Although A TODDLER'S TAIL is written so well a reader can have a positive reading experience without having read the previous novels in the Maitland Maternity Saga, it is actually the 11th book of a 12-book series. Because there is an underlying major sub-plot spanning the entire series and major characters continue from book to book, I recommend beginning the Saga from Book #1 and progressing through the series. The problem is that the series involves eleven different authors who comprise Whose Who in romantic fiction. I have listed the books in the Maitland Maternity Series below:
Book 1 - DAD BY CHOICE by Marie Ferrarella
Book 2 - CASSIDY'S KIDS by Tara Taylor Quinn
Book 3 - MARRIED TO THE BOSS by Lori Foster
Book 4 - JUST FOR CHRISTMAS by Stella Bagwell
Book 5 - PRESCRIPTION: BABY by Julie McBride
Book 6 - THE DETECTIVE'S DILEMMA by Arlene James
Book 7 - FORMULA: FATHER by Karen Hughes
Book 8 - BILLION DOLLAR BRIDE by Muriel Jensen
Book 9 - HER BEST FRIEND'S BABY by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Book 10 - GUARDING CAMILLE by Judy Christenberry
Book 11 - THE TODDLER'S TALE by Rebecca Winters
Book 12 - A DAD AT LAST by Marie Ferrarella
Our heroine is Chelsea Markham, an aggressive, persistent, and highly successful TV reporter with her own TV Talk Show. Her disregard for the consequences of her aggressive reporting style has earned her a reputation as "The Black Widow" in Austin's police and journalistic communities. Max Jamison, our hero, had been on the Austin Police Force until about eighteen months previous when he was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue of a small child trapped in a laundry chute. Although there was nothing he could have done to save the child, Max is so disturbed by the event he resigns from the force and becomes a Private Investigator just so he will never again have to deal with saving a small child.
Max is now under contract to help provide security for the Maitland Maternity Hospital. Part of his responsibility is to keep reporters like Chelsea at bay. In the performance of his job he physically removes Chelsea from a crime scene by simply picking her up in a fireman's carry, dumping her into his truck and driving away. During their heated interchange they come across a frantic mother whose toddler has fallen into a crumbling drainage culvert and gotten wedged in the pipe. Their argument forgotten, Chelsea and Max call for help and then work tirelessly together for the next two days to rescue the child.
It is during this experience that Chelsea has a revelatory experience. She sees the members of the media scrambling for a sensational news story without concern or regard for the lives of the real people involved in this life or death struggle taking place before their eyes. She begins to feel compassion and caring for those participating in this experience. She finally sees the kind of person she had become and she detests her. At the same time she sees Max for the true man he is. Max begins to see Chelsea in a whole new light as she tirelessly sings to the child and then gives comfort and consolation to the child's mother.
The journey Ms. Winters take us on as both Chelsea and Max adapt and change to the new reality is a wonder to behold. This is romance at its best. The reader is captivated and pulled into the story because of a totally believable, real life characters and story line. Once again, a full five stars for Ms. Winters.