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From Merrimon Book Reviews
Assignment: Baby
 Assignment: Baby by Lynne Marshall
by Lynne Marshall

5 Stethoscopes
A moving second chance romance in more ways than one! :-)

Amanda Dunlap has big plans for a Ph.D. in nursing, but first, she has to make a success of her six-week statistical study on preventive cardiac care.   Unfortunately, her mentor had to pull out at the last minute.  She and the participants in the Mending Hearts Club are all waiting for the new doctor to arrive. When he does finally arrive, it could not be worse.  Not only is he late, but the new doctor assigned to the project is her ex-husband, complete with a baby in tow!  Dr. Hunter Phillips is the very same man on whom she walked out when her told her he had no place for children in his life.  When circumstances force them to work together, can Amanda and Hunter rediscover the love they left behind with a little help from the baby Sophie?

In ASSIGNMENT: BABY, Lynne Marshall gets to the heart of the dynamics of love.  When they first married, Amanda and Hunter had a plan all set for their lives but life has a way of intervening and changing those plans. When Sophie enters the picture, Amanda and Hunter rediscover the physical attraction that drew them together in the first place.  Through Sophie, can they both learn to improvise and adapt to all those events off the syllabus?  Lynne Marshall writes a beautiful story about a couple creating a passionate romance that can last a lifetime, a romance beyond just a mere fling or a good-looking resume from the outside in.  I enjoyed seeing this couple work through their difficulties and grow together.

Through a careful choice of vignettes drawn from their lives, ASSIGNMENT: BABY allows the reader to know the depth of her characters in many circumstances.  Sophie herself is an integral part of the story, revealing the depth of Hunter's character and being a catalyst for the two to rethink their priorities.  Lynne Marshall's portrait of Sophie is wonderful.  Without being too cute for the sake of cuteness, Lynne Marshall reveals her character through the eyes of her characters as first a disruptive responsibility until the various scenes coalesce into one vivid, wonderful description that will make even the most cynical reader smile and feel the joy at the turning point of the story. Very well done!

Lynne Marshall gives readers a peek at her characters through a wide array of circumstances that add depth.  One sees them at work and at home.   One sees them making choices to care for others and for each other in their actions as well as their thoughts and feelings.  The reader feels the pulse of their life as their growing love shows them what is truly important.  Amanda and Hunter at the beginning of the romance are not the same two people by the end.  Love changes them and opens them up to the possibilities of romance.   In ASSIGNMENT: BABY, love becomes a force able to withstand the changes of life rather than a prescription another person fills for the other. Hunter and Amanda come to know themselves more deeply and also are better prepared to love and face the changes life deals out and still love and grow as individuals. Several twists leading to the end delight as the reader sees the changes in both Amanda and Hunter in concrete ways.  Very moving!

ASSIGNMENT: BABY is definitely ripe for a series. I am sooo happy this book did not have an epilogue to water down the wonderful dynamic ending --- but I would enjoy seeing Hunter and Amanda 5 years or so into their life in another romance. :-) Hint, hint!

Publisher: Mills and Boon Medical Romance  (March 2009) / Harlequin Medical Romance (July 2009)
Author website

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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