Harlequin Romance #3457
2 1/2 stars
*** Spoiler alert ***
The Secret Baby (wow, I bet the editors stayed up nights trying to think up that title!) was a rather predictable story with a paint-by-the-numbers plot. This could have been pulled from an old daytime soap opera. Former lovers, a secret baby, a marriage-of-convenience, and revenge are just a few of the tropes in this Harlequin Romance.
Damien Hawke and Sable Jameson (oh those names!) were lovers who worked together, or rather, she worked under Damien…in various positions. They were in love until Sable seemingly betrayed Damien by selling company secrets. Sable denied it, yet Damien wanted nothing more to do with her.
Shortly afterward, Sable found out she was pregnant but couldn’t turn to Damien, who had tossed her callously out on her butt. Who did she turn to? Why the decrepitly aged head of the rival company Sable had supposedly sold (or not sold) those secrets to! Their marriage was one of convenience, so naturally, they never had sex (they never do in these books). She had the baby and hid his true parentage from Damien.
Fast forward five years later, Sable is a widow, she’s now running her dead husband’s business, and the company is in major financial trouble. Enter Damien. He’s never gotten over Sable and sees this as the perfect opportunity for revenge. His corporation is making a hostile takeover of Sable’s business. This is one of those boardroom drama romances where multi-billion-dollar corporations are controlled by the 30-year-old widows of the former CEOs, and the board of executives is filled with jealous, back-stabbing family members.
Final Analysis of The Secret Baby
This was seemed a rather by rote romance like LeClaire phoned it in. I’ve seen this hundred of times before: former lovers separated by a lie; secret baby; hero out for revenge; the heroine is unwilling to tell the hero the truth until it’s too late; then he finds out and now really hates the heroine, but still lusts after her more than ever; and finally a secret revelation that comes out and heals all wounds.
I think if I had read this romance novel years ago, I would have enjoyed it more, but this was too much a case of same-old, same-old, with no new spin on things.