Saturday 9 August 2014

#CBR6 Book 83: "Nobody's Baby But Mine" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Page count: 384 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Professor Jane Darlington has a genius level IQ, is a master physicist and desperately wants a baby. However, Jane's super smarts made her feel like a freak growing up, and she doesn't want any child of hers to experience the same thing. Plus she's currently single, and not really looking for a relationship. She does need to find herself a baby daddy, though, and preferably one who's a bit stupid, in the hopes that this will produce her a child with a thoroughly average intelligence.

Through some truly convoluted and complicated means, Jane sets her sights on Calvin "Cal" Bonner, the Chicago Stars quarterback, and manages to get herself pregnant. Cal, who's really very clever, wasn't planning on settling down, and normally doesn't date anyone over the age of twenty-two, is furious when he discovers that some brainy spinster is having his baby. No child of his, unwanted or not, is going to be born out of wedlock. So he forces Jane to marry him and takes her with him to his home town, so the press won't realise the that the playboy quarterback and the physics genius aren't actually madly in love. Since he's planning to divorce her after the baby is born, he doesn't want his family getting attached to her, and orders her to act horrible to them.

Seriously, the premise for this book is absolutely bonkers. The way in which Jane gets her first (and second) date with Cal and manages to get herself pregnant requires serious suspense of disbelief. Then there's the forced marriage, and Cal's desperate refusal to acknowledge that he's growing older and his career is nearing its end, so he dates women about half his age and refuses to even consider what he'll do once he retires from football. The argument they have when Jane discovers that Cal actually graduated top of his class in biology from a prestigious college and isn't just some hick jock, while Cal has discovered that Jane is a shocking 34 years old (when he believed her to be 28), is hilarious. Generally, the two have a lot of very amusing squabbles.

Jane is deeply uncomfortable with having to be rude to everyone in town, and Cal's family in particular. Cal drove me up the wall with his stupid refusal to grow up. His jealousy of Kevin, the younger quarterback who's hoping to take his place, was lots of fun. The secondary romance in this book is that of Cal's parents, who have grown apart (his mum even moves back home to her mother for a time) and need to reconnect. Cal's grandmother is awesome and realises the truth of Jane and Cal's feelings for one another long before they do.

I can see why this book is so popular among romance readers. It is eighteenth on the All About Romance Top 100 list, the absolutely highest ranked of all of Susan E. Phillips' books. The premise for the book is absolutely ridiculous, but once you get past the convoluted way in which the couple are thrown together, watching them bicker and gradually fall in love with each other was tons of fun. Some might find the extended Bonner family annoying, I generally liked them, which increased my enjoyment of the book.

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