Wednesday, 7 December 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #239
Whose Child? - Susan Gable
Silhouette Books, 2006
From the back cover:
"Lexie swore she would protect the child she carried - even though she wasn't really her mother.
To give her friend David the child he'd dreamed of, Lexie had agreed to be a surrogate mother, but that was before she learned the truth about his wife...
Four years ago, when Lexie was pregnant and on the run, she found safety in the little town of Mill Creek. Since then she's had a good life, raising Sarah and immersing herself in the community, but never quite forgetting what she's done. Then David finds them and announces he wants his daughter back..."
I have been wanting to read this book after I saw it on the author's website, I managed to track down a used copy.
The hero David has been searching for the heroine Lexie for four year and has finally found her. He goes to confront her and bring back the daughter he has never even met. Lexie is terrified to see David again, and knows that he is there to take her beloved Sarah away from her. Lexie had run away four years ago in desperation after David refused to believe her after she had found out some very worrying information about his wife. She managed to find a community that accepted her and stay hidden, and raised Sarah as her own. David is overwhelmed when he finally meets his daughter, and promises never to be away from her again. Although he has long since realised that Lexie was telling the truth all those years ago, he will never forgive her for depriving him of the first four years of his daughter's life. He and Lexie were once best friends and he can't help noticing the changes that the last four years have caused, and not all of it for the better. He also can't deny that she has been a wonderful mother to Sarah, and surprisingly that he finds the new Lexie very alluring. David asks Lexie to marry him, but even though she is desperate not to lose Sarah Lexie has always loved David and knows that he will never love her, so she says no.
I thought the author raised two very interesting and sensitive issues - the issues of surrogacy and whether it is DNA or love that really makes you a parent - and she did it brilliantly. The book manages to be sad and upbeat all at the same time, and is a very absorbing read. The hero and heroine are written with honesty, and feel three dimensional. There are also some great secondary characters that add depth to the story. I was really happy that the heroine decided to stay within the community that accepted her openly instead of giving it all up, that would have felt very shallow. The only thing I would change is taking away the random sections of POV from one of the secondary characters, I don't feel the book needed it.
This is a really touching book, that draws you in and has you really invested in the outcome, I know I was virtually holding my breath at times!