Tuesday, December 29, 2009

YotC Review: Baby Makes Three

Title: Baby Makes Three
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Mitchells of Riverview Inn/Book 1
Published: Harlequin/
December 2007
Source: Library/ebook

Year of the Category Challenge

From the author's website ~

Alice Mitchell has seen better days. But that was before the heartbreak of infertility, divorce and losing her trendy New York restaurant. Then, after five long years, her ex-husband reappears in her life. Gabe needs a chef. Alice needs a job. The attraction between them is still undeniable—and just as impossible. Even if sparks fly again, she can't give him what they once wanted more than anything: a baby.

Creating a family, however, doesn't always mean creating a child… Sometimes it just means allowing love to survive. But will they realize that before it's too late—a second time?

While this may be the last book for the Year of the Category Challenge, it certainly won't be the last category I'll read. Going into the challenge I had thought I would read some of the earlier works of authors whose full length books I've enjoyed - Suzanne Brockmann, Nalini Singh and Jessica Bird to name a few. But what happened is that I tried some new to me authors who write category romances and found them quickly added to my "need to read" list. I really never thought I would enjoy the shorter format as much as I do. It was truly a pleasant surprise! Thank you KMont for hosting the challenge and giving me some wonderful reads and more to look forward to!

The cover ~ I think it's a pretty cover. I like the colors and thankfully there's no baby in the clouds, grinning down at them or something. You know how silly some of the Harlequin covers can be. :)

Molly O'Keefe is a new author to me who writes complex characters with real life problems. Baby Makes Three was not a light, easy read. It was a quick read because I had a hard time putting it down, or in this case, closing the laptop.

This is an emotional story dealing with loss, grief and alcoholism. The pain Alice feels comes off the page and hits you right in the face. She's such a mess both emotionally and physically. Alice has fallen off into the deep end and grabs hold of the life preserver Gabe throws her. I just wasn't sure if she could hang on. Her drinking I thought was realistic in that many people turn to alcohol or drugs for the temporary escape they offer. Alice is set in her less than stellar job and drinking herself into oblivion. It's what she wants because if she dares to want more she believes it will only lead to more pain and disappointment.

Gabe has been trying to get his life back on track ever since his divorce five years ago. He has undertaken the enormous task of opening an inn, complete with a restaurant and wedding facilities. His father and brother are there to help him but he is having a hard time finding a chef. All roads lead home or in Gabe's case back to Alice. He finds her working at a chain restaurant and coming off a hangover. Not a pretty sight. Gabe needs a chef and he is desperate enough to offer the job to Alice. He is also stubborn in his determination that he will keep their relationship professional. As far as he's concerned it will be strictly boss and employee. And believe me, Gabe can be very stubborn! There were times when I wished he had given in a bit quicker to his feelings for Alice, had a little bit more compassion towards her.

When Alice sees Gabe again she wants nothing to do with him. Seeing him makes all the pain and loss fresh. But she's desperate and decides to take Gabe up on his offer of becoming the chef for the inn. It's only temporary and Alice figures she can handle being around Gabe for a couple of months. Plus, she doesn't have much choice, she has to work or she'll lose her home.

What surprised me about this book is how much I got into it. Into the characters' emotions and actions. It's not a happy/light book. There were some funny and light moments, mostly between the men. I got some of that smart ass male banter that I enjoy but overall the story dealt with some serious issues.

The one problem I did have is that Alice is portrayed as having what I would consider a serious drinking problem when Gabe finds her. She basically works and then drinks until she's blind drunk. Then gets up and goes to work hung over. The impression I got was that the drinking was part of her daily life, you could say she practically scheduled it in. Once she gets to the inn she is still drinking and this causes problems. Then she stops. And that's it. There's mention of some cravings for alcohol but it's minimal. And it's not like there isn't booze around, it's a restaurant and the guys drink beer so Alice certainly had access. Maybe it was the short format and the author didn't have enough pages to devote to a more in depth look at the effects of stopping cold. Whatever the reason, I was expecting the alcohol to play a larger role in Alice's relationship with Gabe.

So while this wasn't a light read or a holiday one for that matter, I found myself enjoying getting to know these flawed people. There is a sub-plot with Gabe's brother Max. He was shot and is still recovery from it emotionally. And that's about all we know. He's likable enough but distant. His story is in the second book, A Man Worth Keeping. I know I'll be reading more from Molly O'Keefe. You can find out about her books on her website.

Rating: A-


  1. I don't own this book? How do I know own this book? Must. Remedy. That.

    Great review. I thank you, although I'm not sure my TBR Mountain Range does :)

  2. Know? Not. How do I NOT own this book. Blogger really needs an edit comment feature.

  3. Hmmm, this one sounds really familiar... Glad you enjoyed it :D

  4. Wendy ~ LOL I knew what you meant. I can't believe I actually read a Harlequin that you don't own. Your love of the Harlequin is notorious. :)

    nath ~ if you haven't read it you should give it a try. :)

  5. I remember reading this one and thinking it was a good one. Good review, Leslie!

    And laughing that there's a HSR that Wendy doesn't own :)

  6. Lori ~ thanks! I'm guessing there's a few Wendy doesn't have. LOL

  7. Leslie, I'm so glad you're enjoying category romances. I've such a soft spot for them. :)

    I enjoy the second chance at love story, always... and one with a heavier subject is always great to read too -- it makes for a nice change.

    Thanks for the review, the recommendation & all the cat/romances you've added to my TBR pile this year. :)

  8. Hils – I’ve probably added 100 category books to the tbr pile this past year. So you’re not alone in the adding. :)