Fugitive Father (Silhouette Intimate Moments, No 604) - Carla Cassidy

I finished it, do I get a cookie?

 

One of the hazards of reading these types of books is that authors have this urge to throw as much crap in them as you'd expect in a full size book, but they have a limited number of pages to work with.

 

I think this one had enough crap for 3 full sized books.

 

So lessee... secret baby
psycho ex (or friend with benefits who was angling for a more permanent position)
dead mama
little sister who was nuts (and I couldn't tell if it necessarily was that she was nuts or that she'd figured out how to manipulate people. A lot of times, she came across as a spoiled brat).
And of course the H who was resentful that he hadn't been told about the baby he'd vehemently said he didn't want in the first place.
Oh, and the mysterious "leaves small town and runs off to NYC".

 

So the teenage h, pregnant with the H's baby, is stuck in a car with him as he rants about his best friend getting trapped in marriage by a pregnant girlfriend. She decides against telling him, though up until then, she'd been planning to, and leaves town. To NYC. To become...a waitress. There was some mental thinking later of her neighbors and I was quite frankly puzzled. How could you afford any sort of *safe* sort of apartment within an easy walk of the park, with nice neighbors, on a waitress' salary? Oh, and preschool.

So the h's mom has died, she's come home to handle the estate (which is another bemusement. Small farm in the midwest, apparently working. No mention of how or what either, yet somehow a family can support themselves.), the H finds out he's a daddy, dumps the benefits (who resents this, naturally), and within a day or so, the incidents start. First there's someone shooting in the h's direction - grazes her (this, btw, was with a shotgun. Really?! I know you can get cartridges like that, but they're generally used for target practice), then there's the board over the well (which had me smirking inappropriately about Timmy falling down a well and Lassie - err - Lindy (sis) going to fetch help), there's the intruder attempting to strangle the child (who somehow managed to kick and scream), there's the poisoned casserole (that was fed to a dog as they didn't want it).

 

At this point, the sis elected to stay with a surrogate momma, and the h and kid moved in with the H.

 

It was nearly a week of unbearable sexual tension (on their part) and unbearable pages (on mine) before the genius H (local sheriff btw) suddenly thought about the possibility of it being the chick he had an arrangement with. Of course Dudley DoRight manages to save the day. Too bad it never occurred to him to ponder things a bit earlier as by the time he figured it out, the h had left the child with the nut burger ex. By this time he decided he wanted his kid and the h in his life and he was ready to become a real boy errr man.

 

Regardless of how obsessive one is over a guy, his being sheriff should at least make one a little cautious. It apparently never dawned on the woman at all that if she'd succeeded in killing anyone, there'd be an investigation, and the possibility of someone figuring it out in such a small town (really, I think we met like, 10 people) is pretty high. So either she's batshit crazy (and really good at faking it) or she's stupid. Maybe seeing as how she's mid-late 20s and working in a small town diner...

 

And the sis. Supposed to be manic depressive and it's possible. It seems also possible in light of their childhood that she stumbled across a way of manipulating people. Apparently when they were children, the h played the protective older sibling. Strange since I never got the sense they were that far apart in age. There was one point where the sis was in one of her moods and voiced her resentment over the h leaving home. Uh...she wasn't stupid, surely she didn't expect big sis to stick around forever, giving up any chance of a future or whatever for her. She resented their mom for dying. Ugh.