Review of GOOD HUSBAND MATERIAL by Kara Lennox (see her website)
Harlequin American Romance #1195, January 2008
They'd been the hottest number in Camden High. Natalie Briggs and Josh Carlson had married soon afterwards--over the opposition of his parents. They'd known what they were doing, known they were destined to spend their lives together, known they could create a perfect family. But something had gone wrong--no matter how hard they'd tried, or how often, children didn't come. Eventually, the stresses took their toll and the marriage had broken apart. Natalie has moved on with her life, adopted a wonderful daughter, and built a career as a neo-natal ICU nurse. Still, she can't deny the heart-flutter she feels whenever she thinks of her ex-husband.
The high school reunion was supposed to be harmless. Natalie would get together with a few old friends, have a couple of margaritas, dance, and generally remember old times. Her best friend, Melissa, had promised that Josh wouldn't be there. Except Melissa had been playing matchmaker games and had instead made sure that Josh would be there. Putting Natalie and Josh in the same room is like putting a match to gasoline. Their old passion, that special feeling of first love, never really went away and the two don't even make it back to Josh's hotel room before making love. At least, Natalie thinks, they don't have to worry about birth control. Except...
Natalie has made her own life, and it's a life she enjoys. But she owes it to Josh to let him know he's going to be a father. She won't demand anything--a baby is a gift she never thought she'd receive. But Josh insists on being a part of the baby's life, demands that Natalie give up her life and move to Houston where he can see his child. If only, Natalie decides, he were half so anxious to see her.
Author Kara Lennox (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Lennox) spins a deeply emotional story of lost and rediscovered love. Who doesn't remember their first great high school love, their first real kiss, their first lovemaking? Who doesn't wonder how things would have worked out if they hadn't moved on? By providing an emotional justification for their break, Lennox leaves her characters in a situation where they never really could recover from their breakup, raising the emotional stakes even higher. Natalie's adoptive daughter, Mary, provides a reflection of that same high school angst and emotion from the other side, providing both another view and adding to the emotional conflict because Mary is used to having Natalie all to herself--and isn't about to let some man, especially a man who's hurt her mother before, waltz into their lives.
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