Baby Under the Mistletoe by Jamie Sobrato

TBR2010 - January Theme - Category Romance

** spoiler alert ** 2 1/2

Baby Under the Mistletoe is a SuperRomance with three stories: The "main" couple free spirit Soleil Freeman and military man West Morgan, who had a fling one summer and ended up with Soliel pregnant months later, West's mom Julia finding love again after a few decades long divorce with his father "The General" who consists of the final end of the story as he battles Alzheimer's disease. 

The book seemed interesting because rarely does Harlequin deal with interracial romances and it was interesting seeing the couple featured in a Superromance of all places (if I see one on the cover of an Harlequin American Romance, I'll probably keel over on the spot). Unfortunately, the couple didn't live up to the interesting blurb. Soleil and and West barely know each other as we're introduced to them in the prologue and both delight in pushing the other's buttons. The chemistry is there and I was hoping it would continue on as the book pans out. Sadly, they grew tiring as they were reunited, Soliel more so in her insistence to keep her pregnancy from West since he didn't fit the ideal partner she had in mind. West, on the other hand, has wanted to settle down with Soleil and have a family with her from the get go but Miss Independence wouldn't have it and still wouldn't have all the way through the pregnancy. In an age of constant reports of men leaving their children behind once they found out they were going to be father's, I found it hard to believe Soleil would be so selfish and short sighted to push the father of the kid away especially when he wants to be apart of hers and the child's life. Even though she grew up with dire conditions, it would seem like she would want to give her child the best situation and one she never had a chance to have.

This is contrasted with the developing relationship of Julia Morgan and her love interest, Frank who she met on an internet dating site. If stories like this consisted of the now defunct Harlequin Next line, I have to wonder who was the boob that canned it. I loved reading about Julia's and Frank's sweet romance as they began to fall in love with each other. There were first date jitters, small talk as they got to know each other and developing chemistry that was sweet and identifiable to watch. There was one instance in the middle where Julia finds out that The General was sick and has to cancel a date with Frank because she still wants to make sure The General was okay. It was a selfless act still touched with a love they shared for so long. Even though The General was a harsh and rather ornery man who bossed any and everyone around (and apparently sexually harassed a few of his cartakers as well) Julia knew how to care for him and the moment he saw her again in his life, he calms down. It's a memorable moment that shows the maturity of life and love especially between two people who have known each other for so long and have gone through so much. Julia's story engaged me much more than the main couples which basically earned an extra star on its own.

Sometimes I wondered why West was into Soleil. In a few scenes he's attracted to the way she looks and he likes pushing her buttons because he knows she has a short temper but other than that, I couldn't see much attraction there even to the end. There were a few moments of chemistry but they were mainly tied into love scenes which quickly went cold until afterward. Soleil was insistent on having everything done her way or else. The reader is given a few instances of this as she never budged about compromising to suit her baby's and West's needs. Another instance is evidenced by one scene where she forces one of her young interns to swallow his fear of dogs by confronting hers. It was an interesting insight into the machinations of her character. At times I felt like Soleil's strength was at the expense of West's pushover weakness in trampling over everything he and everyone else wanted. Strangely enough she ends up giving Julia advice on leaving her husband which could have been a sweet scene for me but it felt like another one of Soleil's butting in moments. I did find that Soleil had a lot in common with The General which strangely enough mirrored West having shades of his mother in him. Perhaps the parallel was on purpose to show how opposites can attract and work through their differences but considering how West's parent's ended up a few years down the road (after staying together for the kids), I'm not sure that's such a good thing.

All in all, Baby Under the Mistletoe was interesting and definitely worth the read for the mature couple. I would love to see them get a spin-off book of their own

Baby Under the Mistletoe is available now in paperback and digital formats