Accidental Family

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Overview

Welcome to Twin Oaks -- the new B and B in Cooper's Corner. Some come for pleasure, others for passion -- and one to set things straight . . .

Check-in: Ex-TV soap star Rowena Dahl wanted to be a mom, but her biological clock was ticking too fast to wait for some slowpoke Mr. Right. So she opted for the fertility clinic -- and was thrilled to be pregnant. There was only one problem. She got the wrong sperm!

Checkout: Editor Alan Rand was ...

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Overview

Welcome to Twin Oaks -- the new B and B in Cooper's Corner. Some come for pleasure, others for passion -- and one to set things straight . . .

Check-in: Ex-TV soap star Rowena Dahl wanted to be a mom, but her biological clock was ticking too fast to wait for some slowpoke Mr. Right. So she opted for the fertility clinic -- and was thrilled to be pregnant. There was only one problem. She got the wrong sperm!

Checkout: Editor Alan Rand was outraged that a daytime-drama diva was having his baby. But when he arrived at Twin Oaks B and B he discovered Rowena was now a barber in quiet Cooper's Corner. She even went to church on Sundays! Rowenawas everything he hadn't expected . . . and Alan wanted her as much as he wanted their child.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373612574
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Series: Harlequin Special Releases Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.23 (w) x 6.67 (h) x 2.46 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Accidental Family


By Kristin Gabriel

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373612575


Chapter One

It was the longest five minutes of her life.

Rowena Dahl paced back and forth in the small examination room, waiting for the nurse to return with the results of the test. Ironically enough, she'd been placed in one of the rooms usually reserved for children. A mural of hot air balloons adorned one bright yellow wall. An oversize teddy bear sat in a toy high chair in one corner of the room, a bandage covering the top of his button nose, and a Mr. Potato Head perched on top of the file cabinet.

A baby's sudden cry carried through the thin walls, then quieted to a whimper. The waiting room was packed today, and nurses were rushing up and down the long hallway. At first the nurse had mistakenly thought she'd come in for a flu shot, until Rowena nervously explained the real reason for her visit.

She smiled to herself as she bent to pick up the teddy bear, then squeezed it tight against her chest. She'd been filled with second thoughts when she'd made that fateful trip to Toronto last October, worried she might be making a big mistake. But now, almost three months later, she knew in her heart that the only mistake was waiting so long to try and make her dream come true.

"Please," Rowena prayed under her breath.

"Please let me be pregnant."

Her cycle had become more and more irregular over the last couple of years and set off the alarm on her biological clock. Especially when the doctor had warned this might be a sign of early menopause.

At thirty-six, she'd sifted through too many Mr. Wrongs to believe she'd ever find a Mr. Right. Maybe she was too picky. Or simply too stubborn to give up her independence. Either way, she couldn't afford to wait for her true love to find her any longer. She had to take matters into her own hands.

With the help of her doctor, she'd chosen a reputable fertility clinic in New York City. When that didn't take, her doctor recommended a specialty clinic in Toronto that offered a new, highly successful procedure. That's where she found her perfect match. The sperm donor was forty years old, a physicist who had played semipro baseball just out of college. His medical history was clean, no genetic defects or serious diseases. According to the sperm donor profile, his hair was blond, like her own, and his eyes blue. Although he was identified only by a number, she knew the man was six feet tall, average weight and of French Canadian descent. She'd taken great care in selecting the father of her baby.

She just hoped he was fertile.

The Orr Fertility Clinic performed the insemination procedure in October. When Rowena began spotting in November, she believed it had failed. But when she'd missed her period altogether in December, she began to wonder if the procedure had been a success after all.

Suspecting she might be pregnant, she could barely restrain herself from running down to Cooper's Corner General Store to buy a home pregnancy test. But with either Philo or Phyllis Cooper manning the cash register, there would have been no way to keep such a purchase secret. So she'd decided to wait until she could make an appointment with Dr. Milburn in Williamstown. A wait that had stretched into the first week of January and now seemed interminable.

The door opened, and her heart leaped in her chest. But instead of the nurse, Dr. Milburn himself stepped inside. A general practitioner in his late fifties, he specialized in pregnancies and deliveries. She liked the faint, comforting aroma of pipe tobacco surrounding him that reminded Rowena of her grandfather. Dr. Milburn had always been so kind, competent and supportive that she'd chosen to stay with him rather than seek the services of an obstetrician.

He pulled a pair of bifocals out of the front pocket of his white lab coat. "Good afternoon, Rowena. Sorry to keep you waiting."

"Looks like you're busy today." Realizing she was still holding the teddy bear, she hastily placed it on the high chair. Then she turned to face him, surprised to find her knees shaking.

"I'm never too busy to see one of my favorite patients." He opened her file. "Go ahead and have a seat."

She lowered herself into her chair, her gaze never leaving his face. Dr. Milburn didn't say anything for several long seconds, and the expression on his face made her uneasy. He'd told her that for a woman her age, the chances of conceiving through artificial insemination were between sixty and seventy percent. That was one of the reasons Rowena had waited so long before she'd made the appointment. She'd been afraid of getting her hopes up prematurely, even with encouraging signs lately, like early morning nausea and occasional dizziness.

But what if she wasn't pregnant? What if these symptoms were all in her imagination? Rowena couldn't stand the suspense any longer. "Do you have the results of my pregnancy test?"

"Yes," he murmured, still studying her chart. Then he cleared his throat and looked at her. "Congratulations, young lady. You're going to be a mother."

She blinked, almost afraid to believe it. "Really? But how is that possible? I was spotting in November."

"That's not too unusual in early pregnancy." A gentle smile creased his face. "There's no doubt about it, Rowena. The test came back positive. Since you had the procedure done in mid-October, that makes you about twelve weeks along already."

A surge of joy shot through her, and her eyes blurred with tears. "I can't believe it. This is so ..." But she couldn't put her feelings into words. After so many years of living on her own, she was finally going to have a family again. To the outside world, her life probably seemed perfect. She owned a successful business and a comfortable home in the small village of Cooper's Corner, Massachusetts. But she'd been so alone for so long.

"Here," Dr. Milburn said, reaching over to hand her a tissue.

"I've never been happier," she said at last, wiping her wet cheeks with the tissue. "Thank you."

He sighed. "I hope you'll still feel that way when you hear what I have to tell you."

Apprehension fluttered through her. "What?"

"I was hoping we wouldn't need to have this discussion," he began, then took off his bifocals and folded them in his hand. "But I'm afraid it's unavoidable now."

Her fingers gripped the armrests as she prepared herself for another roller-coaster ride. "Please just tell me, Dr. Milburn. Is something wrong?"

"There was a problem with the insemination procedure. A mistake, actually."

"A mistake?" she echoed.

"Nothing to be too alarmed about," he assured her.

"My office discovered it when the clinic sent a copy of your records here."

"I still don't understand."

He hesitated for a long moment. "It turns out that you were not inseminated with the donor sperm you selected, Rowena."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Accidental Family by Kristin Gabriel Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    I loved the Coopers Corner book series!!!! It can be can be confusing though pulling up the books because they are written by different authors.

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