Cinderella’s Secret Agent
by Ingrid Weaver
(Silh. Intimate Moments # 1076, $4.50, PG) ISBN# 0-373-27146-8
Del Rogers would be a dairy farmer in the Midwest if he had not contracted mumps. The disease rendered him sterile and his engagement to his childhood sweetheart collapsed when she left him for a man who could give her children.

Del then joined the SPEAR organization (featured in the “The Year of Loving Dangerously” series). He became the agency’s best sharpshooter; for eight years he has always hit his target and never taken a life. He is in New York on a stakeout to capture the elusive Simon, the archenemy of the agency head.

Living as he does in a hotel, Del finds a small restaurant nearby and becomes a regular. Maggie Rice is the pert, perky waitress whose hours generally coincide with Del’s. Maggie is very pregnant, having been seduced by a man who had failed to disclose his marriage and children.

One day while serving Del his meal, Maggie goes into the final stages of labor. Traffic being what it is in New York, the paramedics arrive shortly after Del delivers a baby girl in the restaurant owner’s office. Del had long admired Maggie’s courage from afar but had kept a healthy distance realizing that his career would not permit him to stay in New York.

Yet, participating in the birth of Maggie’s child moves him as few things have done. The baby captures his heart, and in the role of honorary uncle he steps up to help Maggie in his non-working hours. Bound by the secrecy required in his job, their relationship inevitably becomes threatened by Del’s work related deceptions.

Ingrid Weaver has created a love story that is long on the tenderness of gentle people experiencing the first six weeks of a child’s life and experiencing a growing attraction to each other. Her characters are well defined, well balanced and the humor injected is light and tasteful.

By contrast the suspense portion of this novel moves slowly until close to the end when it suddenly erupts and demonstrates Weaver’s talent for sustaining that type of tension as well. Other than setting the stage for the final book in this series, the book is sufficiently complete in itself to stand alone.

Some readers may find Maggie too sweet or too courageous, but it is refreshing not to suffer with the heroine as she wallows in her own miseries. Del’s emotional baggage is handled with a steady hand which makes Cinderella’s Secret Agent a very enjoyable read.

--Thea Davis

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