Setting: Contemporary Idaho and Oregon
Sensuality Rating: 6
Bestselling author Catherine Anderson captivates readers with her tale of a desperate young mother, her newborn son, and the rundown drifter who rescues them one bitterly cold night. Little does Rafe Kendrick suspect that his long-frozen heart will crack wide open when he offers the warmth of his coat to a desperate runaway and her hungry baby. Maggie Stanley has little reason to trust any man, much less Rafe, the drunken cowboy she meets hitching a ride in a boxcar. But when he puts his own life in danger to protect Maggie and her baby, Jaimie, from the lowlifes sharing their railroad car, she's forced to place her battered body and equally battered heart into Rafe's hands for safekeeping. Bound together by circumstance, the two zealously guard their secrets until love permits Rafe to let go of the tragic deaths of his wife and child that sent him running from his former life as a successful rancher. And Rafe's gentle and loving care of Jaimie allows Maggie to see that here is finally a man willing and able to protect her from the harsh realities around every corner. Full of gut-wrenching emotion and plenty of human drama, Catherine Anderson's Baby Love shouldn't be missed. --Alison Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
Anderson's newest contemporary romance (after Simply Love) begins with a rescue: vagabond Rafe Kendrick prevents Maggie Stanley from being raped by boxcar bums. Saving Maggie and her baby gives Rafe's life meaning again, and he decides he'll do anything to keep them from harm's way. In order to protect Maggie from her ne'er-do-well stepfather, Lonnie, Rafe contacts his family, who hasn't heard from him since he abandoned his profitable ranch after an accident that killed his wife and children. Although she distrusts his motives, Maggie returns with Rafe to his Oregon ranch and they marry. As Maggie heals in body and spirit, their love becomes mutual. While the premise is riveting, the Cinderella-like aspects of the story are overdone, and Maggie's stepfather's drive to do evil is almost cartoonish. Rafe is not only a successful rancherAhe's got $50 million in the bank. Equally unrealistic is the premise that Rafe can stop drinking without suffering any symptoms of withdrawal. However, Anderson is a strong storyteller, and the book should appeal to fans of the genre despite its clich?s. (Oct.)
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