! Did you party all night long? Did someone hook on a fake gray beard and stagger through the room carrying a "2012" sign? Did someone else commandeer their 2-year-old niece, dress her in a mini toga, pop a sequined “2013” tiara on her cherubic little head, then tote her out for a five minute cameo appearance as The Baby New Year? Me, neither. And in celebration of that fact-–and the whole new life, new year, new whatever thing--I’m recommending romances with babies in them this month! Let the birthing begin!
Sugar Springs by Kim Law.
Maybe it’s the whole trash-the-old-and-bring-on-the-new meme, but in the beginning of Sugar Springs, when Cody Dalton loses the love of his life, Lee Ann London, due to stupid teenage male hormones--and then, in response, wrecks the town square--I fell in love. Because what’s passion if it’s not excessive? Now Cody’s back in town to meet the twins Lee Ann’s been raising since her half-sister (the object of Cody’s aforementioned teenage stupidity) died. Lee Ann, who has nursed a whole lot of anger in the ensuing years, is having a hard time reconciling righteous hatred and animal magnetism. Don’t fight it, Lee Ann!
Never A Mistress, No Longer a Maid by Maureen Driscoll
Ned Kellington, an English peer, and Jane Wetherby, a spirited surgeon in search of trauma experience, meet on the battlefield and afterwards share a night of passion. Years pass and Edward finally rediscovers the love of his life (it’s an auxiliary theme often attached to secret babies) and is determined that nothing will stand in the way of their happily-ever-after: not his family, his fiancée (!), Jane’s daughter (!!), or even Jane herself (whew!). A sigh-inducing romance with a valiant, intelligent hero and a noble (and focused) heroine. This is the start to a new series I’m eager to follow.
Shower of Stars by Nancy Herkness
Jack Lanett is the super-star meteorite hunter that adventure writer “Charlie” Berglund is doing a story on. When her rootless life threatens her adoption of a Chinese orphan, she winds up in a marriage of convenience with sexy Jack. I know. Contemporary marriage of convenience? But it works! Jack’s fighting for recognition (okay, and money) and Charlie’s fighting for a child she wants more than anything in the world. They’re both fighting demons from their past and finally, a potent, I mean POTENT, attraction. I adored these two wounded warriors!
The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders
Now let’s just ratchet up the angst level to Def-con One.
Seemingly irredeemable jerk, Alessandro De Lucci agrees to marry Theresa Noble and beget a son in return for the title to his grandfather’s beloved vineyard... being assured that afterward he can divorce her. The bad news for Theresa? She was in love with him when they married. More bad news for Theresa? Sandro is under the impression that she instigated the plan. After eighteen months of flat-out Horrible Behavior on the part of Sandro, Theresa wants out just as Sandro realizes he’s fallen in love. There’s nothing to salvage in this field of heartache, except author Natasha Anders makes Sandro grovel so long and so deliciously, I actually forgave him! (Cue befuddled music.) Thankfully, there’s an epilogue, because after this highly melodramatic, torment-filled story I needed to “see” proof of a caring, loving and Super-Humbly-Aware-That-I-Don’t-Deserve-This-Woman future Sando.