Zoe and the Tormented Tycoon by Kate Hewitt: A RITA finalist for Contemporary Series Romance
Notorious British party-girl Zoe Balfour has discovered that she is illegitimate. She travels to New York to find her father and she crosses paths with Max Monroe at a charity benefit where one thing leads to another. After a one night stand, Zoe ends up pregnant, but Max, gradually going blind, can't handle the idea of commitment and the changes it brings. Zoe and Max must figure out who they are and who they want to be.
I am a sucker for books that feature a heroine or hero with a physical disability. Once again, though, I had difficulties. Zoe illustrates another problem I have with categories, the continuing series. Since the book is so short, Hewitt doesn't spend a lot of time on Zoe's backstory, making the assumption you have read the previous books in the Balfour Brides series. I never particularly got invested in her transformation from Paris Hilton-type party girl to Carol Brady mom-to-be. Max, the hero, was a bit easier as I was predisposed to be sympathetic towards him. However, his blindness was relegated to an excuse rather than a legitimate plot device. There was no explanation as to what Stargardt's disease is. According to Wikipedia, it's a real disease that is genetically inherited and the symptoms usually begin between ages six to twelve. Zoe is twenty-six and the assumption is that Max is older. So why did Max's disease pick now to kick in? Who did he inherit it from? Wouldn't the baby now be susceptible to the disease? While Max was doing his whole 'Woe, I'll never see my kid's face' routine, shouldn't the possibility this would affect the kid occur to him?Aside from this issue, the writing was decent. I think this was simply another case of the author being handicapped by the category format.