From the moment Daisy Parker, the heroine of Baby Don't Go, strode into Chapter One wearing a wool blazer, pleated skirt, lace-up boots and scrunch socks, I knew she was my kind of gal. I've enjoyed all of Susan Andersen's Avon releases, but Daisy has to be my favorite heroine. She may not know how to pick the right shade of lipstick, but she can definitely kick some butt.
A former policewoman, Daisy is now the head of her own struggling security firm. But she's ready to turn her latest prospective client down, even if he does bring the promise of a healthy retainer with him. Nine years ago, 19-year old Daisy surrendered her virginity and her illusions to Nick Coltrane. Daisy's mother and Nick's father were married briefly, but Daisy never fit in with the Coltrane wealth and San Francisco social scene. When the marriage soured, Nick's father used the tabloid press to discredit Daisy's mother. But a dazzled Daisy forgot her antipathy towards the Coltranes at the wedding of Nick's sister. Nick swept her off her feet, across the dance floor, and into bed. Then he ran like hell.
Now Nick is in trouble, and he needs Daisy to protect his handsome face from an influential businessman who is sending some serious goon power after Nick to strong arm him into surrendering an incriminating photograph. Daisy knows that being Nick's bodyguard is a very bad idea, but she needs the money. Besides, she is convinced that she can play it cool so that Nick will never suspect how much their one night together meant to her. But then she realizes she has underestimated how strongly she is still attracted to the "golden-skinned god."
Nick hasn't quite told Daisy the entire truth about why he is in trouble, but boy will she be pissed if she finds out. Which he hopes will never happen, because he knows that he was a jerk nine years ago and is dying for another chance with this strong-willed, stubborn woman.
The fun in Baby Don't Go comes from watching the sparks fly between Daisy and Nick. Andersen excels at writing snappy dialogue and screwball comedy scenes. Andersen also specializes in long, juicy love scenes that feature lots of action, talking and humor as well. Ten pages of "pouting nipples" and "turgid members" would not interest me, but ten pages of Daisy and Nick romping in the sack were very entertaining.
Don't read this novel if you're looking for suspense and danger. The threat to Nick's life is never taken very seriously, and the goons, known only as Blunt Face and No-Neck, are remarkably inept. They don't stand a chance against Daisy. I love a heroine who can throw 200 pounds of gangster across the room.
As much as I liked Daisy, I was less impressed with Nick Coltrane. I have a hard time warming up to fabulously handsome scions of wealthy families who are just a bit too suave for their own good. If you don't mind a man who oozes charm and calls his woman Cupcake, Blondie and Sweetpea, then you might find Nick a bit more engaging than I did. He's definitely no Tortured Hero. And I have no doubt that Daisy will keep him in line. He doesn't stand a chance either.
Baby Don't Go continues Susan Andersen's winning streak. I must admit, however, that I'm ready for some different titles, after Be My Baby, Baby I'm Yours, and this novel. I'm starting to confuse my "Baby's." Aren't triplets enough?
N.B.: Exposure, Andersen's 1996 novel (reviewed by TRR Editor Dede Anderson), was recently re-released by Zebra. Hopefully that publisher will come to its senses and re-release her other out-of-print novels as well.