Review: The Fourth Child by C.J. Carmichael

Format: Paperbackthefourthchild
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: 9 Months Later, #23
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Kirk Ridgeway
Heroine: Claire Elizabeth Adams
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: May 1, 2000
Started On: May 17, 2011
Finished On: May 17, 2011

I have been in a kind of restless place lately wanting to get my hands on something unusual to read. I started with 2 books yesterday which I gave up reading after around half way through because the stories somehow didn’t end up being what I was looking for. And so not to give up on my quest to find something different, I turned to this little number in my TBR pile, a paperback I acquired a couple of weeks back because of its unusual theme.

The Fourth Child delves into a topic that we come across rarely in romance novels. Because lets face it, no one wants to read about infidelity that involves either the hero or heroine, wanting our time out from the real world to be as picture perfect as possible. This book begins into the twelfth year of marriage between Kirk and Claire, whose life seems to be just about perfect to someone viewing it from the other side.

Well into her 30’s, Claire is the mother of three beautiful daughters with the news of a fourth child on the way when mere ten minutes later her husband Kirk drops the bombshell that he is in love with someone else. Kirk’s involvement with Janice begins innocently enough until six months later Kirk is forced to admit that their seemingly innocent get togethers have certainly turned into something of the more intimate variety which has Kirk questioning himself on whether he is ready to give up Claire and his girls for a few moments of guilty pleasure.

Claire feels as if her whole world is crashing down right in front of her upon receiving Kirk’s admission of his feelings towards another woman. Betrayal, anger, jealousy and a whole riot of emotions swirl through Claire making her want  to curl up into a ball and vent out all the emotions that seems to be suffocating her. And when Kirk tells her that he wants a shot at making things work in their marriage, though Claire is clearly hesitant to agree to it, she finds herself embarking on unchartered waters trying to find the right path on which they could both heal and learn to find the love that had drawn them together in the first place.

This was an interesting piece of work because it takes the reader through a journey of discovery between two people who earlier had found reasons to tie the holy knot of matrimony, who had embarked on a life together and made a home together to suddenly find out that they have been drifting apart for the last couple of months. The jolt that wakes them up, hurtful as it may be serves to be the point where both Kirk and Claire have to  try to work things out, not only for the sake of their children but for themselves as well.

Though Kirk was the one to stray from his vows, I found myself admiring him because he had the guts to come out with the truth and let his wife know before things had proceeded to a point of no return. The challenges that Kirk and Claire face separately and together as they work things out all seem to be well thought out, with Claire and Kirk both facing some hard truths about themselves before they can finally reach a place where they are able to move forward and not look back. A well rounded tale that is certainly different from your average romance, a tale of family life, friendships that help you through the toughest times and a story of love and second chances that certainly had me racing towards the finish line without giving up – just to see how things turned out in the end.

Recommended for readers like myself who want something a little bit different in their world of romance now and then.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Abe Books



  1. I think I read this book, or a very similar one. The topic of cheating is quite common in woman’s fiction, but is a bit taboo in romance (or in romances written in the past ten years). You just need to see that Amazon forum about cheating heroes. I just don’t really know how I feel about it. Infidelity is something that a lot of couples go through, and it would be logic to see romance novels focusing on this, but as you said most of us (and I’m including myself in this group) read romances for the happy ending (among other things) and I can’t honestly see how a book about infidelity could have a happy ending, because even if it does, it must be painful to achieve and painful to read. Kudos to you for stepping outside of the mainstream comfort zone, and for being able to give an honest non-judgmental opinion about it. This books sound like it has a very realistic approach to the subject. I need to find out if this is the one I read, if it isn’t I think I might give it a try!



    1. Hi Brie,
      Yes, the whole read was one agonizing fest. But the book has its moments that makes it all worth it towards the end. :)



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