The Great Baby Caper by Eugenia Riley
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: December 2001
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company
Pages: 395 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
The Great Baby Caper is filled with comedy based in exaggeration, sometimes to the point of the bizarre, as in the case of the initial premise: Courtney Kelly is among the top candidates in line to become president and CEO of the company, Bootle Baby Bower. And she is appalled to hear that her boss, M. Billingham Bootle, is making the final decision about his successor based on all of the distinguished candidates going on an insane scavenger hunt at the company's annual meeting in New Orleans. Her assignment? To scout out the most eligible bachelor in the French Quarter and marry him within 12 hours! Courtney decides this is carrying eccentricity way too far. But it turns out to be even worse than that. What she doesn't know is this is all a convoluted plot of her boss to engineer Courtney's marriage to his grandson.
Mark Billingham is willing to participate in an elaborate entertainment for his grandfather's annual company meeting. It all sounds outlandish, but outlandish is his grandfather's middle name, and the game seems harmless enough. Not only that, it will give him a chance, at long last, to meet and spend time with beautiful, dynamic Courtney Kelly, a woman whom he's been infatuated with from afar for over a year after seeing her in a company video.
From this point on, the droll plot takes flight, progressing from Courtney's initial encounter with Mark, to her fight with Bootle and Mark when she discovers her boss's deception, her make-up with Mark and successive night of passion leading to an unplanned pregnancy, her ultimate marriage of convenience to Mark, and their gradually coming to terms with meshing together their high-powered careers--and high-powered personalities. Endless humorous imbroglios occur in the midst of these events, including a series of visits by the kids of Courtney's many siblings during sequential cruises by their parents.
If you enjoy frenetic comedy with lots of zany subcharacters and crazy complications thrown in one after the other like a juggler tossing a collection of plates, balls and bats in the air as he twirls a beach ball on his nose and a ring around his extended ankle, you will love this story. There is something going on every second, in the classic tradition of screwball comedy. The heroine is very strong, the hero sexy and tender, and their efforts to come together as a couple are moving as well as funny. A very entertaining read.