Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book review - Their Newborn Gift by Nikki Logan

I don’t know how long this book has been in my Kindle. Their Newborn Gift belongs to a group of accidentally downloaded free books I’d forgotten about but that I will definitely keep and read again.

Since owning a Kindle I’ve mainly read books set in the US or in Canada, so when I read that this novel was set in Australia I have to admit I was quite intrigued. I’ve learned from experience never to build my expectations too high about new authors (new for me) if I don’t want to get disappointed, but it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the story.

By the end of chapter one I was totally hooked, desperate to know more and already falling for Reilly, the main character. When we first meet him, the first impression is: another player, and a rich one on top of it all–what a boring cliché. But as we get to know him better, the layers start falling, and little by little we get to see his heart and his personality, and it’s easy to understand why Lea fell for him in the first place.

It all started as a one-night stand (well, it was more like a one-full-day stand from what we’re told) and it resulted in an unwanted pregnancy, which Lea kept well hidden from Reilly, not wanting to ever meet him again. It’s only when their five-year-old daughter’s life is in danger because of a disease that’s slowly killing her, that Lea finds herself forced to reveal the secret to the man she’d never really forgotten but whom she’d tried to keep away from. The only way to save their daughter is through stem cells taken from the umbilical chord of a sibling, so Lea needs to have another baby from Reilly if she wants to save Molly. When Reilly is confronted with unexpected fatherhood and Lea’s request he’s obviously upset, and we get to see the worst part of him. He acts like a selfish jerk (I won’t tell you why, as it would spoil the fun of reading the story) and it’s no wonder that Lea doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. But as the three of them start interacting, and we get to witness some cute family moments, we also start to understand more about him and more about Lea’s past and her choice of keeping the baby a secret, and it all adds up in the end.

Is there a happy ending? Well, yes, there is a happy ending–if you’ve started to understand me, you know I’m a sucker for romance and happy endings, so I wouldn’t be writing this review if I hadn’t gotten my Happily Ever After. But in this book there is so much more than just the happy ending; the journey to get there is full of angst, anger, sadness, regrets, happy moments, in short of a big palette of emotions that will capture your heart all the way till the last page.

The bonus in all this is that the tangible chemistry between the two characters is achieved without any sex scenes. We’re never told what happened in that motel room five years before, and apart from a couple of passionate kisses, we don’t get to read more. But the chemistry between them is so strong that it doesn’t need to be described through graphic scenes. It’s all in the feelings and in the way they act, and this is such relief after this new fashion of putting steamy and very detailed sex scenes in a romance novel, just to keep the reader glued to the pages.

I might be the odd one, but after recently reading two novels with great reviews, where most of the book was about how much sex the two main characters had (and they did have a lot!), with very detailed descriptions as a bonus (honestly, could I care less about every single detail?) I’ve started wondering when the word “romance” became associated with “steamy sex”. I don’t recall reading steamy sex scenes in either Rosamunde Pilcher’s or Nicholas Sparks’ books, but I still loved those books to bits so I really don’t get why a good romance book can’t just be...romantic.

Anyway, I’m digressing here (although I’d really love to hear your opinion on this, because I know I sound like a prude right now, but I’m still the old-fashioned type of reader who likes a sweet, romantic story more than a steamy, sexy one, so I’d like to know if anyone out there shares my opinion on this). Going back to the story, like I said this is a sweet, emotional book, so if you like a good (clean) romance that will capture your heart and occasionally bring tears to your eyes, I think this might be the book you should pick as your next read.

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