The Baby’s Guardian by Delores Fossen

the baby's guardianTitle: The Baby’s Guardian

Author: Delores Fossen

Mills & Boon imprint: Intrigue

Year of publication: 2010

The heroine: Sabrina Carr, head of an organisation that reunites adoptive and foster children with their biological families

The hero: Police captain Shaw Tolbert

The blurb: As if being eight months pregnant wasn’t stressful enough! In the past twenty-four hours Sabrina Carr had been shot at, kidnapped and held hostage.

That’s when hot Texas cop Shaw Tolbert came to her rescue. As the surrogate mother to his child, Sabrina couldn’t help her attraction to Shaw… or the kiss that told her she meant more to him than she ever realized. How could she keep her cool when things were so hot?

Standalone or series: Book one in the Texas Maternity: Labor and Delivery series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: This is one of the strangest romances I’ve ever read. Eleven months before this book opens, Shaw Tolbert’s wife, Fay, commits suicide. She had battled depression and came off her medication because she was trying to harvest eggs to have a baby with Shaw. Her best friend, Sabrina, had agreed to be their surrogate. However, Fay discovered her eggs weren’t viable, so Sabrina also agreed to be an egg donor. Having been off her medication for too long and depressed at failing to give her husband a child, she overdosed.

Three months after her death, Sabrina somehow talked Shaw into going ahead with the pregnancy, and she was inseminated. In the book, Shaw talks about how important this child is to him, but not once in the whole eight months Sabrina has been pregnant has he shown the slightest bit of interest in her – or his child. He doesn’t call her once. Doesn’t attend any of her appointments. He keeps tabs on her from a distance and that’s it. Why? Because he blames Sabrina for Fay’s death. Thinks she should have known Fay’s depression was that bad. I was like, whaaaat? Sabrina knows Shaw hates her and blames her, because Fay left a goodbye message on Sabrina’s answering machine. Sabrina called Shaw and he made it home in time to hold his wife in his arms as she died, but couldn’t save her.

Sabrina is eight months pregnant and lured to hospital under false pretences, where she is taken hostage along with the rest of the maternity ward. She’s eventually taken by the gunmen as they escape, and Shaw finds and rescues her. So they spend most of the book dodging whomever is trying to kill them and figuring out the who and the why, and while they’re doing all that they suddenly realise they’re attracted to each other. I found this odd, especially on Shaw’s part, because they’d had almost nothing to do with each other for more than a year. But Shaw can’t seem to keep his mind off Sabrina and her belly (and amusingly tells her at one stage that yes, he wants to have sex with her, which sounded so stilted) and Sabrina’s a bundle of hormones, so she’s down for some action.

They end up having sex on a couch and realise that it’s lurve. They find the who and the why, and end up marrying two weeks later. Within an hour of saying their vows, Sabrina gives birth to their son, which means she was already in labour at the wedding or had the fastest first-time labour on the planet. Hmmmm. I don’t think I’d read this one again. I had too many questions and not enough answers.