by Julie Ortolon

July 2001
ISBN: 0-312-97871-5
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

This is a charming tale, complete with a charming heroine, charming hero, charming pregnant best friend and asthmatically charming child. Given all this abundant charm, why is it so hard to work up any enthusiasm for this book?

Kate Bradshaw is a nice person, a bit lovelorn after a nasty divorce, but devoted (some might say to the point of smothering) to her son. Mike Cameron, the gorgeous rumpled blond guy with a fascination for loud Hawaiian shirts (a kind of Tom Selleck crossed with Brad Pitt?), is a nice person - the fact that he is still single would probably ring a lot of really noisy alarm bells in most women's heads! However, they'd be wrong, because Mike falls completely in love with Kate at first meeting.

Perhaps it is this complete acceptance of love on Mike's part that removes a lot of the more interesting sexual tension between Mike and Kate. Mike knows that Kate is for him (by default, so do we), and the only real tension in the story revolves around Kate and her resistance to Mike. We are forced to question Kate's actions strongly when she debates the ins and outs of a relationship. In fact I found myself yelling: "What's the matter with you, are you NUTS?" Yes, this is fiction, but even so, when a mouthwateringly smashing guy who's never been married, isn't gay, has a really good job and owns a home says he's in love with you and wants to hit the sack, SAY YES!!! Oh, and he's also charmed the heck out of your kid who now thinks he's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The machinations Mike uses to get Kate into his life are well written, as is most of this book. The dialogue is realistic, the settings are excellent and the secondary characters are fun. Unfortunately, none of these positive attributes were enough to lift this book into a must-read category; I liked Kate and Mike, but there wasn't any sizzle to their romance. In fact, it was probably too true-to-life - realistic love affairs are OK, but we all have those at one time or another. We want to read about unrealistic fiery passions and totally impossible scenarios - couples that go beyond the every-day relationships and forge into the realm of pulse-quickening, lip-licking, heart-pounding desire! I'm sorry to say that Mike and Kate don't quite make it. A good book for passing the time, but not for the keeper shelf!

Reviewed in September 2001 by Celia.

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