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Wendy the Super Librarian‘s review of The Playboy’s Gift by Teresa Carpenter
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Romance 01 Nov 11

If any author is ever insane enough to ask my advice, it would be to write the best book you can at that moment in time.  Period.  Do not think about readers.  Why?  Because we’re nut jobs.  Seriously, we are.  Wacky pants, insane in the membrane, fickle, fickle creatures.  No matter how we may try not to, readers have a tendency to bring their personal baggage with them when they crack open a book.  And guess what?  We all have a wide array of colorful baggage, all of us being unique, shiny, crack-pots snowflakes.  It’s my own colorful baggage that led me to DNF’ing this particular Harlequin Romance by Teresa Carpenter.

Carpenter is a local author for me, so I was curious to try her latest.  Yeah, wrong book to start with.  And it’s not “her fault” – I stopped reading because I was past the point where I could be rational about the story.  I got to the halfway point, but such a big hot button of mine was pushed that I was getting angry. Hulk-like angry.

Skye Miller’s brother passed away and his wife followed him shortly after.  They left behind a toddler daughter, and naturally Skye and her brother’s BFF, Rett Sullivan have been named guardians.  The fly in the ointment?  Skye and Rett were once very much in love, Skye got unexpectedly preggers, Rett didn’t react to the news to her liking, and when she ended up miscarrying, the relationship went kaput.

OK, I’m rolling with this.  Until the other shoe drops.  Skye can’t understand why Rett would want custody of her niece until he drops the bomb that he was the sperm donor for her brother and his wife.  Skye knew they used a donor, but had no clue it was Rett – Mr. Couldn’t Run Away Fast Enough When He Knocked Her Up.

“Skye went completely still, she couldn’t have heard what she thought she did.  “Aidan was Ryann’s father.”


Repeat after me – just because you have the ability to make babies does not automatically make you a parent.  Just because you have sperm, does not automatically make you a father.  You know what it does make you?

A guy who can jack-off into a plastic cup.


But the whole blessed set-up of this book is that Rett is Ryann’s “father.” It’s practically shoved down the reader’s throat.  Rett keeps going on and on about how he’s the baby daddy.


I cannot express how much I loathe this Cult Of Biology that can sometimes creep into the genre.  It drives me insane.  Probably because I have friends who are and/or have adopted.  Probably because one of my nieces is adopted.  I’ve got too much baggage to be rational when a heroine going into a blended family wails about her inability to have “children of her own” or when a hero thinks he’s a daddy just because he can make a deposit at the local sperm bank.

For that matter, I hate the implication that romance hero must equal Guy With Massive Super Sperm Who Can Knock Up The Most Hopelessly Infertile Woman On The Planet.

Yeah, Wendy not rational.  Wendy stop reading.  But if you’re a different brand of irrational than I am and this kind of thing doesn’t make you want to spit nails? Maybe this book is for you.  There is some serie-itis, but the author handles it fairly well.  Also, the writing style worked well enough for me that I’ll probably give Carpenter another go.  Just so long as biology is totally off the table.  Because seriously, I just don’t like reading angry.

Wendy TSLGrade: DNF


An orphan baby wasn’t on playboy Rett Sullivan’s Christmas list, but as the holidays approach, he finds himself drowning in a sea of bottles, nappies and toys!

Skye Miller was shocked to learn her late brother and sister-in-law left their little daughter in the care of Rett, her brother’s best friend…and Skye’s first love.

The only way to protect her heart is to help the novice daddy and baby bond, then make a graceful exit. But the sight of Rett’s strong arms cradling the baby makes Skye weak at the knees.…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series: