Ever since Sloan won a reality singing competition, her music career has taken off. Now she has a manager, a recording contract, and a tour in the works. Her manager warned her that strangers would ask her for all sorts of things, and that she must not respond. But one email stands out—from a young woman who claims to be Sloan’s half sister. Sloan’s mother, now deceased, never told her who her father was, so the prospect of knowing some family history is too strong a desire to ignore. Now Sloan must return to Windemere, the town where she grew up, to face a past she’s worked hard to forget. One trip leads to another, and when circumstances take a devastating turn, Sloan is faced with a complicated choice involving not only herself, but also those who have come to depend on her.
SOMEBODY’S BABY by Lurlene McDaniel is the perfect follow up to her novel LOSING GABRIEL, which I absolutely loved. I began LOSING GABRIEL without any expectations and finished the book as a converted McDaniel fan. When I found out that there was going to be a sequel, I was beyond thrilled and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
SOMEBODY’S BABY is really a redemption story for Sloan, who now has won a singing competition and is on her way to achieving everything she ever wanted, musically at least. However, she finds herself drawn back to her old town of Windemere to meet her supposed half-sister, Lindsay. Being back home in the place she ran from brings up many painful memories, as well as unplanned encounters with both Dawson and Lani, two people she would have liked to avoid.
SOMEBODY’S BABY gives readers a chance to see how Sloan, Dawson, and Lani have all dealt with and grown from their grief over the tragic event that links the three of them. It was nice to see how they all coped and came out on the other side, sending a hopeful message to anyone going through similar circumstances. In this second book, Sloan, Dawson, and Lani are even more nuanced, making them more relatable and engaging. McDaniel achieves the same outcome with her new characters as well. Toby, Sloan’s nephew, is an adorable and sympathetic addition, while Cole, Toby’s caring neighbor, is a fun new love interest for Sloan.
Personally, I would have liked an ending that had a bigger payoff for the Cole/Sloan relationship. With so much angst built up around the two of them getting together, I wanted one big, emotional, we’re-finally-acknowledging-our-feelings scene. I also thought the engagement scene was out of place and could have been more impactful. However, perhaps these relationships will be explored more in a third book.
Overall, those unfamiliar with LOSING GABRIEL could still enjoy SOMEBODY’S BABY as a standalone novel. Fans of A MOTHER’S GIFT by Britney and Lynne Spears or even HANNAH MONTANA will love this story about a girl from a small town making it big.