Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Julie Hammerle - Knocked-Up Cinderella

I’m a walking contradiction.
School principal who liberally drops the F bomb.
Fiercely independent yet willing to auction myself off for charity.
Serial monogamist who’s down for a no-strings one-night stand.
Except now I’ve gone from one-working-ovary to co-parent in the time it took a stick to turn blue. F. Bomb.
Ian Donovan may be a richer-than-hell venture capitalist, but he’s no Prince Charming ready to sweep me off my feet. Good thing I don’t need him. I’ve been doing fine on my own for forty years, and I’m not about to start changing that now. Ultrasounds, swollen feet, midnight cravings? Bring. It. On.
But why is it when you finally swear off men, you meet one who’s too sexy—and determined we can make it work?
F. Bomb.

Comment: I became interested in this book back in 2018, and it has been waiting all this time for me to pick it up. I liked the idea of a heroine slightly older than the norm and even more that she would need to deal with an unexpected pregnancy when she's forty and unmarried.

In this story we meet Erin, she's a school principal and many see that as her having to be formal and strict but Erin is independent and funny and sees education in a different way from many of her peers. At one school event, as part of the charity auction, she is "saved" by Ian Donovan, a well sought out ladies man who is actually charming and easy to talk to and they hit it off very quickly. Although Erin isn't a one-night stand kind of girl, her chemistry with Ian can't be denied and they spend a wonderful night. The thing is, the condom must not be a good one and she is pregnant. At first she convinces Ian he doesn't have to do anything if he doesn't like it, she can be a single mother but... they did get along and Ian seems to want to change his ways... or doesn't he? 

The idea of this story was, indeed, captivating. I was curious to see how the author would present the "mother at 40" idea and how the romantic relationship would develop if both of them agreed they wouldn't be a permanent couple. Of course I expected that this would go a romance novel way and they would see the errors of their ways...which did happen but, to be honest, I wasn't dazzled.

Nothing to say about the writing, it's easy and fluid and we have their POVs in alternate chapters, so we can sympathize with both their personalities. They are both good people, who seem to justify some of their thoughts/choices based on events of the past, things that didn't go too well... this is believable, who doesn't?, but to read about this in romance format can be a bit boring, not only because we know they will change their minds about some things but also because it makes it look as if only an outside detail would solve their inner issues. It's not a novelty but it sounded a bit boring.

Thus, this was how I kept seeing the development of things and I assumed most of the story (the book is more on the short story size than the novel one) would be about the dealing with the pregnancy and after but almost half is set on how they meet and have their night and think about one another. There wasn't that much about being pregnant at 40 as I expected besides the most obvious. It's true I liked some passages on how Erin feels she can be independent and still have feelings for Ian and that doesn't mean they have to marry but I kind of felt it was just something that had to be added.

Since the story isn't too big, perhaps these impressions I got can be due to the lack of development, I feel we don't really see an evolution of the characters, there are scenes they pay which feel staged and I also got the sense the author could have shown a lot more than she simply told. Some scenes seemed to have been added to make a point, or to explain a character's feature or why they changed their mind afterwards or something, and not because it was the "organic" advancement of the plot.

Erin and Ian, at some point, talk and we get the idea they actually like each other more than what they let on. This is classic in romance and assumed, but I expected the author to do something more special with it. I didn't end up having that notion, so I think the concept wasn't as complex as it could have. Apart from some comments here and there, why would it matter that Erin and Ian are in their 40s? Most of the issues are dealt in a way that would not differ much were they to be 30.

The story reads well, it's cute in several moments, I liked several passages and situations, there's enough to make it work and the end is as sugary as one can imagine! But I must confess I wasn't left with this sense this was as great as it could have been...
Grade: 6/10

No comments:

Post a Comment