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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Child of Mine

**** Child of Mine by Lynn Erickson. Romantic suspense.

Lynn Erickson (Molly Swanton and Carla Peltonen) writes some of my favorite romantic suspense. But they haven't had anything new out in a while, so I'm collecting their backlist. This is from 1998.

Lena Portillo loved her cop husband Mike, but divorced him for her sake and the sake of their daughter Kimmy when his drinking got way out of control and he refused to change or get help. She's been doing fine, but now her Kimmy has been kidnapped, and she doesn't know where else to turn.

Mike Quinn has gotten his life back together since the divorce. He's been sober, and is now a hostage negotiator, and he has a nice relationship with an aerobics instructor. And he's stayed away from Lena and their daughter, but kept tabs on them through Lena's mother. When she calls to let him know of the kidnapping, Mike drops everything to help.

There's evidence of where Kimmy was taken, and while the authorities move through approved channels, Mike intends to drive cross-country to find Kimmy himself. Lena doesn't trust him, but she's not about to be left behind, so despite his protests, she joins him.

In typical Lynn Erickson fashion, it's a painful situation, with Lena and Mike rekindling their love, but Lena still feeling the betrayal and not trusting his sobriety, and with Mike having a new romantic interest. It's not easy to read, but it's very realistic.

The aerobics instructor was, I thought, a little too self-centered and bitchy to be believable. Granted, men are notorious for being blinded by a pretty face and a hot body, but it's hard to imagine that someone he was thinking about becoming serious with would be so unfeeling as to demand that he stay with her instead of looking for his kidnapped child.

Though it was probably fairly realistic that she showed up at their destination demanding his attention while he was concerned about his daughter. Which brought up all my negative feelings about the way children are treated (ignored and/or used as weapons) in all too many divorces, and is probably the main reason why this wasn't a 4.5 or 5-star read for me.

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