Breaking the Rules

Duets 43

Flirting With Danger

Rules of Engagment

The Biological Bond by Jamie Denton
(Harl. American #892, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-16892-6
Rebecca Martinson was seventeen and scared when she was coerced into giving her baby up for adoption. Fourteen years later, her daughterís adoptive father, Sam Winslow, a single dad, comes to the now successful family law attorney with a request. His daughter Melanie, suffers from aplastic anemia and is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Would Rebecca be willing to be tested to see if she is a compatible match?

This sounded like a potentially absorbing plot, but right from the start I had problems with the characters - Sam, in particular. I was put off by him in the very first scene. Sam comes to Rebecca to talk her into helping Melanie. Well, if he showed up at my door, Iíd be tempted to boot him right back out. Obviously, Sam has never heard the old saying you catch more flies than honey. Instead of nicely talking Rebecca into helping, he treats her with vaguely veiled disgust.

But Rebecca is made of sterner stuff than I. She agrees to be the donor, but only on the condition that she is allowed to meet Melanie. Not as her birth mother, but simply as a friend of Samís. Since Samís backís against a wall, he reluctantly agrees. But once the procedure is over, he assures her he will never let her see his daughter again.

Rebecca is willing to do whatever is necessary to finally meet the child that was taken from her at birth. So she agrees to Samís terms and travels from her home in Los Angeles to North Dakota to undergo the procedure.

All goes well and during Melanieís recuperation, Sam and Rebecca become close. Heís realized that Rebecca has never intended to do anything to harm his relationship with Melanie. But what he doesnít know is that Rebecca has a secret concerning Melanieís birth that could well break up his family.

Rebecca has no choice but to leave the man sheís growing to love and the girl she can never acknowledge as her daughter.

Once Sam settled down a bit and I started to like him, Rebecca suddenly contracted a case of the stupids. It was difficult to reconcile Rebecca, the capable, intelligent Los Angeles attorney with North Dakota Rebecca, who canít even cook a simple piece of meat without setting the kitchen on fire.

However, the biggest problem was that I just couldnít see these two people ending up together. There was simply no spark. Iíll go along with just about anything an author will put a couple through if Iím assured theyíre perfect for one another. I just didnít get that feeling here.

Although the relationship between Sam and Rebecca didnít work for me, I did enjoy author Jamie Dentonís clear, concise style of writing. Thereís nothing extraneous to drag the story down. While The Biological Bond wasnít the perfect read for me, readers interested in stories concerning adoption might want to give it a try.

--Karen Lynch

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