The Baby Battle - Shannon Waverly
1.5, really. I will never pick up one of these without reading the synopsis again (I'm still not sure how I did this time). The story was ridiculous. The characters were awful, except for poor Timmy who I wanted to miraculously become self-sufficient thus allowing for all of the adults in his life to die off by the end. The Bradford men were heinous human beings with no redeeming value. Logan was never redeemed enough for me to justify any romance between he and Suzanna. He was basically an obsequious clone of his awful father. Doing his bidding whenever necessary. He threw his brother out of his life and kept justifying his actions. It was so stupid. He didn't want Timmy, didn't care about him, had never attempted to even acknowledge the kid's existence up until this point, and only went with the stealing the kid from his Aunt plan to try and revitalize his ailing father. He actually believed that the kid would be better with strangers who have money than the Aunt who has been there for him his entire life and loves him dearly. Believed, and accused Suzanna, of the insipidly concocted story his father came up with that Suzanna only helped out her sister and brother-in-law (the son/brother they threw away because he dared to marry someone of inferior social standing) because she knew there was some random trust fund and was hoping that they'd eventually forgive him and let him have the money. Because, yeah, it totally makes sense someone would support two adults and a child on the off chance that many years later she'd get some meager payoff. Ugh, it goes on and on with him. Terrible person. Suzanna had potential, she showed some backbone in the beginning, but that died quickly. She fought some in the initial court date before the judge, but didn't say the right things and neither her nor her useless lawyer pointed out that it was obvious the judge was a close personal friend of the Bradfords. That whole scene was idiotic. Especially that they let the judge's obviously biased ruling go with no formal objection. If nothing else, my behind would have been on Good Morning America or something like that the next freaking day. So she ends up spending more time with Logan because, surprise surprise, four-year-olds (especially recently orphaned ones) don't handle being uprooted and forced to live with strangers well. Does Suzanna try to parlay this into something that will get her sole custody back? No, the whole guardianship suit becomes background to her and Logan's burgeoning attraction. Because you'd definitely find someone who tries to purchase your nephew from you for $30,000, calls you a gold-digger by proxy, calls your sister a gold-digging whore, browbeats you in court to steal the kid legally, makes it clear he thinks money means everything and love means nothing, etc. so forth and so on, attractive. Okay. She starts thinking he's a nice guy she's misunderstood, though I still don't see how she comes to that conclusion. He's not. He's a moron and is only now learning not to be through her. He does start caring about the kid, and every time he does something basic, she's grateful, and telling him "thank you" or giving him pats on the back. Nevermind this could mean him getting sole custody of Timmy. Long story short she loses the will to fight, or do anything other than lament her feelings because of their attraction. At a certain point she figures out that he and his fiancée aren't actually engaged, they just said they were to the judge to get custody. She got mad and pointed that out to him when she confronted him. I thought this was what would get her back up, that she would get back in the fight here – or at least unleash everything that needed to be said about their horrendous behavior on him. Nope. He gets all giddy that he no longer has to live the lie and can feel free to kiss and grope her. And, of course, all her anger and argument dies as they unabashedly make out. There are so many things she could have and should have said that she just let go. By the end of the book she kind of makes herself sound like a gold-digger instead of making it clear that the Bradford money is irrelevant and really means nothing, while letting the elder Bradford verbally assault her. She outright agreed that the money would raise Timmy better than her love and adoration of the child ever could (she really did say it, I can't make something that stupid up). And gave up the guardianship suit. She walked away completely so that Logan didn't lose his inheritance either. I honestly can't even count how many times I said, "you are an idiot" about both Logan and Suzanna. Oh, and it took two weeks for them to go from adversaries fueled by animosity to completely in love, and less than another week to married. Yes, this makes sense, too. I suppose I should appreciate that they didn't hop into the sack in that short amount of time like in other books.I can't believe I actually read as much of this thing as I did (though I mostly skimmed, the irritation wasn't worth it). I think it's the fact I spent a dollar on it that forced me to do so. Thankfully, this was an obscure 1994 release, so I'm not worried about people clamoring to read it, or even happening upon it like I did. I didn't intend to write this much about it, but I just had too many feelings to not put them someplace.