Christmas Due Date
by Moyra Tarling
(Silh. Romance #1629, $3.99, G) ISBN 0-373-19629-6
***
Most romance stories require some suspension of belief simply to aid in the coincidences that bring two people together. Christmas Due Date requires a little bit more than that. If you can live with these circumstances, enjoyment is on the way.

Eve Darling is nine months pregnant and due on Christmas Day. Her pregnancy is a result of a not-so-spectacular love affair with a con man that took her savings, swindled several other townspeople and is on the lam from the police. Good riddance! Eve is now quietly excited about her chance at motherhood, and with the help and support of her boss and friends, she thinks she can make it.

Her boss, David Kingston, gets killed in an automobile accident. He leaves half his inheritance, which includes a ski resort, hotel and restaurant, to Eve and his adopted brother. Mac Kingston comes to British Columbia expecting to sell off the property and move on with his life. Now things are complicated with a co-inheritor, and a pregnant one at that. Things become further complicated when Mac is attracted to this woman. Complex is too soft a word when the two are stranded at a cabin in the mountains and Eve gives birth. Mac is the only one there to serve as her mid-wife.

Eve is wary of men due to her attraction to the obviously wrong kind of man. She just wants to run the resort, and bring Davidís dream of expanding it with a golf course to life. Eve is a little naÔve and is portrayed as competent in her job, but easily flustered. And even this is inconsistent. During the birth, Eve seems cool and composed while rightfully scared. Yet when little Hope gets a fever, she completely panics and starts to fall apart.

Mac is the traditional tortured hero and has little to make him stand out. He is sensitive to Eve and clearly shows his humanity during the birth and the illness. Yet, he is supposedly a hard-nosed man, who ditched his brother when their parents died because he couldnít handle the emotion. He has vowed to keep his emotional distance from everyone because if he cares, they will go away, just like everyone in his past. He fights his feelings and vacillates between wanting to sell his share and his excitement over Davidís plans.

Now the suspension of belief comes into play during the birth, which is amazingly quick and easy for a first birth. Granted, details are not given, but for two people who profess to know nothing, it is pretty astonishing. There are plenty of other places in the story where details are skimmed and things just seem too easy.

Fortunately, the story moves quickly and despite my misgivings with the conventional nature of the plot, I did like both Eve and Mac. This made it easy to enjoy their story.

View Christmas Due Date as a simple, rose-colored glasses holiday romance and youíll enjoy their story too.

--Shirley Lyons


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