TBR Day. Wanted : One Perfect Man / Judi McCoy. 2004

This post is just making it under the wire. Whew. But I did it.

This month's book is a bit of a departure. Most of the books in my TBR pile are historicals, because that's what drew me back into reading romance in the first place. At some point several years ago I read Judi McCoy's "heaven" trilogy and liked it well enough to order her "wanted" series from Amazon (aka Starlight trilogy). I've been meaning to read them ever since. It seemed time to pick a contemporary out of my TBR pile, and this was one of the few available.

Wanted: One Perfect Man is the first book telling the stories of 3 women sent to earth to find specific men and become impregnated by them. These women come from a planet of humans with advanced technological skills, but suffer an inability to give birth to healthy male children. Zara is the heroine of this story. She is sent to a backwater town in north Texas to find the potential father of her baby. She has to adapt to living on earth, find her man, and get pregnant, all within 30 days. Then she'll be picked up by the mother ship and taken back home. Daniel Murphy is a former astronomy professor hiding out in this Texas town with his 8-year old son, Will. Both Zara and Daniel have secrets that they are keeping from the town and from one another. Zara's arrival doesn't go unnoticed by people hunting for aliens come to earth and these characters soon show up in town sticking their noses into everything.

This should not be considered SFF despite the outer space theme. There are all kinds of holes in the story if you look at it as science fiction romance. For instance, even though Zara is human, she expects to have 3 fertile periods during her 30-day stay. She's also supposedly from a technologically advanced society, yet her abilities appear more psychic than scientific. It is no spoiler to say that Zara gets pregnant pretty quickly; it takes less than 24 hours for her to experience some pretty, and weird, signs of pregnancy. So is she human or isn't she?

Basically this book has great potential, but little substance. I like the basic story idea, but it never seems to be fleshed out. The premise of a single dad in hiding along side the alien woman who needs a man is intriguing. But, everything happens too quickly. Supposedly Zara and Daniel have a quick emotional connection, yet they barely talk to one another and they certainly don't trust one another soon enough with their secrets. There are also so many secondary characters that it makes the story drag down.

There are a few humorous moments in the story. And Daniel is a solid hero who has given up a lot to keep his son safe. That helped me keep on reading. But I wasn't so entranced that I couldn't put it down so I could do other stuff. I'm going to read the other two books in the series since I pulled all three of them out. But this one I'd just give a conditional recommendation to. Hopefully I'll like the other books better.

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