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    Review of THE MOMMY FOR A MINUTE by Judy Christenberry (see her website)


    Harlequin American Romance #1173, August 2007

    When lawyer Lauren McNabb's boss sends her home for a month to relax, she decides to take advantage of the opportunity to have an office built into her extra bedroom. Sexy carpenter Jack Mason is an artist with woodwork and will do a great job, but the preschool Jack's daughter had attended was abruptly closed and he needs to bring along his little girl. It doesn't take long for Lauren to fall for the little girl and when Lauren's younger brothers think Jack is her date rather than her carpenter, it's so tempting to play along. There is, however, one very large problem--Jack has decided his daughter's future mother will not be a lawyer, will not be the kind of woman who pursues her career to extremes, will not be the kind of woman people in a law firm nick-name the 'shark.' And Lauren is all of these things.

    Jack knows the traditional upbringing he had, with a stay-at-home mom, isn't as common any more, but he worries when he sees Lauren and Ally bond. Ally doesn't remember her birth mother--who walked away as soon as Ally was born, but he knows how much it would hurt her to think she finally had a mother, only to have that woman lose interest and go on with her life. He does his best to push Lauren away, but his best isn't good enough because a part of him doesn't want her anywhere but in his arms.

    A series of circumstances conspire both to make Lauren play the role of mom (if only for a minute) and highlight their differences. Each time the two are mistaken for a couple, their reluctance to deny it grows--but Jack's sense of danger is sharpened. Ultimately, pure physical attraction is not enough, however. If the two are to have a chance together, they're going to have to come to terms with their differences. Lauren has worked hard to become a lawyer and doesn't intend to give it up. Jack has his dreams of the perfect family and doesn't want to give those up, either. Is there any solution for the two of them?

    Author Judy Christenberry (see more reviews of novels by Christenberry) tells an engaging story of love overcoming fear. For Jack, taking the steps that he thinks will protect him actually puts his chances for happiness at risk. For Lauren, reaching out for a new child reminds her that there is a life outside of work--something she'd forgotten as she became the 'shark.' Christenberry's always approachable writing style and straightforward story-telling will hold your interest as you watch these two attempt to overcome their pasts.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 6/21/07

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