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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sabbides Secret Baby by Jacqueline Baird

The Sabbides Secret Baby by Jacqueline Baird
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (185 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Naive Phoebe Brown fell for Mediterranean magnate Jed Sabbides after he wined, dined and bedded her with a fervor that made her feel cherished. But when Phoebe happily announced she was pregnant, Jed was appalled. Didn't she understand—she was only a pleasing distraction? Sadly Phoebe lost the man she loved, and her baby….

So it is with disbelief that, years later, Jed discovers Phoebe has a little boy…who looks just like him!

Combine a man in denial with a miracle and a woman’s broken heart, and a reader is in for a romance full of challenges.

Phoebe is the heroine who does a lot of growing during the course of this book. At first she’s in the throes of young love and for her it’s serious and wonderful and passionate. Then she’s faced with a shocking reality and ends up on her own, making her own choices, living her own life and winds up doing rather well for herself. She found her inner strength but it’s tempered with a lasting mistrust when it comes to men’s motives. Pheobe has reason to be proud because she’s a survivor. However she has reason to feel real fear when her past comes to a party and the confrontation sets things in motion.

The beginning of the book has Phoebe in love as a young innocent woman. By the time the story is over, she loves as a woman with her eyes and heart wide open. It’s a love tempered by fire.

Jed is a man with very healthy appetites. That becomes quite clear early on. He is a man used to getting what he wants when he wants it. He’s rich, he’s powerful and he’s totally deluded. As a romance reader, I could see that this man, for all his strength and commanding presence, was blind to what his true feelings were. He is cynical, jaded and every other word you can think of about a man who materially has it all. He can face his foes in the financial sector and win but when it comes to facing his own heart and emotions, he just doesn’t get it. He’s lost. And he has quite the way with words which of course if part of the problem. Men think one thing but what comes out of their mouths isn’t always interpreted the way they think it should. So typical of them and it ends up being the perfect ploy to get the story moving.

Jed is also a man of action. When he figures out that he was in the wrong, even if it was by accident, he sets out to prove to himself and Pheobe that he is still the man she loves, only better. He sure had his hands full.

Secondary characters were mostly brief but played key roles in affecting the plot direction or character interactions. The most important secondary role is Ben. He’s adorable, precocious, precious and very cute. The conflict is definitely internal based because its focus is on recapturing the trust between two people who really do love each other but they have serious inner hurdles to overcome.

The thing I appreciate the most about how Ms. Baird told this story was from Jed’s point of view. Getting into a man’s head when he realizes that it’s what he said that turned his sensual dream into a frigid disaster and understanding why he then does what he does was very helpful to me as a reader. It helped dilute his arrogance and high-handed manner because I understood the ‘why’ of it. And I could see his faults and strengths in equal measure. He’s a rich caveman with intelligence.

There is humor in this tale as well, and I giggled when she asked him about his penchant for sofas. When the happily ever after comes to fruition, the author provided a very vibrant and romantic ending with a delightful epilogue to sweeten the pot. The Sabbides Secret Baby is the perfect book to escape with when a reader wants to sit back and enjoy a romance with heart and believable emotion. I read this book in one sitting and I enjoyed every moment spent in the company of Jed and Pheobe.