Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Review: Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Title: Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3)
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Rating: 4 Stars
I adore Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Discovering a reliable romance author, one who is guaranteed to pull you into her plot and make you bleed for her characters, all while delivering on the heat and simmer you expect, is utterly satisfying. Whenever I need to simply relax, just for a moment, and forget about the world around me--currently the odd limbo state of returning to college after winter break and not having any problem sets to work on--I can count on Susan Elizabeth Phillips. And she delivers, every time, without fail. Although, I will warn readers new to Phillips's work that don't expect to casually read a few chapters and leave this novel on your nightstand. Nope, it won't work. Phillips writes the type of characters and wayward situations that you toss and turn all night mulling about until, finally, you just have to give in and finish the novel at that exact moment. But, I guarantee, it is so, so worth it.
I don't tend to linger on romance novels or write a bulk of reviews centered around them. Most of them, at the end of the day, are the same, typical, all-too heart-warming storyline we want to live in. But Nobody's Baby But Mine was a hard sell, even for me, because despite having read and loved at least four--maybe five?--of Phillips's romances by now, this third book in her Chicago Stars series just seemed overly outlandish. I took a gamble on this one, both its cover and synopsis, and I'm here to convince you that you should disregard the utter craziness promised by this premise and just...go along with it.
Jane Darlington is a 34 year-old physicist--brilliant, passably attractive, and so-very-single. All Jane wants is to have a child. Unfortunately for her, her brilliant genes left her feeling isolated throughout her childhood and what she needs in a father is not a wealthy, lovable husband to take her of her or her child; no, Jane needs a remarkably stupid man to impregnate her in the hopes that her child's intelligence will be normal, not genius-level. When the opportunity presents itself for Jane to pretend to be a classy hooker and be delivered to Cal Bonner, a 36 year-old football star whose intelligence is easily hidden to the public eye, despite her reservations, Jane accepts. Cal's handsome good-looks and athletic prowess only confirm for Jane that he can't--not possibly--be smart and thus, she hopes to get impregnated on the night of Cal's birthday. Cal, who is truly a brilliant man and aging football player, is known to notoriously date only twenty-something darlings with curves and mile-long legs. Jane is the least likely woman to intrigue him but, against all odds, he can't stop thinking about her. Clearly, she wasn't a hooker--but what did she want? When Cal discovers Jane's plan, his old-fashioned roots compel him to marry her and take her to Salvation, North Carolina where he hopes the two can lay low, avoid his family, and wait until the child is born before securing a divorce. But Jane is more than a match for Cal and love is waiting just around the corner...if only they wouldn't let their pride get in the way.
I always feel incredibly cheesy writing a synopsis for a romance novel but, it is what it is. And Nobody's Baby But Mine is hilarious. As odd and outlandish as its premise sounds, it is equally easy to read and the situations--and dialogue!--simply demand that you laugh out loud. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a talent for peeling back layers to her characters and revealing their backstories, innermost secrets, and deepest fears in such a way that you grow to like--and care--for these characters immensely. I didn't think I'd fall for Jane and Cal quite so hard when this novel began but far before I had even reached the mid-way mark, I found myself in love with Cal, whose boisterous voice and penchant for picking a fight displayed his true emotions and Jane, whose backbone was ready to meet every one of Cal's challenges. Their interactions in Salvation are amusing and my eyes were riveted to the page, waiting to see just how their relationship would develop.
Nobody's Baby But Mine features a large cast of family members who also stole my heart and the marriage of Cal's parents has its own surprising, and extremely touching, storyline as well which compliments that of Cal and Jane's perfectly. I love an intelligent, forward-thinking, strong-willing protagonist and I adore a grouchy man who is caring and sweet beneath the layers of burr. I can't decide on a favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel because all of her books are just so good and equally satisfying so if you've enjoyed her in the past or plan to in the future, Nobody's Baby But Mine is not one to miss out.