Monday, 12 March 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #350
The Sheriff and the Baby - C.C. Coburn
Harlequin American Romance
From the back cover:
"When Sheriff Matt O'Malley rescues a pregnant woman after a car accident and helps deliver her baby, he quickly begins to feel protective of her - of "both" of them. Matt is increasingly drawn to Beth Ford and her daughter, Sarah - although he's noticed that Beth isn't your average new mom.
For one thing, she's obviously hiding something. Like her real name...
Beth's falling for Matt, too, and she loves the large, boisterous O'Malley clan. She can't let herself trust him, though. The last time she trusted a cop she almost ended up dead - and now she's on the run. But Spruce Lake, Colorado, is starting to feel like home to Beth...and the O'Malleys are definitely starting to feel like family."
After the last book I read was an all-guns-blazing Presents, I thought I would calm down with a more gentle American Romance one! 15 books to go...
The hero Matt comes to the rescue of the heroine Beth when she crashes her car during heavy snowfall. When he realises she is in labour he quickly gets her to the hospital and ends up supporting her through the birth of her daughter. This is bitter-sweet for Matt as it brings back painful memories of his wife and unborn child's death, but he also feels an almost unbelievable connection to Beth and her little girl. Beth is thankful for Matt's help but wary when she finds out he is the Sheriff of the small town she has been hiding out in. When he starts asking questions she is forced to lie and what is worse is that he knows it. When Beth falls ill and Matt once again comes to her aid they end up spending time together getting to know one another and caring for Beth's baby as though they were a family. When their feelings for one another deepen, Beth knows she will have to come clean about everything, but that still will not take away the threat against her and her baby.
This is a good story, if you look past some of the gaping plot holes, and the actual romance part is very pleasing. The suspense-style part of the story doesn't quite work in my opinion. Up until this point the pace of the book is very gentle and almost soothing, then the 'action' is suddenly thrust upon you - it feels very clunky and out of place. I think there was enough story there without needing the action/suspense scenes.
I did enjoy reading how the hero and heroine slowly grew to love one another, and especially liked how the hero gradually let go of his pain.
I don't like the structure of this book; the POV changes a lot using scene breaks (mid-scene), sometimes it changes after only a few lines, and this made it feel very fractured , difficult to read, and spoilt the flow of the story. Plus the inclusion of POV from a few secondary characters takes focus away from the central relationship and doesn't, in my opinion, add anything to the story.
However, the romance and relationship between the hero and heroine is really lovely.