Review of FROM FRIEND TO FATHER by Tracy Wolff (see her website)
Harlequin SuperRomance #1568, June 2009
Sarah is used to being abandoned. Her father abandoned her. Her husband abandoned her when she got pregnant, and now her best friend is dead in a car accident. Which is bad enough except Sarah is carrying the baby her friend Vanessa had so desperately wanted...fathered by Vanessa's husband, sexy Reece. Giving up the baby would have been hard enough if Vanessa had still been alive, but with her dead, it'll be doubly hard. Except, Reece doesn't come around, doesn't answer her calls, doesn't seem interested until Sarah is fully bonded with her beautiful baby.
His wife's death leaves Reece devastated. His most important job in the world was to protect her and he failed. He retreats into work, into himself, for months. Even when he comes out of his funk, he can't get over Vanessa's death, can't get over thinking that Sarah is Vanessa's friend and his attraction to her some sort of betrayal. He's already abandoned Sarah and his baby, but he swears he won't do it again...until he does.
Author Tracy Wolff creates a compelling conflict between the woman who's certain she'll be abandoned and a man who seems intent on abandoning her again and again. I liked Sarah, although I think she could have been a little more uncertain rather than confident she would be abandoned. Reece, on the other hand, is not especially sympathetic. He lives down to Sarah's lowest expectations so completely that I had a hard time buying the resolution. After all, what, exactly, has he done that makes us confident that he won't abandon Sarah one more time? That he keeps coming back after he runs away is certainly better than staying running, but he did run.
Wolff's polished writing, strong sensual scenes, and her sympathetic handling of the overwhelmed Sarah are the story's strong points. Reece, with his anger and his tendency to run at the slightest pretext weakens the story.
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