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Baby Love (2006)

Baby Love (2006)

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4.06 of 5 Votes: 4
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0380799375 (ISBN13: 9780380799374)

About book Baby Love (2006)

Reviewed for"4.5 stars" Baby Love is a wonderful book that is reminiscent of a grown-up fairy tale, a Cinderella story. As the heroine, it has a young woman who has known the meaning of hard work since she was only fourteen, when her father passed away leaving her with the responsibility of caring for an ailing mother and baby sister. Then an incredibly evil stepfather entered her world bringing nothing but heartache and abuse. When she finally is able to make her escape, she meets up with a scruffy, drunken bum. She briefly entertains a fantasy that he will be her frog that will turn into a handsome Prince Charming. Imagine her surprise, when she discovers that he is really a gorgeous, multi-millionaire rancher who wants nothing more than to give her the happy ending she so richly deserves. Actually this description is a charming underlying element in the narrative, but far too simplistic to express the wealth of complexities and underlying emotions in this beautiful story. It is, at it's heart, a story of two souls, each deeply wounded in their own way, who find hope, love, comfort and healing in each others arms. Catherine Anderson is masterful at creating tight plotting, even with somewhat cliched elements, to bring about a heartwarming story.Rafe Kendrick is a rather dreamy but tortured hero, just the way I like them. I think nearly every woman wants to believe that men like Rafe actually exist (and of course they do, but seem to be a rare breed). I found it to be an incredibly endearing twist to have Rafe fall hopelessly in love with Maggie at first sight, while it took her a little longer. He has a history of being a romantic, as he fell in love at first sight with his first wife as well. It was also a refreshing change to have the hero be the sort of guy who doesn't sleep around with lots of women before finally finding one who captures his heart. Before Maggie, Rafe had only been with one other woman, his first wife, and he loved her very intensely. He was a man of deep emotions who was a kind, gentle, compassionate caregiver to Maggie in every way, both physical and emotional. I love the way that Rafe held himself back from making love to Maggie, giving her time to heal emotionally and learn to trust him. He helped her to do that by indulging in romantic courting rituals even though they were already married. One of my favorite scenes is when Rafe reassures Maggie that her body is still beautiful in spite of the flaws and imperfections that have been brought about by childbirth. Another favorite scene is when he wraps Maggie in his arms while she is nursing the baby, which I thought was a wonderful family bonding moments. I also love it when the hero finds his pregnant or nursing wife beautiful, because so many women are self-conscious about their bodies during that time. I think the thing that endeared me to Rafe the most though was his acceptance, without reservation, of Maggie's past and most especially her son, not hesitating to give Jaimie his name and be a father to him in every way that counts.Maggie was a wonderful heroine who was not unlike many women who find themselves in abusive situations. The fact that she endured and survived such horrifying abuse and eventually found a way to escape showed a great strength of character in my opinion. She was also never whiny or clingy, always stubbornly insisting on doing for herself as much as possible even to her detriment. She also insisted on paying her own way, nearly driving Rafe to distraction when all he wanted to do was help her, never expecting anything in return. I think that Maggie's devotion to her infant son, Jaimie, who was conceived and born out of incredibly difficult circumstances was nothing short of amazing. Also her love and sense of responsibility for her young sister, Heidi, and her mentally childlike mother was very heartfelt. Yet her conflicted feelings about her own lost childhood because of that responsibility were very realistic and relateable. I love the way that Maggie grew and changed throughout the story, in the end finding strength she never knew she possessed and using her wits to help save herself and her baby from a very dangerous situation.In Baby Love, Ms. Anderson has woven a wonderful cast of characters from the hero and heroine right down to the supporting characters who are believable and well-written. The Kendricks especially create an amazingly warm and loving family that anyone would be proud to call their own. As heartwarming as the story is though, it is still very heart wrenching as well. As a warning to sensitive readers, I would say that this story is primarily driven by the emotional conflicts of the death of family members, including young children, and the aftermath of horrific abuse. While neither subject, in my opinion, is given a graphic treatment, there is enough descriptive detail to make the reader's heart break for both characters. Sometimes though, heartbreak can make for a wonderfully inspirational story, and Baby Love definitely fits the bill, while also being extremely well-written. One example of this great writing was that early on, Rafe's care and concern began to border on control, leaving Maggie feeling palpably fearful and me a tad uncomfortable as well. True to form though, Ms. Anderson explains his behavior believably, and also gives him a wake-up call and increased self-insight, which was another thing that I loved about his character. There were a couple of minor things that I might have changed though. The description of Rafe's courting of Maggie immediately following their marriage was too brief to suit me, and I thought would have been even more romantic if some of the things they did together had been explored in more detail. There was also one scene in which Rafe lost his temper and said some rather ugly things which were difficult to read, but that I understand were probably necessary to propel the conflict to another level. I have seen other reviewer complaints about having to suspend disbelief in order to read this story, which to some degree is true, but for any reader who is an imaginative and hopeless romantic like I am, this book should be just the thing.Baby Love is the first book in Ms. Anderson's Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan series. In it readers are given a strong introduction to Rafe's brother, Ryan, who is just as sweet as Rafe and becomes the hero of the second book, Phantom Waltz. The remaining books in the series up to this point are: Sweet Nothings, Blue Skies, Bright Eyes, My Sunshine, Sun Kissed, and Morning Light, with Star Bright due out in January. Ms. Anderson also has a historical series tied to members of the Coulter family. I have to admit that historical romances are my real reading passion and I don't tend to read a lot of contemporaries, but if they are well-written, I am open minded to trying almost anything. Ms. Anderson is one of those rare authors who is so good at her craft that I can't seem to get enough of her stories no matter which genre they fall into. Baby Love is a story that was simply so good that at times I could barely put it down. I would highly recommend it to all romance readers no matter what their usual genre preference is. It has certainly earned a place on my keeper shelf, and I am eagerly off to read Ryan's story now.

A tradução deste livro foi algo que me decepcionou e irritou profundamente! E, a meu ver, é extremamente mau quando na opinião que damos sobre um livro começamos precisamente pela tradução! O que principiou por me aborrecer foi o excessivo formalismo com que os protagonistas se tratavam, sempre você para aqui e você para acolá mesmo quando já eram íntimos, mais no final já misturavam o tu com o você! Por outro lado, este excessivo formalismo foi esquecido quando foram utilizados termos brejeiros sem necessidade, temos uma língua muito rica, e que acaba por nem combinar com as personagens e a próprio enredo. Nota-se também que foi feita uma tradução sem reflexão, há a utilização de termos impensáveis e completamente errados, daqueles que uma pessoa pára e pensa "não pode ser nada disto".Na minha opinião esta tradução está péssima.Quanto ao enredo, passei tanto tempo incrédula com a tradução que acho que perdi metade da sua beleza... Estou muito triste e até revoltada, sinto que deito dinheiro à rua ao comprar alguns livros em português... Já deixei de seguir sagas por esse motivo! Não tarda nada deixo de ler ou tenho mesmo que me habituar a ler em inglês!As editoras deviam ser responsabilizadas porque, não me canso de dizer, isto é o mesmo que comprar uma camisola com um buraco, quando o detectamos vamos trocar porque o produto tem defeito! O que se faz com um livro com defeito? Arruma-se na estante, assumimos o prejuízo porque se formos trocar vamos trazer o mesmo defeito e muitas vezes já em edições posteriores!

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I truly wanted to like this book. I have loved everything I have read from Catherine Anderson so my expectations were maybe too high. It had all the elements I usually like, meaning hot tortured hero, but there were too many things in this story that I just could not overlook. (view spoiler)[ First of all, an alcoholic is not going to just STOP drinking brought on by some epiphany from his dead wife over a girl he does not know at all. And if he did, he would be going through withdrawal big time! But he was still adorable so I will leave him alone. (the only reason I gave this book 2 stars)I read a lot of stuff that is just contrived to fit the pieces in place and usually I can overlook it for the sake of fiction or the story as a whole. Secondly, the girl was 24 years old, meaning she was about 21 when Lonnie started raping her. Yet she did not acknowledge this was rape??? After being beaten so severely, if she went to the police, they would not arrest this man, force him out of the home and keep him away from not only her and the baby the 10 year old sister??? Order of protection? no? Lets talk about the mother, after she was left brain damaged, social services or some agency would have stepped in, if for nothing else than to be sure she was being taken care of or that her 10 year old daughter was at least. Pfffst... if the girl was 17 or 18 maybe she would not know where to go or what to do, but she was 24 years old for crying out loud!! Ok, no actually I can't leave Rafe alone. Just a bit too convenient that he had a $$4,000 ring around his neck? An alcoholic riding the rails for two years would have lost it, had it stolen or hocked it well before 2 years. (hide spoiler)]

I think romance novels like this are hypocritical. The heroine, Maggie, has already had a baby, so she's got stretch marks and a little loose skin and everything that changes on a woman's body when she has a baby. Now, the hero, is ripped like an Abercrombie model. Why is it that the heroines in these books get to have all sorts of body flaws and the nice hero doesn't care one bit and loves her anyways, but the poor heroes of these books better have 0% body fat?Kind of unfair, although I realize these romance books are pandering to the fantasy that the average woman can get the gorgeous guy. The most authors are willing to bend on this is every so often when a hero has a scar on his cheek. Even if a hero's body is scarred, he still hot. I guess if this were a romance written for men, it'd be a average looking guy getting a girl that looks like a supermodel.But this isn't why I gave the book 2 Stars.The actual review:This book has one of the most original initial meetings between a hero and heroine that I've ever read. I thought it was great and loved the beginning.The reason it gets only 2 stars is because it went downhill from there. I think half the Catherine Anderson books I've read (so far) have involved the heroine being raped at some point in her life. For the plot to be mostly centered around that and the hero being understanding of the heroine's fears it got boring real quick. To the point where I had to force myself to finish the end of the book.
—April Brookshire

This is my first Anderson book, and I was pleased. I did like both the Hero & Heroine, and you really got to feel you knew and understood them. The man lost his wife and two young children in a car crash two years before, and the woman escaped from an abusive situation with her young infant. They meet on a box car filled with dangerous drifters. He saves her from the dangerous men, and we go from there... This was an intense story. Some of the situations seemed to last 100 pages. However, I did like it and would recommend it to romance fans.
—Miss Kim

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