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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(3 star). See all 94 reviews
on February 26, 2004
I really hated the first 1/3rd of the book. The only character who wasn't immoral was Kevin Tucker. All the other secondary characters were just plain sad or dispicable. As for the main characters Jane and Cal - Yikes! Cal is a jerk. It's totally understandable that he is furious with Jane but to want to destroy the mother of his future child is not only stupid it's also not a character trait you want to see in a leading man. He also shows his stupidity by not protecting himself while having sex with a potential wacko groupie with some unknown agenda. Yet the fact that he had unprotected sex is never mentioned again. He certainly never assigns himself any blame. Then there is the "genius" Jane. If she had any smarts, she certainly didn't show it in the first third of the book. She's a researcher but when it comes to genetics or sperm banks or Cal Bonner she doesn't do any research. First of all, even I , a simple engineer knows that genetics can be a real crap shoot. The probability of having genius offspring is incredibly small no matter who the parents are. Also, men who donate to sperm banks come from many different backgrounds - not just med students. Finally, if Jane was so concerned with the sperm donor's intelligence why didn't she do any research into Cal's background (besides health history). Jane's actions simply made no sense.
The other thing that I hated about the first part of the book were the two sex scenes. They were brutal and sad and really made me despise both Cal and Jane.
It was not a good beginning for a book. The only thing that kept me reading was that I really liked "Heaven Texas" and "It Had To Be You". So I kept reading and along about page 175 or so an amazing thing happened. The book actually began to get really good. Jane developed a backbone and Cal lightened up. The interactions between Cal and Jane became warm and funny. The secondary characters were good (with some real depth) and some of the situations had me laughing out loud. By the end of the book I had no trouble believing that Jane and Cal would have a good marriage and be decent parents.
So, how do I rate this book? Well, the first 1/3 gets zero stars and the last 2/3 gets 4.5 stars. Overall - 3 stars.
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on May 3, 2003
I'd read great things about this author from other authors whose works I like, so was surprised to find her work slow going. There were a few catchy dialogue exchanges, but haracterizations were a bit heavy handed: Genius with angst meets jock with genius to make a baby to turn off the alarm on her biological clock. She stupidly (for a genius) assumes the jock is stupid and that his dumb genes will offset her overly intelligent ones to create a 'normal' baby.
Ms. Phillips rightly says in the back of the book that she was too tempted to write about a subject (physics) about which she knows little and is a 'doofus' (her words). She's a bit more of a doofus about the characters, which are almost bi-polar in their good guy, bad guy/gal impersonations. By the end of the book everyone is brought round to be a good guy or gal and the poor heroine who wanted a normal baby to love, is stuck with a potential genius offspring. There's some agist rhetoric, a tacky embezzling evangelist to bash, and a hillbilly granny with an irascible temper and a heart of gold (natch!). Characters and plot are shallow, giving the impression that Ms. Phillips should stick with city characters and beef up her plots a bit. Something beyond 'will-they, won't-they get/stay together.'
The book could do with some serious editing (lose 100 pages). The author seems cheerful enough, with flashes of entertaining dialogue here and there, just a bit undisciplined overall. Three stars is kind, in this reader's opinion.
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on December 10, 2001
It really pains me to be the lone ranger here and give a SEP book such a mediocre rating, but it pained me more to finish the book. The plot seemed overly contrived with a desperate physicist setting out to get "knocked-up" by a dumb jock so that her baby would be "normal." I thought the author used a lot of stereotypes about athletes and southerners even as she condemed her heroine for doing so. For example, Cal, the quarterback was from my home state of N.C. Maybe, I'm being overly sensitive, but to prove that Cal really was smart and not a dumb hick, the author had him graduating from Michigan. SEP, ever heard of Duke or the Univ. of North Carolina?, two of the most prestigious colleges in the country. Although I found a lot of humor in this book and loved the characters of Annie and Lynn, (the secondary plot of Cal's parents was very touching) I couldn't get past how stupid Jane, the genius physicist, and Cal, were. For two smarties, they acted really dumb. I suppose this must have been an attempt at irony but it didn't work. And for someone who was so desperate to have a baby, I think there would have been more mention of her pregnancy along the way. The actual labor and delivery was too unbelievable as well. Don't doctors wash their hands before delivering a baby? And Cal chooses that moment to announce he wants to go to medical school. Yes, I know I'd be thrilled to give birth and have my husband announce plans to be away. Thanks, hon. For me to enjoy a book, I have to respect the hero or heroine or they must redeem themselves. Although, SEP tried, I never felt anything but contempt for both the main characters. Yes, I know we must suspend our imaginations when reading romance, but when one is reading a contemporary, it helps if the plot is at least a little believable. Maybe I am a bit jaded because SEP's previous book, HEAVEN, TEXAS just blew me away. Although the characters were just as mismatched, the story was much believeable and the characters endearing.
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on February 7, 1999
I found the storyline of this book hard to believe. I mean, a physicist and a football player?? She tricks him into sleeping with her, getting her pregnant and then he marries her?? I had a hard time pushing myself to read this book. The last 50 pages were the best part of the book, though. However, I still never felt any chemistry between these two. I think the story of Cal's parents would have been much more interesting. In fact, Cal's family was much more interesting then the main characters themselves. Like I said, not bad, but not great either!!
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on May 8, 1999
Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a unique writing style which captivates. But the story of this book is a bit too far-fetched. If only she had made the heroine more attractive , beautiful , better-endowed and less dowdy, there would have been stronger chemistry and sexual tension between the couple to make the story more credible.It is a Cinderella type of story except that Dr. Darlington was not portrayed a beauty but a drab middle-aged plain Jane.
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on November 15, 2002
This was just interesting enough to stick with, but certainly wasn't one of SEP's best! It wasn't really funny to me, not like most of her other books. The plot was pretty [bad], too.
Cal was perfect, of course, in looks and character.
Jane was okay, but lacked personality. She's the type of woman who'd never stand out in a crowd.
(Sorry). It just wasn't that good.
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