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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Sheriff’s Doorstep Baby by Teresa Carpenter

The Sheriff’s Doorstep Baby by Teresa Carpenter
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (186 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

By day Nate Conner fights crime—by night he fights the haunting memories of his army days. Until his brooding is interrupted by a beauty sleeping on his couch!

Michelle Ross wants to sell her late father's house and expel the last reminder of her past. But first she has to persuade sexy tenant Nate to move out….

Then Nate's adorable baby cousin is left on his doorstep. Nate and Michelle might never have known what family is, but this baby needs one—so they'll need to learn fast!

Whoever says dreams and fairy tales can’t come true hasn’t read this enchanting story about a man and woman at odds with reality. Wishes and hopes certainly can become fact in real life but not in the fanciful way of fantasy books. In, The Sheriff’s Doorstep Baby the problems Michelle and Nate face are relatable, seemingly unfixable and diametrically opposed to their goals in life. But throw in a snow storm, an adorable baby and time to get to know each other and a reader is treated with a delightful relationship coming to fruition. It’s the journey getting to the happily ever after that makes this book a pleasure to read.

The heroine, Michelle, is looking for acceptance. She’s starts off wearing blinders and is hyper-focused on her goals, her life and hiding from facing anything that might hint at an alternate course. She’s hurt, she’s justified and she’d determined to do things her own way, alone and in control. She sounds confused doesn’t she? How can someone who wants acceptance at the same time steadfastly remain determined to do things on her own and view everything else as suspect? Someone who has a lot of hurt to work through. All she needs is to be somehow forced to slow down, to notice and experience life beyond the world that’s trapped in her mind with its skewed perceptions. Enter the innocuous intention to sell a house. Nature takes it from there.

Nate is a man’s man. He’s a character with integrity, honor and the capacity to love a mile wide. He’s strong and stern but he’s got a temper that seems to be triggered by Michelle. Readers figure out early on that it’s a symptom of passion brewing. She’s all wrong for him but there are moments that that fact doesn’t seem to matter and those are the moments to look for. Truly entertaining and meaningful, they propel the attraction towards combustible. Nate is described as a handsome man, but for me, it was his actions towards baby Jack that made him the most alluring and desirable character and cemented his status as hero. I enjoyed his personality and his dialogue.

Dialogue is a strong element in this story, whether it be between the main protagonists or their own private internal debates. Their interaction provided momentum to the conflicts that plague their growing relationship. Even when at times it seems begrudging in nature, they can’t seem to resist each other and they each help the other realize what is truly important in their lives. The heroine comes across as a bit too stubborn and mulish at times and that irked a bit. Obviously that means Michelle has the most growing and changing to do but Nate has to show her the art of compromise. The Sheriff’s Doorstep Baby was written in such a way that it would make an endearing Hallmark Movie to watch on T.V. – with the delightfully sensual and spicy physical capitulation obviously heavily edited for television audiences. Thank goodness readers get the full enjoyable effect.

The writing brings to life a lot of heart, emotion and feelings that make this contemporary romance shine and readers should find what they’re looking for when they want a quality romance. The Sheriff’s Doorstep Baby delivers a solid story and thoroughly entertains. It even has a wonderful warm and fuzzy ending that made me smile. Pick up your own copy and see for yourself.

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