Review: Forever My Baby
FOREVER MY BABY - Jacquelin Thomas
Harlequin Kimani/Romance
January 2015
REVIEWER:  Janet Caldwell |  RATING: C
REVIEW: Jacquelin Thomas introduces readers to the wealthy and influential Dugrandpres of Charleston, South Carolina in FOREVER MY BABY.  A twist of fate forever links Ryker Dugrandpre and Garland Warner in a dilemma, if not handled wisely, could adversely impact two precious children. All the players quickly learn that a true family is built on more than money and power.

Widower Ryker Dugrandpre is struggling to raise his two-year-old daughter and maintain his position as a managing partner in the family law firm.  His love for her is apparent, but the lack of reassurance from his meddling mother causes him to cast doubt on his parenting skills.

Garland Warner is a head-strong single mother by choice.  She owns a successful children’s boutique on Edisto Island a vacation spot near Charleston.  Ryker Dugrandpre was the best friend of Garland’s deceased brother.  She has secretly admired him since youth, but gave up the idea of a relationship when he married someone else.

Other influential characters include their two-year-old daughters, Kai and Amya, their respective parents and Ryker’s sister, cousins and in-laws. Although deceased, Ryker’s wife and Garland’s brother loom in the background of the story.

Garland and Ryker are raising their daughters contently until they learn a hospital nurse confesses to switching their babies at birth. Rather than return the babies to the correct parent, they decide to enter into a “marriage in name only” and raise the children as sisters. This blended family enables suppressed feelings between Garland and Ryker to surface. The storyline of babies switched at birth and the parents agreeing to raise them as a family rather than returning them to their biological parent is original and I loved it.  However, that is where the admiration ends.

This novel contains some glaring problems. The dialogue between the main characters is stilted, therefore, the conversations don’t flow naturally and seem too formal. Consequently, the romance scenes are awkward and lack believability. At other times there isn’t a logical transition from one idea or situation to another. This unsettling practice continues until the last chapter where the dialogue improves, but by this time the damage is already done.

Thomas states that FOREVER MY BABY is the first installment in the series, The Dugrandpres of Charleston. I hope future offerings correct these fundamental problems, because her unique storylines deserve better execution.

20th February 2015 |