Some Kind Of Wonderful
by Barbara Freethy, contemporary (2001)
Avon, $6.50, ISBN 0-380-81553-2


Oh God, I'm going to get flamed by Barbara Freethy fans, I just knew it. I really tried to like Some Kind Of Wonderful, but I just don't understand it. There's nothing a babysitter and taking up time to queue up for Social Welfare can't fix in this story. I just don't get why the main characters don't think of these sort of things, instead putting me through their unnecessary jumping through hoops.

Matt Winters is an investigative reporter with a nose for hard-hitting news, but he is at loss when he finds a baby left at his doorstep. Err... is it his? No, turns out it's his long-estranged sister Sarah's. Matt turns to his suspicious but warm-hearted neighbor Caitlyn Devereaux for help with the baby while trying to unravel Sarah's mysterious appearance/disappearance.

Meanwhile, Sarah meets a kind, warm-hearted priest who offers her hope, but dare she take it?

Yes, this is a family story with heartwarming love and stuff, or at least it's supposed to be one. But the Winters siblings, both Matt and Sarah, are two of the most vexing, irritating, whiny, and inconsiderate characters I've ever encountered.

Matt, for instance, expects Caitlyn to drop her life and everything just to take care of the baby for him. The first time she does that, she tells him she has an important deadline (Cait runs a wedding gown store and she needs to fix a gown ASAP), but Matt decides it's better to let her sleep (it must be tiring looking after the baby), and hence causes her to be in deep trouble with her client. And he keeps doing this, expecting Caitlyn to wait hand and foot on his baby. His reasoning? "You can't leave me alone with this baby!"

Matt, here's fifty bucks. Please, go hire a babysitter. You need phone numbers too? And you call yourself a reporter?

And shame for Caitlyn for letting a stranger walk in and take over her life without even her standing up for her own space and privacy. Here, Cait, wash my car. While you're at it, walk my dog (here's the pooper-scooper).

As for Sarah? Jeez, first she has to dump her baby with her brother with no intention of collecting it back (okay, she feels guilty, but she has no intention to, no matter how she tries to justify things to herself). I can see she shares her take-'em-for-granted selfish genes with her brother. She whines. Oh, the priest is so nice to her, but she is not worthy! She can't! She's so pathetic! She's right on that last one. See that queue for the homeless, Sarah? There, there, you can get some hot warm soup and maybe a bed. Then tomorrow we can send you to some lab where you can undergo excruciating lab tests for money. Maybe we can sell your kidney to somebody too.

The entire premise of Some Kind Of Wonderful is so irritating because there's no reason why the Winters have to be so clingy, needy, and whiny. Babysitter. Pick up a phone. Social services. Anything but to infect themselves on some unsuspecting, codependent stranger for some Whine N' Dine session.

Am I being too picky? Well, I just don't have patience for whining, clingy, passive fools, and Some Kind Of Wonderful has two too many of them. As the main stars too. Ugh.

Rating: 49


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