Baby Our Baby by Patricia Thayer
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1225, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-24225-5
****
Baby, Our Baby is the February installment of the "That's my Baby" series. Jake Hawkins has been involved in a horrible car accident, and has been in a coma for several months. Ali Pierce has been visiting him faithfully, and telling him that he must come out of the coma for a very important reason: To meet the daughter he didn't know he had. He hears her, and comes out of the coma.

Eighteen months earlier, Jake had been left at the altar by Ali's twin sister Darcie, who ran off to seek her fame in a modeling career. Ali has long loved Jake from afar. She knows that he was devastated by Darcie's actions, and goes to check on him. One thing leads to another, and they share a night of passionate love. Jake returns to his assignment in the army, never knowing that he has conceived a child with Ali. Ali has been raising the child alone, with assistance from her Aunt June.

Jake comes out of the coma, wanting to meet his daughter, and build a relationship with her. He requires an extensive recovery period to heal from his injuries, and in order to be close to daughter Joanie, he rents a room in Aunt June and Ali's home. While getting to know his daughter, he also gets to know the mother of his child. Jake likes what he sees, and wants to further the relationship, and ultimately become a family. Darcie was the love of his youth, but he can now see that Ali is the woman who holds his heart.

Ali has always been the shy one, living in the shadow of her more flamboyant twin. She'd loved Jake since her teen years, but he'd never seen her as anything more than Darcie's sister prior to that one night of passion. As a result, she's afraid that Jake's feelings are based more on obligation than affection, and she's hesitant to risk her heart. Additionally, she's never told Darcie (or anyone else) who fathered her child how will Darcie and other family members react when they find out?

Jake must also deal with the fact that his injuries have ended his military career. He wants to find a way to support his new family, but is reluctant to join the family business, as he does not get along with his father. He has to find a way to get past his resentment before it destroys his chance to make a family with Ali.

Baby, Our Baby is a very sweet book. I enjoyed it immensely. The characters were real, well drawn, and likable. The situations were realistic, often tender, and the writing style pulled me into the story from the first page. This was the first book that I have read of Ms. Thayer's. It won't be the last.

--Diane Grayson


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