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REVIEW: A Natural Father by Sarah Mayberry

Dear Ms. Mayberry:

I have to start out this review by admitting my personal bias. I am not a huge fan of kids in romance books, or at least how they seem to be generally characterized. While I am a mother myself, I do not believe that children are necessary to be fulfilled either as a woman or as a married person. One of the reason I dislike baby epilogues is that by ending a romance with a baby more often than not seems to convey the idea that babies are the natural result of love (not to mention marriage) and that a fecund free coupling is really not reaching the pinnacle of happiness.

But why did I buy a book that was called “A Natural Father” and had a baby on the front of the cover?   Because I’ve enjoyed almost every Mayberry book I’ve read.   On the one hand, I appreciate that you tackled a difficult subject and the story was well done because despite my insides churning, I was compelled to read on. On the other, I don’t know whether the fair handed message you intended was actually delivered because I felt like, at times, the characters were saying that it was okay to a) not want to be a mother and b) that having children did not equal true love but I wasn’t entirely sure that the story was committed to that message.

Lucy Basso was a difficult heroine for me to like. She, like the storyline, presented what seemed like dueling personalities. Her boyfriend cheated on her and then dumped her. She found out she was pregnant and the boyfriend wanted nothing to do with her. The boyfriend had no visible means of support, she supported him and was offering no financial support for the child. Yet, she still clung to the hope that he would be involved in her life and the child’s life. She did come to the realization that the ex wasn’t going   to be there, ever; and maybe it was the right time for the book, but just not quick enough for me.   She was, however, not a moper. She got on with her life, accepted help when she needed it and put together an awesome business plan to further her fresh produce delivery service.

Dominic Bianco has always had a thing for Lucy, even when they were young.   He’s a recovering divorcee who is struggling to come to terms with where he fits in the family business since his father has trouble letting go.   Dominic sees an opportunity to partner with Lucy and possibly get closer to her.   Dominic has no problem with Lucy’s pregnancy and in fact, her fertile self makes her more beautiful in Dominic’s eyes.

Interestingly Lucy isn’t interested in Dominic in the beginning.   She never really saw him until her sister pointed out just how truly gorgeous he was.   Then Lucy was uncomfortable with her burgeoning desire and her cratering self image, not to mention her doubt about men in general.     Dominic seems like a near perfect hero until he pulls a classic–I know better than anyone else–move toward the end of the book.

The fascinating relationship was the secondary romance involving the sister who does not want to have kids and her husband who does. Unfortunately the sister hasn’t been honest with her husband and repeatedly fails to share with him that his vision of the future, doesn’t match hers. The sister has to grapple with coming clean to her husband and possibly ruining their marriage or hiding the truth from him or going along with trying to have a child even if she doesn’t want to.

I wasn’t thrilled with where the story ended because again, I felt that there wasn’t sufficient validation for the other side of the coin – that children aren’t necessary to have a fulfilling life or that a woman who does not want to have children is somehow abnormal or incomplete.   The writing, though, is very good and I was compelled to finish the book, almost against my will.   In the hands of another author, I think this could have easily been a wall banger.   C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or ebook format from the Harlequin Site and other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

42 Comments

  1. Chicklet
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 16:43:02

    One of the reason I dislike baby epilogues is that by ending a romance with a baby more often than not seems to convey the idea that babies are the natural result of love (not to mention marriage) and that a fecund free coupling is really not reaching the pinnacle of happiness.

    I might stitch that on pillows and send them to the publishers. *G*

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  2. SonomaLass
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:04:31

    Jane, you’re singing my song. I really want to read a romance where the heroine doesn’t want children, and that’s okay, and she still gets a HEA. I’ve read a few books where the heroine can’t have kids, and that has worked sometimes, but one does get the impression from a lot of books that only progeny really complete the HEA.

    In contemporaries, it bugs me because it seems like the landscape of the genre isn’t reflecting the variety of real options and choices for women. In historicals, it bothers me because there obviously were women who couldn’t, even if they wanted to, and I’d like to see more fictional men who could accept that and love her for her own sake.

    Of course the real wallbangers for me are the ones where she supposedly can’t have children, but his magic seed beats all the odds. Sort of the reverse “magic hoo-ha” syndrome. I know these things happen IRL (maybe it’s exactly a one-in-a-million chance, a la Sir Terry Pratchett), but usually in a novel it makes me dissatisfied, because it seems to be suggesting that the HEA wasn’t real without that.

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  3. Barb Ferrer
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:12:15

    I had a manuscript rejected because the couple, at the end, in their HEA, decided they didn’t want kids. They actually had one each prior to meeting and decided they were good with that. They were happy building their family from what already existed, rather than trying to create something more– some “binding” factor.

    Rejection read, “I have a problem with them deciding not to have children of their own. Readers would feel cheated and think they’re a selfish pair.”

    No lie.

    Jane, is Sarah Mayberry the author you’ve recommended to me before?

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  4. Victoria Dahl
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:29:09

    Rejection read, “I have a problem with them deciding not to have children of their own. Readers would feel cheated and think they're a selfish pair.”

    *Gag*

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  5. Bonnie
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:44:13

    Rejection read, “I have a problem with them deciding not to have children of their own. Readers would feel cheated and think they're a selfish pair.”

    Ditto on the “gag”. Hard to believe we’re living in the 21st century.

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  6. GrowlyCub
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:51:40

    I occasionally (when the paranoia hits, grin) think the ‘and they happily procreated’ is part of an insidious government brain washing attempt to keep us making little Christian babies so the Muslims can’t take over the world… and I’m only half kidding when I say that.

    For some eye-opening population statistics I recommend David K. Foot. He gave a speech at a conference for international student recruiters that blew my mind away (not that it convinced our admissions office, but at least *I* learned something). And he’s funny, too!

    I cannot believe some editor would say I’m selfish for not having kids. That’s very insulting. I knew I didn’t want kids, didn’t want the responsibility and didn’t want to give the care that I felt a child deserves from its parent. I’m not selfish, I would have been selfish having a kid and then neglecting it by not giving it a 100%.

    It’s mind boggling that such idiotic and short-sighted views still hold sway today. The problem is not people who decide not to have children. It’s the people who clearly should not be parents who keep popping them out. Insane attitude. Was this recently, Barb? I’d love to know the publisher, cause they clearly need letters from healthy, well-adjusted adults who unselfishly decided not to have children and do not like to read books that insist only a procreator is a good person.

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  7. Jane
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:01:48

    I want to say that I don’t think Mayberry was intending to send the message that babies are be all / end all because she did try to show the opposite POV. It was just that it wasn’t sold to me. So hopefully, I convey that.

    Yes, Mayberry is an author I really enjoy and I’ll definitely buy her again. I gave her an A grade on one of her books I believe.

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  8. Bianca
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:04:11

    Of course the real wallbangers for me are the ones where she supposedly can't have children, but his magic seed beats all the odds. Sort of the reverse “magic hoo-ha” syndrome.

    You should call it the “Eloisa James” syndrome. Isn’t she famous for those sorts of plots? I remember reading a few of her books – most memorably “Fool for Love” and “Duchess by Night” – where the heroines are supposedly unable to have children… But then, magically, the hero and his army of super sperm show up and it’s all babies, babies, babies in the epilogue!

    Yuck. Totally turned me off her, after that.

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  9. GrowlyCub
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:12:24

    I don’t like the magic sperm either, but it is true that there are just some combinations that will not result in live offspring or even discernible pregnancy. Some partners may have lethal recessive alleles that leave the woman looking like she never conceived and is “infertile”.

    Something like 30% of all pregnancies spontaneously abort, without the women even knowing they were pregnant. In a historical, where the heroine was only with one previous partner, it’s not impossible that a different partner whose sperm doesn’t carry said lethal recessive allele may have a successful pregnancy, even if the woman hasn’t gotten pregnant before over years or decades.

    All that said. I still don’t like the magic sperm if it comes up again and again and again in one author’s writing. :)

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  10. Barb Ferrer
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:24:42

    Was this recently, Barb? I'd love to know the publisher, cause they clearly need letters from healthy, well-adjusted adults who unselfishly decided not to have children and do not like to read books that insist only a procreator is a good person.

    Let me think.. this was two adult manuscripts ago, so it would be two, maybe three years ago now, Growly.

    Like most authors, I have a really creative list of rejections, but that was one of my favorites. I’d love to say I was boggled by that attitude, but it’s by no means the first time I’ve been dinged for my lack of a traditional approach to relationships within my manuscripts. *shrug* Nature of the beast, I suppose.

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  11. GrowlyCub
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:32:36

    Barb, thanks. *headdesk* We only thought we had moved past the Middle Ages when the only purpose of a woman was to produce more men, didn’t we?

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  12. Maddie
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:48:12

    The thing is most marriages strain when kids are added into the mix because now the child needs should be met first and most spouses put their needs and their spouses needs second, C.J Carmichael book The Fourth Child shows how busy your lives become when you have kids fulfilling but busy.

    That is why I love books that shows how marriages are when you have kids, work, and the whole mix.

    I, like GrowlyCub choose not to have kids, I do not think I’m wired to be a Mom, and it would be selfish of me to do so.

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  13. Janine
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 19:14:40

    Jennifer Crusie has some main characters who choose not to procreate. The couple from Bet Me comes to mind.

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  14. Leslie Kelly
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 19:50:05

    I just turned in a book with a h/H who are very serious about never wanting children and are in agreement on that.

    I’ve been curious about how my editor will react to it. Barb, your story makes me a little nervous.

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  15. Jane
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 19:51:16

    @Leslie Kelly: Oh, yeah. Can we shame the publisher into making it happen for us non baby folks?

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  16. Barb Ferrer
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 20:10:56

    I've been curious about how my editor will react to it. Barb, your story makes me a little nervous.

    Hopefully in a much better fashion! *g* I don’t know Leslie– when I was submitting that manuscript, it was pre-publication for me and in all honesty, there were probably other reasons to go along with the rejection (in that reading between the lines sort of way) but it was a solid reason the editor could glom onto and articulate.

    With you, you’re submitting it to your editor and you’ve got a much better track record going in. Nevertheless, I’ll keep everything crossed for you.

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  17. Kimber An
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 20:58:50

    Babies! More babies! Although I accept that some couples do not desire them, it is personally incomprehensible to me. And I’m probably just as baffling to them.
    ;)

    Sign Me,

    Retired Nanny and Happy Mother of Five

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  18. Leslie Kelly
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 21:09:32

    She should be reading it soon. I’ll keep you posted…

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  19. cecilia
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 21:22:18

    @Bianca: I can’t remember about Duchess by Night (even though I read it – it didn’t stick, obviously), but in defence of Fool for Love, it wasn’t that she was infertile, but that she thought she couldn’t have kids because it might kill her (as it had her mother), based on her mother, and her screwy hips (not the medical term).

    Regarding the tactless publisher – as much as the rejection sounds narrow-minded, I think it’s probably a fair assessment of the majority of people to think that they would think not wanting kids was selfish. I know very few couples who’ve decided to forego the experience who have not been ‘treated’ to constant nagging and criticism. (Personally, I think a lot of people have kids for selfish reasons, but that’s another issue).

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  20. Bonnie
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 21:59:47

    Jane, I believe you have another pole here. Or, if you do, I missed it.

    Babies: Yes!

    No Babies: Yes!

    Babies Either Way!

    Or whatever… :P

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  21. Selene
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 01:37:41

    I hate it when the infertile woman becomes fertile! Didn’t that happen in The Leopard Prince? It’s especially annoying when the hero, like in that novel, really needs an heir but decides he wants the heroine enough to give it up. It’s like the choice didn’t have any meaning.

    I also choose not to have children and I can testify that it’s still in this modern age a very provocative decision for some people. Heck, one guy even told me to my face that it made it obvious I and DH didn’t really love each other.

    Selene

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  22. Peggy P
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 06:40:59

    I agree with Selene – for many people this is the one constant topic associated with my husband and I, the fact that we are childless – still – after 32 yrs of marriage. We ran into “friends” we haven’t seen in years and that was among the very first comments…”you still don’t have kids”. The fact that we are both 55 this month didn’t seem to enter into the equation! Let’s face it – child bearing years are way past us!

    That it seems to be a topic people feel free to discuss with us has always amazed me. While pregnancy & babies are a common topic, especially in groups of women, I don’t feel that un-pregnancy and un-babies should be as morbidly interesting to people. I could write a book about the comments that have been made over the years… and now the comments are more along the lines of “who’s going to take care of you in your (creeping) old age”?

    Anyway, childlessness is a topic that seems not to have changed over the past decades – it is still considered an oddity and to have made a choice seems to always amaze some, as if they weren’t aware it is possible to have a choice!

    I would relish romances with this alternate POV and without any pity or weird medical trauma involved!

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  23. Jayne
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 06:59:40

    Anyway, childlessness is a topic that seems not to have changed over the past decades – it is still considered an oddity and to have made a choice seems to always amaze some, as if they weren't aware it is possible to have a choice!

    I would relish romances with this alternate POV and without any pity or weird medical trauma involved!

    I’ve mentioned in other reviews that I’m childless by choice and have almost always felt that was how I wanted to be. So, when I look at book covers and see 1-3 toddlers or a heroine holding her pregnant belly, it is almost an immediate TURN-OFF to me. I will only look at blurbs for books like these if the author is known and liked by me or if the book comes with a superior rec.

    Leslie, I hope your book is accepted as is. Barb, maybe now you can get that book – or some version of it – published.

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  24. Leah
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 07:18:21

    See, I’m lovin’ the babies, and that illustration is so good that I can feel the weight of his downy head in the crook of my arm and smell that baby smell. I loved being pregnant, and if I could get away with having another baby safely, I would. (Or if I had the money for an adoption, and could persuade my husband).

    Still, the romance as we knew it changed greatly after we had our 3. I remember wistfully the nights of spontaneous sex, quiet restaurant dinners, fun overnight trips, being able to go 10 minutes without someone tattling or wanting something from me, beds without the wee-wee spot…. Now that the oldest is 7 and the youngest is almost 4, we’re starting to have more adult time, but it was not always easy. I always think the HEA couple needs to take about 5 yrs for themselves (we had 18 mos) before the little one shows up. They need those memories!

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  25. GrowlyCub
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 08:12:52

    When I was 18 I was doing a summer internship at a company. Somehow the topic of kids came up and I mentioned that that wasn’t for me. One guy in his mid-40s patted me on the head and said that I would change my mind since if I didn’t have children my life would have no purpose or I should go ahead and commit suicide to take my wasted woman’s body off this planet. That was 20 years ago. I could have hoped that this attitude had matured some over the years, but I guess not.

    Do we want to talk about the woman who has 6 children, 3 disabled, living off welfare who somehow managed to have enough money to have 6 embryos implanted that turned into 8? Why is that more acceptable than knowing that children were not what you were supposed to do with life? (I know she’s facing backlash now, but…).

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  26. XandraG
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 08:24:27

    Keep in mind that we’re a bit wired as a species to want kids–it’s a biological imperative–so it’s to be expected that there’ll be curiosity when encountering folk who want to remain child-free. Oftentimes, it really is a *conscious* choice to go the non-spawn route–we have all sorts of unconscious physiological triggers designed to get us out there, smexin’ and makin’ babies in order to keep the species going. The fact that there seem to be more people presently either choosing to go child-free or actually having assumed for most or all their lives to be uninterested in spawning makes me think that we as a species are reaching a point where we know we’re putting a little too much pressure on our home.

    I don’t favor the idea that a child is a required garnish on an HEA to make it complete. I didn’t have my kids to prove my love for my husband or for any other reason than Mr. Xandra and I wanted a couple little darlings to unleash on an unsuspecting world.

    Epilogues full of babies and potato-salad picnics make my back teeth ache. Most of the time, I don’t want my characters to “settle down and live a normal life” – I started reading about them because they *weren’t* normal! Unless the babies have tentacles, wings, and/or horns and scales and the potato salad talks back. In ancient Aramaic.

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  27. MoJo
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 09:08:12

    [Childlessness by choice] seems to be a topic people feel free to discuss with us has always amazed me.

    Eh, pregnant women get all sorts of nosy, downright rude questions all the time and their bellies get touched without permission, too, so it could be that people are generally rude and nosy. The first time someone touched my belly I slapped her hand. Hard. And she was a random stranger in a store.

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  28. Barb Ferrer
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 10:58:54

    The first time someone touched my belly I slapped her hand. Hard. And she was a random stranger in a store.

    So glad I wasn’t the only one. And I got scolded for being “rude.”

    I was like “Lady, that’s your dance space, this is MY dance space, okay?”

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  29. kristenmary
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 11:03:55

    I have to agree with MoJo. Some people are just rude. I’m pregnant with my second right now, have three months to go. I’ve had people make all sorts of comments about “how can I last 3 more months”, or “I must be having twins”, even though I am not that big and measure right where I should be. Then once people hear I’m having another boy they make the “aww, that’s too bad” face. I’m happy to have two boys. I just want happy healthy babies. And no, I am not going to keep trying for a girl. Two is all I want.

    My biggest pet peeve with the romance book world is the children complete the HEA trope. My hubby and I were married 11 years before we had kid 1 by choice. We weren’t trying the whole time, we waited. And we had lots of fun during those 11 years. Why is it that as soon as the magical “I love yous” are shared in a book the heroine is pregnant. Grrr. Even in JAK’s latest the heroine was pregnant at the end. I just want to scream, “When are these couples going to grow as a couple if you throw a kid in there???”. I know its possible and waiting 11 years isn’t for everyone but it just drives me nuts. My two cents.

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  30. Kimber An
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 11:08:24

    Absolutely, MoJo! It’s ridiculous how people criticize what they do not understand. Just because childless-by-choice is incomprehensible to me doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it. I think it’s fabulous to live in a place and time when we have the freedom to make the choice at all.

    As for the octuplet mom, clearly there’s an emotional issue at the heart of what she did and none of us who want and can easily make our own babies can possibly comprehend. The medical professionals involved ought to have recommended counseling instead of taking her money. Looks like the case will spawn new regulations regarding infertility treatments in California anyway.

    For the record, I feel more romantic with each new baby and my marriage only grows stronger. It can be done and happily too. There’s a lot of great books on the subject. Dr. Ruth wrote one, in fact. Check the self-help section in non-fiction at the bookstore.
    ;)

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  31. MoJo
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 11:13:09

    I was like “Lady, that's your dance space, this is MY dance space, okay?”

    I wasn’t quite that polite about it, but I bet you she’s never touched another pregnant belly since!

    Then there are the people who see a pregnant woman with a couple of kids (or more) and snidely ask her if she’d ever heard of birth control. So, you know…that rude-about-kids thing goes both ways.

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  32. Selene
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 13:41:21

    GrowlyCub wrote:

    One guy in his mid-40s patted me on the head and said that I would change my mind since if I didn't have children my life would have no purpose

    That still happens to me. I’ve been kind of hoping it will stop once I turn 40 or so, what with people having children later and later, but I can see now, thanks to Peggy P. what is in store instead:

    “who's going to take care of you in your (creeping) old age”?

    The weirdest thing, IMO, is not that people are nosy or rude, but that some seem to take my choice as some sort of personal affront, when it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with them.

    Selene

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  33. Terry Odell
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 15:47:05

    I have 3 kids (only wanted 2, but the second one was twins, so we kept her!). When we got married, Zero Population Growth was the big thing, and I honestly felt guilty admitting to that third child — but not having her, not in the least. Just saying “three” seemed to require justification.

    My brother and his wife — no kids, never wanted them. Hubby’s brother and first wife divorced because she changed her mind about no kids. No kids with wife #2, although she had a couple of them from her 1st marriage, but both grown. Hubby’s two sisters: No kids, by mutual choices all around.

    My kids? Daughter #1 hasn’t decided – she’s relatively newly married, and her hubby is in the military. She’s not listening to her clock tick. Daughter #2 has been married over 10 years. No plans to have kids. Son’s wife desperately wanted a baby. They did. She says no more.

    When my heroine said something to the hero at the end of a recent manuscript — “I want to get married right now, stop taking the Pill, and have your baby” my editor said, “Our readers don’t like babies.”

    However, having read 9 contemporaries for the RITAs, it does seem that without a baby, life can’t be complete. And that message sucks.

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  34. SonomaLass
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 16:01:51

    I have four wonderful kids, now all in their teens and 20s. I had them all before I was with my current partner — when we started our “second chance” adventure, my youngest was almost 10 and my oldest was 20. Oh, and I was 42 (yes, the answer to life, the universe and everything). We discussed it and decided that procreating was not on our agenda, for a variety of reasons. We were amazed by the number of people who assumed that we “weren’t serious” or “wouldn’t last” or “were settling for less” because we weren’t having “kids of our own” — as if children would prove something about our commitment to each other, or provide some kind of glue to hold us together. Sheesh, people can be dumb, not to mention nosy and rude, as mentioned above.

    I’m not saying there’s no place in romance for children, but it would be nice to have more of a balance, and more understanding that not all relationships need children to “complete” them, just like not all women need motherhood to do the same.

    @Growlycub: somehow the magic sperm doesn’t bother me as much in historicals as in contemporaries, because (as you say) there can lots of reasons why a couple doesn’t conceive, and most of those were unknown or poorly understood before the era of modern medicine. It’s also true that the woman usually got blamed, and it is certainly plausible that a change of partners could make a difference. But it is easily overdone, and just a little too convenient for me.

    What really bothers me is the implication that if his magic sperm hadn’t worked, they would have been less happy. I do not want the HEA contingent upon successful childbearing, plskthx.

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  35. Kalen Hughes
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 16:06:32

    I've mentioned in other reviews that I'm childless by choice and have almost always felt that was how I wanted to be.

    I prefer to call myself childfree rather than childless, as the “less” somehow implies a lack or need for said child.

    As an author, I divy out the babies as needed. The couple LORD SIN had one, the couple in LORD SCANDAL didn’t (and I don’t see they ever having one). Though I did get some bang-for-my-buck out of that first baby, as he’s born in the prologue of book 2 (he’s older in the prologe of book 1). I don’t have an agenda either way, I just write what is right for the couple and book.

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  36. GrowlyCub
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 16:25:14

    In historicals, I assume the h/h will eventually have kids (unless there’s a medical reason they can’t), because birth control was just not that great. As the result of a coitus interruptus, I know personally that that doesn’t work :), and French Letters weren’t exactly fool-proof either; sponges, douching etc. might work for a while, but nothing like getting up the second it’s over to wash away the sperm for a mood killer.

    SonomaLass, I totally agree with your point about the HEA being contingent on the baby magically being spermed. Most of the ones I read with this plot device seemed more concerned with the female’s desire in that direction and not so much the heroes’, but if the underlying message is that the hero would not have loved the heroine as much if she hadn’t spawned, yea, I don’t want to read that either.

    I’m 37 now. My spawning days are over, thankfully (well, they aren’t, but hell will freeze over before I knowingly run the risk of saddling a child with genetic mutations because my eggs are ancient). I haven’t gotten the pat on the head lately and fortunately my brother has two girls so my parents’ grandparent desire has been fulfilled. I wouldn’t have done so well at providing that anyway, considering that I live on a different continent and 6,000 miles from them. :)

    I have a surprising number of baby books on my keeper shelves, if you take into account how militant I am/was in making sure I wouldn’t have kids.

    I do think that the message has changed to a more stringent tone over the last 20 odd years. Where before it seemed more a personal desire, here lately the assumption seems to be more in the nature of a societal issue/pressure rather than character desire to procreate.

    And here’s one for the books: I wanted my tubes tied at 21 and at 26 and at 30odd… the reason they wouldn’t? Because I hadn’t had a child… *headdesk*

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  37. jillyfae
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 16:57:30

    And here's one for the books: I wanted my tubes tied at 21 and at 26 and at 30odd… the reason they wouldn't? Because I hadn't had a child… *headdesk*

    Oh, some friends of mine have come across that one too… most doctors are apparently told not to do any sort of potentially irreversible birth control to patients under 30 and/or without children, since they could decide later they want them. *rolls eyes* Cause there’s no chance a lady in her 20′s could realistically know her own mind, is there?
    /sarcasm

    Also, a friend of mine with the wonderful genetic combination of being barely over 5′ tall with G-cup breasts had trouble getting a medical breast reduction because it could make it impossible to breast-feed. Maybe.

    And back on topic, the baby-required-HEA drives me nuts too, especially if there was a relationship point earlier about accepting one’s partner even though there weren’t going to be children, for whatever reason.

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  38. Kalen Hughes
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 17:44:56

    And here's one for the books: I wanted my tubes tied at 21 and at 26 and at 30odd… the reason they wouldn't? Because I hadn't had a child… *headdesk*

    My girlfriends and I have all had this same fight with our docs over and over and over. I told my doc that I was going to sue if I get knocked up (since my health plan SPECIFICALLY excludes abortions, thank you Newt Gingrich!). I think she thought I was joking, but I'm so not. And I'm pushing 40 now and STILL having this fight with them because I'm single, and I might fall in love with someone who wants kids and be sorry later. I shit you not.

    How infantilized do doctors think they can keep us? It's freaken outrageous. I can abort a fetus, but I can’t get my tubes tied? *headdesk*

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  39. GrowlyCub
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 18:15:59

    If it’s any consolation they don’t just do that to single women. I’m married to a guy who has 3 adult kids and 5 grandchildren and who is fixed himself and they still wouldn’t do it because I might change my mind (after 22 years of being fertile and not having done so, mind).

    It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever encountered and so damn patriarchal it’s beyond infuriating. Sorry for the threadjack!

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  40. Kimber An
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 19:58:53

    Doctors know from experience that a woman’s maternal instinct can kick in a flash and it has absolutely nothing to do with her mind. It’s totally unpredictable. As a nanny, I’ve seen high-powered career women suddenly go gushy over a tiny baby. Not only do they suddenly want to procreate in their 30′s and 40′s, many even give up their high-paying careers to stay home. And the fact is, sterilization must be considered irreversable, because it almost always is. Plus, reversing sterilization is surgery and expensive, especially for the woman.

    As for me, children are necessary to my HEA. Absolutely necessary. However, if we couldn’t have made them ourselves, we would have adopted. In fact, we probably still will adopt once Baby #5 is pottytrained. I can’t imagine my life without children running riot through the house. I would probably sit down and die of overwhelming sadness.

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  41. Barb Ferrer
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 21:36:14

    Barb, maybe now you can get that book – or some version of it – published.

    Oh, that would be a happy dream come true. I love that manuscript like marmalade on toast. I don’t know– maybe after I’m done with the proposal I’m working on, I’ll pull it out and look at it again.

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  42. Verona St. James
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 18:07:52

    @Janine: The couple in “Anyone But You” also don’t want kids. Which is also (as a bonus) an older woman/younger man book.

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