Why I read it: Cara McKenna writes very non-traditional romance – in fact, I gather it is only a gamble as to whether you’ll get a (hopeful or actual) HFN. For that reason, I’ve been fairly careful about which books of her’s I read because I’m really in it for the HFN/HEA. I’ve only read Willing Victim of hers before which ended on a hopeful note (her alter ego Meg Maguire writes romance with the requisite HEA). Plus, I picked this up for 60% off at Fictionwise recently, so really there was no risk!
What it’s about: Wow, what an interesting short story. It’s told in first person from Abby’s POV. She’s a single lady who has decided to have a child and isn’t interested in a sperm bank. She wants to conceive the “natural” way but without a relationship messing with things. So, she advertises in the Boston Globe and interviews potential candidates who (after medical tests including sperm motility) agree to have sex with her (for a fee) and then sign away any parental rights if she falls pregnant.
What worked for me: She chooses 2 men – Noah and Rob – she doesn’t necessarily want to know the identity of the father. It doesn’t sound all that sexy does it? But, it is. I really liked the way Ms. McKenna juxtaposed the encounters with Rob and with Noah to illustrate the different emotional relationships (for want of a better phrase) each “couple” had. With only a few words, she somehow painted very clear pictures of all three characters. I liked Noah quite a bit and appreciated that while he was accommodating and he was not wimpy. Even Rob wasn’t entirely one dimensional.
What didn’t: There was one particular sex scene which I found a little improbable on a number of levels but it was pretty darn hot.
What else: As a whole, I found the story strangely romantic (considering the plot) with a hopeful and appropriate (if somewhat simplistic) ending. Sexy and unusual and well worth my time. If you’re after something short, different and hot, look no further.