A Dad at Last
by Marie Ferrarella
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Silhouette (July 1, 2001)
By Jessica Stewart, Courier Editor-in-Chief
He'd only just found out he had a son, and now that little boy's life depended on a group of men he hadn't met until a few months ago. Men who were at this moment laying their own lives on the line, shielded only by the inky cloak of night and their bravery as they crept toward the abandoned sugar factory ahead, where he'd been told to meet Chase's kidnappers.
So begins Ferrarella's addition to the Maitland Maternity series from Silhouette Books. The plot is original, and the characters are simply complex. The setting, Austin, Texas, adds a bit of flavor to everything, combining the mysterious cowboy image of the past with the modern world. My only problem is that Ferrarella fails to explain everything to the reader's satisfaction. Otherwise, it proved to be a light, quick, relaxing read, perfect for a lazy spring day.
Connor O'Hara has just discovered that the mother he has known all of his life is not his actual mother and one night of passion has resulted in a son. Add to this the fact that his son was kidnapped and he and his new family must band together to save him and you have one confused man.
Lacy Clark, the mother of Connor's child, has just recovered from a bout of amnesia during which she could not remember her own son. Now, her son is missing and she must place her faith with Connor and his new family in the hopes that they can rescue her son before it is too late.
After their son is recovered, Lacy and Connor must learn to live together on Connor's new ranch, made complicated by the fact that Lacy is hopelessly in love with Connor. Connor loves her too, but refuses to admit it, and sincerely believes that he is too old for her. At the same time, Connor must adjust to his new family, especially his new mother. He wants to do what is best for his child, though, and, while initially he believes this just means providing his son with a home and financial stability, he soon discovers how to selflessly love another human being.
I really enjoyed this book, but I did have a couple problems with it. First of all, it is a part of a series, and while Ferrarella does a good job of blending in her explanations of what has previously happened into the story, she does not actually explain everything, and the reader has to infer some things and toss aside others that do not appear to be important to the plot. While the book is still understandable without previous knowledge of the other books, it is definitely not as enjoyable. Also, the problems that exist between Connor and Lacy and Connor and his real mother are solved much too easily and quickly. It just did not seem realistic.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to romance readers looking for an easy read.