By: Michael Baron
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: April 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 13, 2011
Only once in a great while does a book come along that offers a man's point of view on the romance and parenting world. Instead of the gooey phrases (that we women like, as well), Mr. Baron has once again written a novel that is unlike the rest on the market. He has brought to us a character that we'd love to dislike at first because of his ego and shallow self, but we end up routing for with more energy and enthusiasm than we used to cheer for Rocky.
Dylan Hunter is a young, handsome man who has a perfect life. The man is a true shark in Manhattan. He has the top job in advertising; the hot girls all fall at his feet when he enters a bar; and, his stellar apartment is something that others would kill to reside in. He has a ton of plates spinning in his world and he will do anything to keep them from crashing down to the ground. His best friend, Jimbo, has an ex-wife and two kids - a man who thought he had what he wanted and ended up quitting his job as a firefighter and now works for the Mayor's office. Billie is also a work friend. Billie is the same exact type of shark as Dylan, but being a woman, others tend to look at her like she's a...well, a woman who is only interested in her career, her conquests, and nothing else. Equal opportunity pomposity is what some still don't understand.
One morning at 3:00 a.m., Dylan's last "date" has snuck out of the house and there is a knock on his door. He certainly is in for a surprise when he opens it and sees an old girlfriend - really old girlfriend from when he was just a young man - standing on his doorstep with a little girl. Fear wells up in his throat wondering if he is about to be given the gift of fatherhood. But, not at all. Diane is a young woman from Chicago whose only contact in the Big City is Dylan. she's left her life behind and wants nothing more than to find a job, an apartment, and begin a new life for her and her daughter Spring. All she needs is a place to stay for a little while so she can begin their future.
Dylan, even though he really can't understand why, offers to let Diane and Spring stay with him until Diane gets on her feet, and his spinning plates begin to wobble. The scenes that are written next are absolutely superb. From Spring acting like Salvador Dali as she colors on Dylan's high-priced walls, to making him come with them as they explore the penguins at the zoo and ducks in the pond, as well as teaching Dylan to like tofu and mac and cheese while learning the fundamentals of Feng Shui, will make the reader laugh out loud. To see Dylan begin to emerge from the cocoon of high-powered business man to actually see the other fantastic emotions that are created in a world with a child, is absolutely precious.
Unfortunately, when an accident occurs, Dylan finds that he has gotten far more than he bargained for as he becomes the sole provider for young Spring. He begins to notice that when he kisses the little girl goodnight that the feeling of intense joy becomes larger and larger with each hour they spend together, and he loves the feeling of someone depending on him for something. Even the tigress, Billie, seems to be changing around Spring. And when the holidays come upon them, the author offers some of the most beautiful and poignant scenes ever written on paper, as far as this reviewer is concerned.
Even though we must sacrifice a spinning plate now and then in order to keep alive the evenings of storybook reading and the unchartered territory of animal songs, and finding a way to provide for a child, it's all worth it. And Michael Baron has done - yet again - an amazing job of hitting the proverbial nail on the head.
Quill says: Buy this one immediately, folks. Go out there on Amazon and reserve your copy! The "truth" that rings out in this novel is something everyone in the world - parents, single parents, single people...everyone, should read and commit to memory. Perhaps we all need to let a "plate" drop in order to find the beauty that comes from a child's heart.