Samantha Morgan is excited that she will soon pick up her newborn baby, being carried by a surrogate in India, using her deceased husband's sp...moreSynopsis
Samantha Morgan is excited that she will soon pick up her newborn baby, being carried by a surrogate in India, using her deceased husband's sperm and her egg. The day of her baby shower at work, a strange woman approaches her and warns her about the man who seduced her as a fifteen-year-old. This man is now the Republican front-runner in the current Presidential Election. Shortly thereafter, women who also had youthful encounters with this man are dying under mysterious circumstances. Samantha and her friend Lisa, also a conquest of this man, go to India to pick up Samantha's baby, where they encounter Matthew Carlisle. Matthew Carlisle and his friend Lenny have also traveled to India to pick up his baby, which was conceived because of his ex-wife's desire for a child, although she left him and now he's responsible for the child. Samantha and Matthew take a dislike to each other when their personalities clash.
But Samantha and Matthew have to work together to rescue their pregnant surrogates when forces behind the Democratic incumbent plot to use Samantha's pregnant surrogate/unborn child to strongarm her into coming forward about her past with the Republican presidential candidate. Danger tracks them closely in this trek to take their new babies home, as the strangeness and beauty of India soaks into their psyches, and old emotional wounds start to heal.
The Baby Game is an interesting thriller novel that centers on the "what ifs" of a presidential election and what the candidates will do to win at any cost. The idea that this candidate was a seducer of young girls is quite disturbing, but completely plausible. It was hair-raising that people might engineer the murder of women just because they were victims of this man as young girls, and might endanger his chances of winning the election by coming forward. It was a novel approach to use the idea of two different people both engaging surrogates in a foreign country. I appreciated the view of India and the cultures exhibited in Samantha and Matthew's travels. There were plenty of humorous moments, which I enjoyed.
While I appreciated the storyline and plot, I had trouble grasping the overall tone of the novel. Initially, the story is very dark, but becomes almost slapstick towards its climax. I think that the combination of humor and wacky moments should have been more consistently distributed in the novel, instead of mostly towards the end, especially with the initial mayhem of these poor women being murdered and the idea that political parties would be willing to murder people like that.
Samantha and Matthew could have used more depth. I felt like I knew Samantha a little better, but ultimately she didn't come to life for me. She seemed to react to circumstances, but I didn't feel connected to her thought life. Moreso for Matthew. I could see that his divorce hit him hard, and had made him cynical, but I wanted to see how his experiences in India, with Samantha and his baby change him from the inside out. I just saw the end results.
Overall, The Baby Game was an entertaining read. The storyline was very interesting and unique. However, I do feel that the tone shift was confusing, and I wanted more exploration of the emotional aspects of Samantha and Matthew's experiences in India. Reader who enjoy suspense novels with a good dose of humor might enjoy this book. It's worthwhile reading just for the descriptions of India and its people.
Happy Sigh! Lots of angst, passion, and true love. And a hero who reminds me of Edward Fairfax Rochester. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not....moreHappy Sigh! Lots of angst, passion, and true love. And a hero who reminds me of Edward Fairfax Rochester. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not. Declan is a nice mix of wounded, grumpy and tortured. Even at his worst, I couldn't hate him. I guess I could see pain behind his actions. With his brother's death and his feelings of guilt that he had failed him, it was hard to see clearly. On the other hand, I could see why Chloe couldn't settle for what he had to give her. She had fought too hard to claim a sense of self-esteem in her life.
I loved how the courtship between Declan and Chloe bloomed. I got that feeling of Jane Eyre in their interchanges. How Chloe might be his employee, but she won't kowtow to him. And also how Chloe is the light in the darkness to Declan. I found that bond and growing feelings between them very romantic. And the sexual tension and sensuality culminates beautifully.
After Declan finds out just who Chloe is, I wasn't sure what would happen next. I respect that Ms. West managed to keep the story on a mature level, even though Declan does act like a jerk. I loved how Chloe was able to hold her own and keep her dignity even in the way Declan was treating her. He might be her boss, he might seem to have the upper hand, but he didn't, because deep down, she wouldn't be allowing him to be control her.
And yes, the end might be sappy to some, but I found it deliciously romantic.
Very enjoyable book with a realistic heroine that I bonded with. Edie is like the girl next door, someone you probably went to college or high school...moreVery enjoyable book with a realistic heroine that I bonded with. Edie is like the girl next door, someone you probably went to college or high school with. I liked how she was an intelligent woman who didn't make stupid decisions with her love life because she felt like doing it or out of desperation. I could understand her not wanting to date for a while after her husband died. She wanted to cherish what she had with him, and she gave herself time to mourn him. I loved that her relationship with her deceased husband had been fulfilling and loving. Ben seemed like a really good guy. It was interesting how she took what he'd taught her about love and caring for someone and applied it to her relationship with Nick, in a good way. I believe being loved teaches us how to love others. And I'm not talking about sex--a whole different issue.
Nick had never gotten over his fiancee' dying a few days prior to their wedding. He blamed himself that he put off getting married to build Amy the house of her dreams. Since then, he's sworn off on relationships other than one night stands. Nick is the sort of hero that gets on my nerves. He thinks it's perfectly okay to have sex with a stranger (which is a serious risk), but not to take the chance to have a real relationship. Relationships are not the kiss of death. They can be what you want them to be. Instead of realizing that he couldn't control what happens in life, he became more of a control freak when it came to emotions. His angst didn't really translate to me. More than anything, it felt more like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand. One could surmise that he feared being hurt, but when he met Edie and felt such a strong attraction to her, one that grew into a deep bond that he wanted to deny, he turned into a real chump. It would be fine if he was with a woman who felt the same way, but since he sought out Edie, then he should have realized that he was playing emotional games, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. It doesn't feel good to put one's heart out there and fall on one's face, and that's what he did to Edie, even after he'd had to work so hard to get her to trust him. In his mind, he never promised anything, but his actions showed that he wanted more. He was the King of Mixed Signals.
On the good side, I enjoyed the fact that Nick was a house restorer, as house flipping is a subject I have a keen interest in. I've been doing a lot of DIY Network watching, with its share of hunky contractors and craftsmen, so this story fit in thematically with what's going on in my TV viewing life. I liked that more about Nick than his personality. I felt he needed to do some growing up. I can't help being hard on the guy. He showed me some traits that makes me want to slap him on the head and tell him to "Man Up." He does come around, which is good. I just wish that he had shown a little more maturity earlier on when it counted. I think he did realize what a gem he has in Edie, so that's for the win.
So, I liked this book more for Edie, the handyman/contractor hero motif, and the smooth flow of McAllister's storytelling. Her books go by at a nice pace and make me feel like I'm relaxing on the porch drinking iced tea and enjoying myself. That's a good feeling. It keeps me coming back to her. (less)
While this was slow-moving at times, it has a depth, complexity and richness that called to me. I was immersed in the time period, and the sensuality...moreWhile this was slow-moving at times, it has a depth, complexity and richness that called to me. I was immersed in the time period, and the sensuality and veracity of the complex emotions the characters felt.
Really good, angsty, passionate western with a very tormented heroine, and an extremely sighworthy hero. The Indian/white conflict causes pangs within...moreReally good, angsty, passionate western with a very tormented heroine, and an extremely sighworthy hero. The Indian/white conflict causes pangs within me that remind me why I avoid NA romance. Not because I don't care, but because I care too much. I have found a new western author in Elaine Levine. I will be reading her other books.
This was a pretty good romantic suspense. I liked that the hero wasn't all uber-alpha (I can break things with my teeth and kill all the bad guys with...moreThis was a pretty good romantic suspense. I liked that the hero wasn't all uber-alpha (I can break things with my teeth and kill all the bad guys without breaking a sweat). Dav was a normal guy (although a billionaire) who did the best he could in the dangerous situation that he and Carrie found themselves in. They were both nice people. It could have been a little more exciting as far as the suspense, but it kept me reading. And I liked the secondary characters.
This book was so good!! I loved Coburn. What a man!!! You can tell I was a happy reader by the number of exclamation points I've used thus far. Honor...moreThis book was so good!! I loved Coburn. What a man!!! You can tell I was a happy reader by the number of exclamation points I've used thus far. Honor was a good heroine too. Very intense and awesome suspense. Very close to five stars. Rating: 4.5 stars.