The SEAL's Second Chance Baby

The SEAL's Second Chance Baby

Book - 2016
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In July 2016 HARLEQUIN AMERICAN ROMANCE will become HARLEQUIN WESTERN ROMANCE. Same great stories, new name! 

A SEAL's REDEMPTION... 

What Navy SEAL Marsh Langtree needs is to make sense of his life. What he gets is a near-fatal snakebite. If it weren't for Effie Washington, Marsh would be a goner. Her blue eyes and gorgeous smile make him thankful he's still breathing. But he shouldn't be flirting with a single mom... 

With rambunctious twins and an infant at home, Effie's love life has stalled. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Effie can tell Marsh is holding back, and she won't fall for another man who's not all-in. Will the possibility of a future with Effie finally force Marsh to forgive himself for the past?

Publisher: Toronto : Harlequin, 2016.
ISBN: 9780373756223
Branch Call Number: PB Altom
Characteristics: 216 pages ; 18 cm.

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FindingJane Jan 12, 2017

I thought that this was the modern world. I thought that this was the 21st century, where men and women could take over each other’s jobs and venues and not thought to be less for it. Heck, I saw a Doctor Who Christmas episode in which the woman went out as a reporter while the man remained behind as a stay-at-home nanny (okay, he was secretly acting as a superhero too but that’s beside the point).

But you wouldn’t know that from some romance novels. In this one, a woman’s deadbeat husband commits adultery, runs off with his new girlfriend, divorces his wife and abandons his twin boys and baby girl, leaving the little ones behind without alimony, child support or even so much as a phone call. So the woman is trying to rear her children with her grandmother’s help.

However, the children are a handful, especially one of the boys (whom most would peg as the evil twin). So what happens? She rescues a man who’s been snake-bit—a fact that gets referred to with decreasing frequency as the novel progresses—and Marsh takes the children in hand. The rebellious boy becomes less so and the other becomes less timid and all due to his masculine influence. That’s because every growing boy needs a father figure in his life, right?

There are plenty of single mothers out there who rear their children without paternal influence. Most women outlive their husbands and can be made widows quite early due to tragic circumstances. They find an inner fortitude and take care of the children without the presence of a surrogate father. So why do romance novels ignore these salient facts? Why are fictional single women with children supposedly in dire need of a husband to fill the gap? Who says that there’s a gap anyway?

Well, for starters, Effie’s grandmother and Marsh’s grandfather. The two septuagenarians are getting hitched (which was the real surprise—you don’t usually get older people kissing and canoodling in novels like this) and are bound and determined to drag their respective grandchildren to the altar as well. So the two aged folks nag and nag and nag the youngsters into getting married and having a double wedding. With each such passage of badgering, I wanted to scream and tear out my hair in frustration. It played into that old stereotype of married or marrying people who just want to see everyone around them as happy as they are and think that such happiness can only be achieved by two people getting yoked together.

The badgering of the elders got more and more wearisome as the novel continued until it was like a burr working its way beneath my skin. By the time they got to the epilogue, I was ready to chuck the book against the far wall.

Romance writers, here’s a tip: move into the 21st century. It’s so much better here. Women have not only gotten the vote; we’ve got WiFi, too.

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