Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BABY, I'M YOURS by Karen Templeton

I'm posting my review today because Lisa Shearin's Cyber-Launch Book Party is on Thursday, my usual review day. I didn't want it to overwhelm BABY, I'M YOURS.
I don't much like novels set in contemporary America. I've always preferred stories which take me far and away. However, there are a few exceptions. The novels of Karen Templeton are one of those exceptions. She consistantly puts out excellent Contemporary Romance. The characters are always living, breathing, sufficiently screwed-up to be interesting, but not so screwed up that I can't root for them. The plots are always intriguing and the story is always well-organized and well-told without a word out of place. I read across all genres, except Horror and Erotica, and I know I can always count on Karen Templeton to deliver a feel-good, keep-me-reading story with a well-deserved, believable Happily Ever After at the end.
Kevin's a recovered drug addict determined to right past wrongs. He'd been involved with Robyn, a fellow druggee. They weren't exactly deeply in love and committed to Happily Ever After. It was more of a Misery-Loves-Company-Relationship. It ended badly and Kevin's determined to apologize so he can move on with his drug-free life with a clear conscious. However, when he shows up on her doorstop, he receives the tragic news that Robyn never came clean and ended up dead. Her father, Victor, and sister seem about as guilt-ridden about failing to help Robyn as he is. But, the shockwaves haven't even begun to settle when Robyn's sister, Julianna, over-rides her father's wishes by informing Keven that he's a dad.
Victor and Julianna had forcibly put Robyn into rehab when they learned she was pregnant and so Baby Pippa was born healthy. Afterwards, Robyn went into a tailspin and died, but I've already told you that. Victor and Julianna have been caring for Pippa since birth and absolutely adore her. Victor doesn't want to lose Pippa after losing his daughter and he's afraid Kevin's not as clean as he claims, but Julianna believes Kevin has a right to prove himself. She also believes Pippa has the need for a great dad and, therefore, a need for Kevin to prove himself too. The grown-ups agree that Kevin should move in for a month to reassure Victor and Julianna that Pippa will be in good hands with a great dad.
Juliana starts the story devestated by her sister's death and also by the death of her first husband and clinging to Pippa for dear life. There's nothing like a baby to keep hope alive. So, it's no surprise when she starts falling for the baby's dad. Meanwhile, poor Victor is worried sick she'll get hurt. The family's been rocked by more than enough tragedy.
You all know how much I adore babies. I used to be a professional nanny and am now a mommy. Back when I was single 'Excellent Dad Potential' was Priority One is selecting my future husband. If I hadn't found HH first, I probably would have married a single dad. So, you can just imagine how much I love Romance novels with babies in them. The other great thing about BABY, I'M YOURS is that Karen Templeton is a mommy too. The difference between an author writing babies who's never had a baby and an author writing babies who's had babies of her own is staggering. The baby is not an appendage in BABY, I'M YOURS. She's a vital part of the story and she's so real I could smell the baby poo all the way up here in Alaska.
Karen Templeton has an extensive backlist, so if you like BABY, I'M YOURS you'd better pop over to her website and check out her other books. http://karentempleton.com/ You might also like SWEET SENSATION by Gwyneth Bolton or any novel by Kara Lennox.
The Heat Level of this novel is Sensual.


Kimber Chin said...

Sounds like an awesome book! I still don't think I'm up for reading about babies but I have quite a few baby crazy friends.

If you can change a cloth diaper with only one hand, yet don't have your own kids, are you still not qualified to write about babies?

Oh, and can we extend the rule to... "If you don't personally know at least one billionaire, please don't write about them?" LOL

OT... what's with The Guys And Daughters label on the book? Is it just me or does that sound... a bit off?

Jill Sorenson said...

~what's with The Guys And Daughters label on the book? Is it just me or does that sound... a bit off?~

Haha. It does sound off.

Teresa Carpenter has a wonderful book called Twin Babies: Parents Needed. I don't even like baby books (I have two little ones at home and see nothing romantic about the situation!) but I loved this one.

Her upcoming release, Her Baby, His Proposal, has a preggie herione if you like this theme.

Kimber An said...

Some childless authors can do babies and children well, like Gwyneth Bolton.

However, most authors can't write babies or children as vital characters unless they've had their own. Anyone can learn to change a diaper. Parental instinct kicks in ONLY when you're pregnant/your woman's pregnant or adopting. The kind of passion a parent feels for his or her child is generally incomprehensible to the childless.

To illustrate this point, consider that I am a Certified Professional Nanny. This means I paid lots of money for a specialized education in childcare. I'm crazy about all babies, whereas most parents are only crazy about their own. Yet, the passion I felt when my first baby was placed in my arms overwhelmed my senses. It shocked me! I asked my own mother why she didn't warn me. She said she did, but it's not something a person can truly comprehend until they go through it themselves.

Jill, I find mothering incredibly romantic. For example, the most incredibly romantic moment of my life was when my husband was holding our sick baby with tears in his eyes, just before he ran out in the middle of the night across the big city to the only open pharmacy to get her medicine.

Romance is all in how you define it and my definition always includes babies because I am a Baby Fanatic!

Robyn said...

I usually don't care for babies in romances, but for the reason you stated. They become appendages or worse, are shoved off on a kindly neighbor as soon as the heroine meets her man. This sounds like a really good story, though.

Jill Sorenson said...

~The kind of passion a parent feels for his or her child is generally incomprehensible to the childless.~

Agreed. And you're right, there is romance to mothering. The bond my husband and I share is stronger than ever, and we appreciate our time alone together so much more.

So I guess you've won me over. Babies can be romantic. I associate them with sweet romance, however, and I prefer sexy stories.

Kimber An said...

Here at Enduring Romance, 'Sweet' means 'no nookie.' I don't know about you, but none of my babies were Immaculate Conceptions! (Kimber is laughing.) Seriously though, I think mommies can be very sexy and love reading novels with Hot Mamas in them.

Christina said...

Wow, this is a great review.

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Christina. It's always wonderful to discover an author who regularly puts out fabulous fiction.

Kimber Chin said...

Okie dokie, no mommies or daddies as POV characters for me then.

Not that I had any planned.


But that's the beauty of romance, there are a wide assortment of heroes and heroines to choose from.

Kimber An said...

Oh, absolutely, Kimber Chin.

I used to be very anti-Romance genre. It's only been in the last couple of years that I realized how much it's evolved to include a variety of heroines and sub-genres and such. There truly is something for everyone.

In Real Life, the romance doesn't have to end with marriage or the birth of the first baby and mommies can get more sexy each time they have a child. Mommies command courtrooms and corporations. Alaska's governor, Sarah Palin, just gave birth to her fifth child. We have powerful, sexy mommies in Real Life and I hope to read more about them in Fiction too. That's my personal hope for the Romance genre.

Jill Sorenson said...

Maybe your post wasn't a direct response to mine, but I never said mommies weren't sexy. Hello, hot mom right here. I said books with babies (meaning on the cover and in the title) are typically sweet, and yeah, that means no explicit sex.

Harlequin Romances, from what I've seen, don't feature explicit sex scenes. Does that mean all these babies are born by immaculate conception? Of course not. Even if we aren't right there with the couple in the bedroom, they're still DOING IT.

I can see why you disagreed with my original statement, which was a joke, btw. Sure, there's romance to being a mother, and I admitted that. What I meant was that the "baby on the doorstep" theme is not my favorite escape fantasy at the moment!

Sorry, but your joke put me on the defensive.

Kimber An said...

Don't worry about it. I get it now.

Karen Templeton said...

Thanks so much for the review, Kimber An!

I love writing for Special Edition because they are all about romance within a home and family context. And very few of them are "sweet", BTW! Maybe my lovescenes are considered pretty tame by comparison with what's out there (and they're definitely more about emotion than body parts, because that kind of explicitness doesn't hold my interest either as a reader or a writer) but neither do I close the bedroom door. Or in this case, put a screen up in front of the swimming pool. (wicked grin))

My inspiration for these stories definitely comes straight from the gut. It really does depend on how one defines romance -- and a guy getting up voluntarily in the middle of the night to answer a baby's call is definitely romantic in my book. And books. ;-) Even recently, my husband trooped in behind me the other night to help me give our little grandson a bath, a simple, generous gesture that sent my widdle heart all pittery-pattery, even after 30 years of marriage. It's the little things, the sharing of chores and experiences, that bond a couple...and that, IMO, take the sex to a whole 'nother level.

Y'all know what I'm talking about, right?

On another note...ohmigosh, the reaction (not just here, but elsewhere) to the series name -- GUYS AND DAUGHTERS -- has totally floored me! LOL -- it never even occurred to either my editor or me that people would read it as anything other than stories about guys having daughters -- not guys doing their daughters! So the ick factor there is totally accidental!!!

But funny, too, in an eye-rolling kinda way. No?

Kimber An said...

You said it all better than I could, Karen. Thanks for popping in!

Maybe people are 'icked-out' because of the creeps down in Texas right now.

Karen said, "It's the little things, the sharing of chores and experiences, that bond a couple...and that, IMO, take the sex to a whole 'nother level."