Debra Salonen's latest offers 297 pages filled with intrigue, good plotting,
and great characters. You'll have a hard time putting this book down once you
crack it open.
Lawrence "Ren" Bishop is a rising star in politics. Two years ago he spent
the night with a mysterious woman who called herself "Jewel" and wants to
make certain said night won't come back to haunt him at reelection time. Ren
hires his PI friend Bo to find Jewel and ascertain whether or not she's a
potential blackmail threat. When Bo returns with the news that Jewel's real
name is Julia and that she was killed in a boating accident, Ren feels
saddened rather than relieved. His sadness then turns to shock when Bo
announces that Julia gave birth to a son named Brady roughly nine months to
the day of their fling...
Bookstore owner Sara Carsten has been raising her nephew Brady since her
sister and brother-in-law were tragically killed. She thinks nothing of it
when a man named Bo and his handsome friend Ren start hanging around her
bookstore. Sara finds her thoughts turning more and more to Ren as the days
progress, so naturally she is devastated when he confesses who he is and why
he sought her out to begin with. Ren might be able to do things to her heart
that she hadn't thought possible, but there was no way on earth she is
giving up Brady without a fight...
The most refreshing aspect of His Daddy's Eyes is the three-dimensionality of
the characters. All of the characters, whether primary or secondary, possess
both good and bad qualities. There are no evil ex-mistresses capable of
giving Cruella DeVil a run for her money, nor are there any do-gooding saints
that make your teeth ache with their syrupy sweet perfection. Ren starts out
on the shallow, "looks are everything" side, but grows deeper and more
lovable with each turn of the page. Sara has a moderately checkered past, but
becomes exactly the woman she wants to be. The secondary characters (a PI and
two prostitutes) all have their own downfalls and successes, making them
well-rounded people we can all relate to.
The plot and subplots of His Daddy's Eyes are also phenomenally well penned.
All of Salonen's characters are dealing with several emotional issues at
once, keeping the book fast paced and attention grabbing with their
individual and intertwining stories. At least one follow-up book is sure to
come out of this novel, most likely featuring Bo the private eye and Claudie
the prostitute. (That oughta be a good one!)
The only aspect of this book that could have been slightly better is the
heroine herself. She starts out on the feisty side (which is great), but
begins to fade into the woodwork somewhat against the colorful hero and
secondary characters toward the book's end. Nevertheless, Sara is still a
likable protagonist and His Daddy's Eyes is, without a doubt, the best novel
I've read to date from Harlequin's Superromance line.