by Karen Wiesner, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-050-9
I debated with myself for a while about whether I should read, much less review, Karen Wiesner's Baby, Baby. You see, this is an inspirational romance and in the past I have a very hard time identifying with the principles of the main characters in inspirational romances. Maybe I was just unlucky, but most of those inspirational romances that I'd attempted to read in the past make my blood boil, especially those where the hero was free to act like an asshole as he judged and condemned a perpetually guilt-ridden and self-loathing "sinner" heroine whose sin would always turned out to be ridiculously minor for the amount of crap everyone gave her. Baby, Baby however turns out to be very different from those creepy inspirational romances.
In this one, the Wolfe family could use more money, especially with the oldest kid about to go off to college, but husband Robert is counting on the Lord promoting him to meet the bottom line. Wife Tamara would love to turn her hobby of creating gift baskets that she makes from scratch into a side business, but instead of seeing this as a sensible solution to their problems, Robert instead worries that any success on the business front will cause Tamara to neglect her responsibilities to the kids and to him. Robert is a man's man, after all. See how he insists that it is his sole responsibility to be the breadwinner, a responsibility that he's not going to share?
Fortunately for my blood pressure, Ms Wiesner's position in this story is that Robert is not absolutely correct. In fact, Tamara will not meekly submit to the husband like a timid little doormat but instead correctly views Robert's behavior as a lack of trust on his part on her ability to play her role as a wife and mother. While I can't say I'm fond of Robert even towards the end as he's such a wuss, constantly moping and whining while the wife is trying hard to get him to pull his act together, I like Tamara and the secondary characters in this story. They are smart and reasonable characters. Thanks to them, the story turns out to be a well-written and even heartwarming read. I personally feel that the author wraps things up too conveniently for the Wolfes in the end, but that's just a small quibble.
I am not exactly a religious person but I find Baby, Baby a pleasant read nonetheless. This is mostly I can easily accept the actions of the main characters and the message behind the story. I can't say how this one will work for a reader of inspirational romances since I am not one of them, but I can say however that I do like this one and who knows, if you are like me, you may just do so too.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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