BABY BY THE BOOK by KARA LENNOX (see her website)
AMERICAN BABY: HARLEQUIN AMERICAN ROMANCE #893
Harlequin, October 2001
Dr. Rand Barclay is just about to get his life in order. His sister has finally moved out, baby and all, and he'll have his house to himself--and his office an office again instead of a nursery. All he needs is a decent carpenter to put in the bookshelves he needs. Once he does that, he's sure he'll have no problems getting to work on his book. Of course he doesn't count on the carpenter being a beautiful woman, or being pregnant, or having her baby in the middle of the job. Rand isn't ready for all of this, but he gets it anyway and, strangely, he's not so sure he doesn't like it.
Susan Kilgore needs this job. Nobody wants to hire a carpenter who looks like she's about to pop a baby, and with the bills piled up after her father's recent death, not to mention the doctor bills from her pregnancy, she'll be in trouble if she doesn't do Rand's bookshelves and do a bang-up job as well. She can do Rand's shelves, but what she can't do is fall in love with Rand. Her baby's father may have disappeared, but she knows she owes him a chance--a chance to be a father and, if he wants, to be with Susan.
When the baby arrives early and Susan is forced to move in with Rand, things get complicated in a hurry. Susan knows what she needs to do, but Rand is awful distracting and definitely better father material than the missing Gary could ever be. When the baby is born, Rand becomes ever more protective. Worse, he seems to be falling for both Susan and the baby. It's a bad idea for both of them, but Susan has a hard time telling Rand to stop.
Once again, Kara Lennox (see BooksForABuck.com reviews of other novels by this author) has written a wonderful and heartwarming story. The very thing that Rand finds most attractive about Susan, her loyalty, stands in the way of his ever winning her heart. Rand himself is a wonderful character with his own set of issues--issues that Susan could help him come to terms with if only she dared, and if only he could bring up the nerve to ask. With a fine list of supporting characters (Rand's friend Clark is a classic), Lennox has written a gem.
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