- Title: Cowboy’s Triplet Trouble
- Author: Carla Cassidy
- Category/Series: Romantic Suspense, Top Secret Deliveries
- Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense (???)
- Publisher: Harlequin, October 2011
- Source: Amazon, $3.82 ebook
- Length: 224 pages
- Trope(s): Cowboy, Single Mother, Plot Moppets (x3!!!), Beta Hero, Sibling Drama, One-Night Stand, Secret Babies (x3!!!)
- Quick blurb: Single mother of triplets tracks down Baby Daddy to Oklahoma ranch, where she mistakes his identical triplet brother (yes, really) as her one-night stand.
- Quick review: I am clearly MUCH too cynical to enjoy books like this.
- Grade: D+
The only thing he knew for sure was that a man brandishing a gun shouldn’t be inside Grace’s house.
The reason I chose this book was because there are triplets in my family. I’ve seen and experienced first-hand what it takes to survive parenting multiples. I knew there would be numerous “oh, NUH-UH” moments that I could giggle over and share with snarky glee.
And those expectations were fulfilled in oh so many wonderful ways – primarily because THESE BABIES ARE CYBORGS. They are mini robots programmed to be the Perfect Plot Moppets:
- They are named alphabetically (Abby, Bonnie, Casey).
- They wear color-coded outfits.
- They fall asleep and wake at the exact same time, without a whimper.
- They sit quietly on the floor and play with toys.
- They wait patiently for meals and baths.
- They nap peacefully in their car seats during long road trips.
But wait – there’s more! These babies NEVER CRY. Ever. Except when tears and wailing are useful to the plot in the second-to-last chapter.
Hero and heroine take triplets out for dinner and have long, intimate, soul-baring conversation. While the babies eat spaghetti.
These babies are so Stepford perfect that at TEN MONTHS their SINGLE MOTHER is completely comfortable driving them to their UNKNOWN BABY DADDY’S HOUSE hours away and STAYING IN A MOTEL. But then, having magically-appearing baby gear and a car bewitched with an Undetectable Extension Charm like Hermione’s purse or Mary Poppins’ carpet bag probably helps.
The three car seats can be easily removed from Grace’s car and installed in (a) bench seat of a king-cab pickup AND (b) backseat of a cop car. Within minutes. With no swearing.
So, now for the not-funny parts….
I recently read another Carla Cassidy book, and while it wasn’t mind-blowing, I did enjoy the suspense and the characters. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen at all with this book.
I found it boring because the cardboard protagonists never change. From start to finish, he’s the Stoic Cowboy with a Heart of Gold and she’s the Perfectly Perfect Schoolteacher (except for that one-night moment of drunken weakness, of course). These two have a very noticeable lack of personality.
Even worse, the internal angstifying was unbearably repetitive:
She wasn’t expecting instant happiness from Justin, but what she was hoping for was some sort of acceptance of the situation and the happiness would come later.
By the end of the first chapter, WE KNOW that she’s not after money or marriage. But we’re still confronted with her thoughts on it over and over and over. The hero’s inner drama is just as numbing:
He’d spent most of his life shouldering responsibilities to make life easier on everyone else around him. Now what he wanted more than anything was just to be left alone.
How often are we reminded of this? The word “alone” appears in the book FORTY-FOUR (44) times. My god, we get it already, all right?
I have a few other Carla Cassidy books on my “maybe” shelf and most are rated highly, so I’m hoping this one was just an anomaly.