the secret baby

Category Romance Book Review: The Secret Baby by Day Leclaire

Harlequin Romance #3457 The Secret Baby, Day Leclaire, Harlequin, 1995,
The Secret Baby, Day Leclaire, Harlequin, 1995, cover artist TBD
Harlequin Romance #3457
2 1/2 stars

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

*** Spoiler alert ***

The Plot

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.


Category Romance Review: Jinxed by Day LeClaire

Jinxed, Day Leclaire, Harlequin, 1990, cover artist to be determined

Harlequin Romance #3028

4 1/2 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Day LeClaire’s Jinxed has the honor of being the third romance I read. I recall my first four romances so vividly since they arrived free of charge in a package on my doorstep when I was about 12. There were 4 Harlequin Romances: Game Plan, Arafura Pirate, Spell Of The Mountains, and Jinxed. Jinxed was the best of the bunch.

The Plot

The character of Stephen was the precursor of what would be my favorite type of hero: blond, blue-eyed, with an icy demeanor and stuffed shirt attitude, who, because of the burdens put upon by his family, took life way too seriously, and just needed some wonderful, outrageous woman who would make him loosen up and have some excitement.

The heroine Kit was a total klutz. But she was also was intelligent, great at her job, lots of fun, and loved by her nieces and nephews. I so adored her character because I, too, was quite clumsy (who am I kidding, was??) and she was the most relatable heroine I’d come across so far.

Kit worked for Stephen at his toy company in the development department where she’d create lots of amusing games for kids and an occasional messy explosion.

I remember Kit getting into an accident after accident, ruining both her clothes and her boss’s white silk shirt. Fortunately, Stephen was such an anal-retentive type that he had a closet filled with backup white shirts in his office, plus a shower in case he got dirty on the job. (As this was a mild Harlequin Romance he never got dirty doing the dirty!) But then Kit ruined his backup shirts as well. That shameless hussy Kit just wanted to see him shirtless! 🙂

Final Analysis of Jinxed

Jinxed was so funny, and sweet; a real screwball romp. This book must have been fairly popular because I see it was eventually retold in manga form! I’m upping my rating on this one because I’m sure I’d enjoy it today as much as I did back then.