Family Affair by Debbie Macomber
Source: Review copy received from the publisher
Lacey Lancaster has always longed to be a wife and mother. However, after a painful divorce, she decides it's time to lay low for a while in her charming San Francisco apartment with her beautiful Abyssinian cat, Cleo.
Everything would be wonderful, except for her utterly impossible neighbor Jack Walker. When he's not arguing day and night with his girlfriend, begging her to move in with him, he's chasing down his cat named Dog, who seems determined to get Cleo to succumb to his feline advances.
Then Lacey discovers the awful truth - Cleo is in the family way and Dog's to blame. She's furious that neither Jack nor his amorous animal seem too upset about the situation. But Lacey learns that things are not quite as they seem. Jack's "girlfriend" is really his sister - and his intentions toward Lacey are very honorable. And though she's not quite sure about Dog, Lacey begins to discover the tender joy of falling in love all over again. (book synopsis)
I adore Debbie Macomber! Her books are the equivalent of comfort food for me. This is a reprint that was originally published in 1994 and at 99 pages, it's a fast read.
Despite my love for Debbie, I don't think that this story aged well. The main character of Lacey is too much of a helpless female, needing a big, strong man to rescue her. For as long as I've been reading romances, this type of heroine has annoyed me. I understand that she's getting over the betrayal of her husband and the resulting divorce, but why does she have to be so helpless?
And despite Lacey giving him the cold shoulder, why is Jack so determined to pursue her? Can't be her sparkling personality, as she won't even talk to him at first. I think Jack's sister is right and he likes to rescue strays, and Lacey seems like she needs rescuing.
This was a fast read, but just an okay story. Debbie is a very talented writer, but I simply didn't care for Lacey or Jack. I especially didn't care for the ending, as it was just too old-fashioned for my taste. I still love Debbie and will keep reading her, but this one just wasn't my cup of tea.
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