Lucian Sinclair has no intention of getting married. He enjoys women and likes the variety available. He likes kids, but he has lots of family and lots of kids around so that he can play adoring uncle. He likes his work in construction and is excited about the dream house he is building. The only thing bothering him lately is the blank spot in his memory after his brother Gabrielís wedding. He remembers giving the wedding toast and then nothing else until waking up in the hospital. He hopes those lost days will return.
Raina Sarbanes is on her way to attend her best friendís baby shower. It has been fourteen months since she attended Melanie and Gabrielís wedding and while she is excited to see her best friend, she is dreading seeing Lucian. She and Lucian had fallen into each otherís arms after the wedding and spent a glorious night. The problem was that the next morning when she awoke, he was gone. She caught her plane and left for Italy only to discover that she was pregnant. When she called Lucian to tell him and he did not even recognize her name, she had disconnected the call and decided to have the baby on her own. With this visit, she knows she has to tell him, but isnít sure her heart can stand it. When Lucian is the one who arrives at the airport to pick her up, the fun begins.
Thus begins a story that includes both amnesia, which causes the ďBig Misunderstanding,Ē and a secret baby. What saves it and makes it a decent read is McCauleyís snappy dialogue. Lucian is a fun and decent guy. His interactions with his family are crisp and warm. Anyone who has been following this series will get to catch up with other members of the family.
Raina is a prickly character. Even knowing that her past has made her cautious, her stubborness about not telling Lucian the truth on a number of levels gets a little irritating. Iím all for a woman standing her ground with a guy if she thinks his intentions and motivations are suspect, but Raina drags it out too long.
McCauley uses a couple of devices to move the story quickly. The first is the prologue that shows Lucian slipping out of bed, intending to return to Raina with breakfast and flowers. The note he leaves falls behind the bed and he skids on an icy road resulting in a crash. The other instance has a switched-on baby monitor inform all of Lucianís family that baby Emma is his at the same time that he hears it. In such a short book, these work pretty well, but if you are a reader who prefers to figure out a problem with little clues throughout the story, these will be too obvious for you.
While there is nothing particularly new here, Sinclairís Surprise Baby is a quick and mostly pleasant read.
--B. Kathy Leitle