The Magnate's Marriage Demand
 

 
Baby Bequest
by Robyn Grady
(Silh. Desire #1908, $4.75, PG)  ISBN 978-0-373-76908-
***
Baby Bequest, part of the “Billionaires and Babies” series, is a smooth read but breaks no new ground.

Gage Cameron returns to Sydney, Australia after a twelve-year absence when his former flame, Jenna Darley, loses her father, sister and brother-in-law in a helicopter crash.  Jenna is shocked to find that her father willed everything to his wife Leann, Jenna’s stepmother. In addition, her sister named Jenna’s father and his wife as guardians to baby Meg, who is only three months old. Now Jenna, who makes a living as a freelance travel writer, plans to fight for the right to raise her little niece.

Gage was raised on Jenna’s family estate, as his mother was the housekeeper. He has never forgotten Jenna or how much she meant to him. Circumstances that Jenna knows nothing about forced Gage to leave twelve years ago, and his leaving broke her young heart. Since then, he’s become a billionaire real estate mogul, with lucrative holdings around the world. Jenna is wary and defensive, but she needs his help if she’s going to win the right to raise Meg, and Gage hatches a plan.

He and Jenna can marry.

Oh, it will be in name only, of course, and once a judge sees that Jenna is a fit mother for Meg, they can go their separate ways. However, Jenna and Gage may not be able to keep their hands off each other, and what will happen if they actually fall in love?

Baby Bequest offers nothing new, but it’s offered up in a clean, polished style.  American readers may puzzle over a few Aussie phrases, but Robyn Grady does an excellent job of presenting her characters as mature adults facing a very real dilemma.  No silly misunderstandings here, or forced conflicts that could be resolved with one honest conversation. Gage and Jenna truly care for each other, and their romance develops in a natural fashion.

The stepmother is patently nasty, and her cardboard characterization is really the only flaw in an otherwise very entertaining book. Leann is presented as a woman with no redeeming values whatsoever, and this stands out against the flawed but likable characters of Jenna and Gage.

On a side note, what’s with the whole “billionaire” thing in category romance these days?  It used to be that a good old millionaire was enough, but I guess inflation has pushed the titles to new heights. I wonder when we’ll see the first “Trillionaire Sheik” book. Or perhaps given the current state of the world economy, we’ll deflate back to millionaires. Frankly, I’d be relived to be done with the lot of them. 

Baby Bequest entertains, but doesn’t stand out. If you’re in the mood for a billionaire, you may find it more appealing. 

--Cathy Sova


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