About That Man
by Sherryl Woods, contemporary (2001)
MIRA, $6.50, ISBN 1-55166-815-7
Daisy Spencer, 30, biological clock this close to detonation, no life, no date, no sex, and worse, barren. Her no-good ex dumped her when he realized she was barren, so now Daisy spends her free time playing the same old sad country song broken record. But one time, she finds an orphan, 10-year old Tommy, trying to steal her car. Her eyes light up - babybabybabybabybabybaby! Here is baby! Baby for Daisy! Ooohhhh! Cuuuuttteee! Daisy grabs the boy who must be so afraid of his life at that very moment.
Okay, I'm exaggerating. But Daisy sees Tommy as her one chance at motherhood and she rushes to the court to have Tommy made her foster child. But Tommy has an uncle, Walker Ames, who doesn't know Tommy exists until now. He reluctantly goes to Trinity Harbor (Daisy's hometown) to see what the brat looks like, and, well, he sees Daisy and is a goner. Daisy doesn't want to give up Tommy. Walker wants Daisy and Tommy, but Daisy thinks he's a loser daddy material. Tommy looks at me and begs me to save him from these two weirdos.
Okay, all the usual staple "Extended Category Romance" stuff is here: Walker is a burned-out cop, Daisy is a small-town brown mouse who feels that life's most noble goal is motherhood (tell me again five years down the road when Tommy starts dating and thinking of joining a rock band), Tommy is the pouting misunderstood brat (all he needs is lots of hugs and lots of love, muah muah muah!). Since this is a small-town, we also have Daisy's annoyingly dense father (but, you know, "DaddyNMe4eva!!!"), the usual gossips, the nice vicar...
Oh, Daisy and Walker are nice people. They talk. They try to talk and make things okay for Tommy. About That Man is a nice story. It presses on all my comfort snooze button - safe, predictable, readable, and totally unremarkable. It moves like it should, the characters talk and do things like they should (ma, I'm becoming psychic, whoopee!), and it's all so nice. Warm. Comfortable. Reading this book gives me this pleasant warm feel of security and safety, so much that I smile and my eyes go heavier and heavier and... zzzzz... (Hello, Hugh Jackman - you look happy to see me darlin'...)
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