|The heiress in The Heiress’s Baby is Atlanta “Lannie” Sheridan, the daughter of the Sheridan Hotels owner. Lannie has had every benefit. She went to Harvard, where she decided an MBA was not her choice of degrees. She was engaged to the right kind of guy, but called off the wedding just weeks before the nuptials. After each decision, Lannie went off around the world, spending time in London and other cities. Her longest commitment was a year in Thailand in the Peace Corps.
She just recently has returned from mountain climbing in Turkey where her party was threatened by kidnapping. Lannie is tired and still recuperating physically. Her mom and dad support her, yet are disappointed in her bailing time after time. Her dad wants her to assume her role as his executive and Lannie is now willing to give in a little. She has been assigned to the Sheridan Hotel in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. This area has always been one of her favorites, primarily due to the hills she can climb and the solitude she so often craves.
Nate Ridgeway is the current acting manager and an up-and-coming executive in the Sheridan chain. He loves this area of New York and even has plans to build a log cabin and small inn on some land he purchased. He loves his job and is less than thrilled when Bill Sheridan announces that he is to “train” his daughter to take over the resort. Bill assures Nate that he has another prime location for Nate to manage once he has Lannie fully trained. He suggests Nate see this as an opportunity to prove himself.
Nate has some family issues too. His mother is dependent on him to solve many of her problems after she makes bad choices. Nate has bailed her out both emotionally and financially more times than he can count. His 21-year-old half-sister seems to be following in his mother’s path. Nate gets angry but feels he can do nothing less than be there for them since he is their only male relative and feels responsible for them.
Lannie and Nate are complete opposites in many ways. Lannie is often impulsive and sizes up people and situations quickly. She likes taking risks and while she was scared in Turkey, she also knows that life is worth living and worth living with everything she has. Nate is a thinker and a planner. He is organized and likes to have things strategically laid out before he takes steps. He has built the hotel into one of the best and his staff love working for him. He and Lannie find each other attractive but both recognize the pitfalls of acting on that attraction. Regardless, the inevitable happens.
The story follows Nate and Lannie as they explore their relationship, deal with their families and ultimately deal with an unexpected pregnancy. The story runs a parallel track – we first meet the couple in August in San Diego when they are just discovering the pregnancy. Then we are treated to the story of their actual meeting in Albany in June. The story goes back and forth between the two settings and two time frames until finally catching up for the ending. I found this very distracting and it took quite a bit to get used to this tactic.
Lannie and Nate are difficult people to like due to their individual issues. The story was told from both perspectives and we were given glimpses of not only how they saw themselves, but how they viewed the other person. Neither liked the other completely, although when they were together they jelled. This back and forth made the story seem like a tennis match. Lannie’s thoughts seemed to reflect the sentiment “I love you when we are hiking but I dislike you when you don’t stand up to your family.” Meanwhile, Nate had similar thoughts of “I love you when I am with you but resent that you can’t seem to stand and accept responsibility for anything when the going gets rough.” As a reader, I felt like I was in the middle of a messy fight that could have no real happy ending.
The author ultimately does a good job of coming around with her HEA and it was actually satisfying. But the journey to get there was bumpy and for that The Heiress’s Baby gets no more than a satisfactory rating.