Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Black Gold, Book 6
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: James Blake Tanner IV
Heroine: Erin Winters
Date of Publication: December 1, 2005
Started On: September 11, 2010
Finished On: September 12, 2010
I picked up this book on the basis of its storyline, where the hero has been previously married and wife had died. The love story that unfurls is most of the time between a reluctant hero who idolizes the memory of his dead wife which prevents him from seeing the heroine who is a much better match for him all around. This book takes things a step further, such that the heroine is the surrogate mother of the hero and his dead wife’s child.
Another Love is the 3rd book in a series called Black Gold by the author. The story kicks off when Erin Winters receives the news that she has successfully become pregnant with the sperm provided by the father-to-be James Blake Tanner IV whom she had never met. Though Erin has serious reservations about the fact that whether she would be able to let go of the baby that will keep on growing inside of her and is a part of her, Erin has no choice with all the tragedies that life had inevitably dealt her with. With her husband Bill killed in a hideous car accident 3 years ago, rendering Timmy their son unable to walk had taken its toll on Erin’s life and her finances as well. Erin had quoted a sum of 50,000 dollars for the baby she would bear for the Tanners so that her son Timmy could go ahead with the surgery that is his only hope of ever being able to walk again. And then tragedy strikes once again when at the 5th month of her pregnancy she receives word that Glenna Tanner had died in surgery after being shot by a deranged maniac going on a shooting spree at the infant department at Neiman Marcus.
James Blake Tanner IV (Blake’s) world comes crashing down all around him when his beloved wife, best friend and soul mate dies a senseless death leaving him reeling in the aftermath. James and Glenna had grown up together, Glenna being brought up by grandparents who had taught her to love and live life to the fullest, with Blake being brought up by the servants hired by his workaholic lawyer of a father. Glenna had brought joy and color into his otherwise mundane life. At the tender age of 10, a solemn little boy then, Blake had professed his love for Glenna and proposed to Glenna on the Christmas after they had graduated from college.
Blake and Glenna had been married for more than 14 years and survived a bunch of miscarriages. Glenna’s need to have a baby of their own had finally ended up in Blake agreeing to surrogacy though Blake would have happily foregone having a child if it meant Glenna would be by his side for all time. Blake knows that there is no way that he would want the baby that is a part of him now, since he knows that he would resent the unborn child because it had been the reason that fate had so cruelly snatched away the only person who meant the world to him.
When Blake requests through his friend and gynecologist Greg that Erin obtain an abortion, Erin is livid and informs Greg that she wouldn’t do any such thing and wants to talk to the father of the child she is carrying. Blake doesn’t want anything to do with the woman who in his opinion had stooped so low as to request a large sum of money in exchange for her baby. But when Blake against his better judgment goes and meets Erin, Blake knows that he cannot turn away from the woman who carries his child and the dire situation she is in. In the end, Blake resolves the situation by inviting Erin and her son Timmy who captures his heart from the very first moment to move into his home.
Though Glenna maybe dead, her part in the story is far from over. Arriving as a ghost, knowing that her desire to have a baby had inevitably ended up with her being dead causing more hurt and grief than she ever wanted to the man she would love all through eternity, Glenna vows to make things right for Blake once again. Knowing that her Blake who always viewed life in a methodical and analytical way would rather commit himself into an asylum than acknowledge that his dead wife was haunting him, Glenna decides to work her way through with Erin by her side.
A mild friendship develops between Erin and Blake and when Erin hurts herself before her due date, Blake is forced to face the fact that he doesn’t want his child to arrive into this world as a bastard. Thus with this practicality in mind, Blake offers to marry Erin though he informs her that he has nothing emotionally left in him to give and that he would always love his dead wife. Erin knows that the security that Blake offers her and Timmy is too good to turn down. Any misgivings she has is cleared away by Glenna and it is with all good intentions in mind that Erin agrees to marriage with Blake.
Though both Erin and Blake feel a mutual awareness of one another, Blake is too grief stricken to really acknowledge it, that is until the night Erin gives birth to their son Jamie and Blake sees Erin nursing their son. Desire and lust long denied unfurls which Blake tries to hide and keep at bay. But in the end, a seductive and alluring Erin proves to be too much of a temptation to resist. Though Blake may share his body with Erin, and feels guilty about it, he doesn’t give himself the chance to really see Erin as a woman who is more compatible for him in every way. Erin knows that the man she has fallen so hopelessly in love is never going to return her feelings, but Glenna keeps on urging her to move forward and work towards obtaining Blake’s love.
There is also a secondary story interwoven with Blake and Erin’s story. The story of Erin’s younger sister Sandy and her boss and Blake’s friend Greg who is the gynecologist who find love in one another and fights the obstacles in their merged lives to get married and start a life with one another. I didn’t care much for the explicit sex scenes between Sandy and Greg, maybe because I never really got into their characters. Some of the scenes between Blake and Erin were definitely smoking hot, though the rest left a lot to be desired. There is only so much smut a girl can read before it gets to be repetitive.
I enjoyed Blake and Erin’s story though not as much as I hoped I would. Erin’s son Timmy and the way he heroically suffered the rigorous treatments he has to undergo throughout won my heart over and over again. I could definitely use some of his courage over here in the real world!