Score: 5.00 / 5 - Reviewer Top Pick
Madeline and Charles Holt have been married for seven years. When Charles decides he doesn't want children, Madeline convinces him to set some sperm aside before he has a vasectomy, just in case he changes his mind.
Charles dies in a car accident and after some soul-searching; Madeline decides to be inseminated with Charles's sperm.
She is very happy when she gets pregnant. A happiness that turns to anger and frustration when she is told the sperm used was not her late husband's but that of Kurt Williams.
After being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, Kurt had put some sperm away in case his treatments left him sterile. He certainly did not plan on becoming a father any time soon.
Sparks fly when the two meet with their lawyers. Madeline has her life planned out, how she will be a single parent and Kurt isn't a part of that plan.
Kurt has other ideas; this lady is carrying his child.
Kurt and Madeline couldn't be more different. Madeline plans for everything and Kurt is a risk taker, even more since his bout with Hodgkin's. He is coming up on his five-year anniversary of being cancer-free, but he still can't resist tempting fate with danger, always feeling if he can walk away, then he's beat death again. Not a good attitude for someone who is going to be a daddy.
Madeline lost a father she adored at an early age, and then her husband. She isn't about to let another man into her life who seems determined to take risks with his. Yet, Kurt's determination to a part of her and the child's life, impresses her. And that fact that he is darn sexy doesn't hurt.
This is a great book. The sparks between these two are such fun. At times I wanted to give them both a good shake; Kurt for taking some stupid chances and Madeline for being so afraid to open her heart again to love.
What happens? Do they work it out, or are they just too different? I guess you'll have to read it for yourself and find out.
The Romance Reviews November 2010 Rating: 4 Stars"This was a great read filled with romance, drama, action and characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading."
Click on the image to read the entire review.
Rating: 4 Cups
Madeline is a widow. She wanted a child, but her husband was not ready. Now that he is gone, she is glad that he preserved a little part of himself.
Kurt is a corporate pilot and loves his rather unsettled life. He does want a family in the future, so he put a little something by for that eventuality.
Madeline is thrilled to learn that the artificial insemination of her late husband's sperm has been successful. The child she had always wanted with her late husband will now become a reality. Unfortunately, a mix-up occurred in the lab, and the father of her baby is not her late husband, but a complete stranger. Kurt is flabbergasted at first, but is definitely not willing to go away and forget about his child. Something about the mother intrigues him, making him want to stay in her and his child's life in some way.
This story has an interesting premise. The mix-up in the sperm bank can lead to all kinds of possible situations and the author has created a very entertaining and engaging story with it. Kurt and Madeline are very different people and their rocky romance really held my interest from the beginning until the end. The plot is well written, the characters realistic, and their reaction to the bizarre turn their lives have taken is very realistic. When you add a very good love story the result is a must read story for contemporary romance fans.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
FLY ME TO PARADISE - Catherine Andorka
Five Star (Hardcover)
Chicago, Illinois - Present Day
After the sudden death of her husband, Madeline Holt decides to fill the void in her life by using some frozen sperm he left behind to have his child. But a mix-up at the clinic leaves Madeline carrying the baby of another man. Although naturally stunned by the news, one thing is clear: she is not going to get rid of the new life inside her. A meeting with Kurt Williams, the father of her unborn child, has her learning that he is not anything like her late husband...or Madeline. She prefers life to be free of danger or new surprises. Kurt lives life on the edge and loves the thrill of adventure. How can the two possibly agree on raising their child?
Kurt had been stricken nearly five years ago with cancer, which was successfully treated. Since then, he feels life should be challenged and enjoyed. He's an airplane pilot, and if that isn't dangerous enough, he likes to drive fast and do spur of the moment things, such as skydiving for the first time. Kurt is angry at first that his sperm had been mistakenly given to a stranger, but once he meets Madeline, he's intrigued and attracted to her. He wants them to be a family, yet she resists his suggestion. And when he makes attempts to woo her, he always feels rebuffed when she brings up the subject of his hair-raising adventures. Will one have to change to please the other?
Just imagine how you'd feel if you discover that the baby you're carrying is the result of a stranger's sperm? This is what happens in Catherine Andorka's FLY ME TO PARADISE. Madeline runs a successful business and thought she had her life planned out after the death of her husband. She'd raise their child alone, but a mistake puts a wrench in the plans. Angry at first, she's apprehensive about a stranger being part of her and the child's life. Kurt seems like a nice guy, and she admires him for beating cancer, but she can't get past his daredevil ways. Can she convince him to be careful for their child's sake?
Kurt doesn't think Madeline understands about how he feels after licking cancer. Driving fast and jumping out of planes isn't truly death defying when done properly. He just needs to toe the line and convince her down the road how much this means to him. Meanwhile, he's bent on marrying the woman who's pregnant with his child. But his daredevil actions are going to prove to be a huge obstacle.
This is a cute, poignant tale of two strangers brought together by new life and finding love...and a potential for a happily-ever-after. Kurt and Madeline have their own legitimate reasons for their feelings, but one thing they agree on is seeing that their child arrives safely. A warm, feel good romance, give FLY ME TO PARADISE a try.Patti Fischer
The Courier News
October 25, 2002
No one wants to admit it. No one wants others to know. Yet millions of adult Americans struggle silently with this every day.
The powerful, the famous, and even the everyday worker quietly find answers to cope, without letting others know.
Not a disease, not a physical disability, this problem incapacitates in a humiliating way.
Author Catherine Andorka addresses the issue head on in her hardcover book, "Once Upon a Secret." Framed in a story that has the reader skipping through the pages, Andorka underlines this “handicap” in artful byplay between two charming characters.
A rock star and a surrogate mother for her young brother tangle in Andorka’s revealing tale. Using humor and an uncommon intuition of human foibles, the book is a runaway read.
Judi Brownfield, Owner, Books at Sunset
1100 South Street, Elgin, IL
Romantic Times 4 star rating, Oct 1999
This genre is filled with tales of cowboys and love gone wrong. It's nice to see an author have the courage to write a non-stereotypical romance, as does Catherine Andorka with ONCE UPON A SECRET (4). Chiropractor Tori Glenn has her hands full running a practice and raising her teenage brother, Kevin. It is through Kevin that Tori meets rock star Brad Daniels, whom she treats for a hand injury. Although Brad wants her, Tori's focused on getting Kevin the education her parents wanted for him. Furthermore, Brad has a secret that affects other people's lives when Kevin drops out of high school to follow in his footsteps. It's up to Brad to convince not only Kevin but Tori of his belief in education and love.
Thanks to Ms. Andorka for a new breed of romance. Readers' note: the love scene is a definite winner.
Victoria "Tori" Glen accompanies her fifteen-year-old brother Kevin to a rock concert where he is to interview rock superstar, Bradley "Brad" Daniels. Tori is a self-assured professional with her own medial practice who is raising Kevin alone. She is undeniably attracted to Brad, but she has no intention of becoming another notch on the belt of the man the tabloids have dubbed "Rock's Sexiest Bad Boy." Brad, whose experiences with highly educated people have not been pleasant, feels somewhat intimidated by Tori, who is not the "bimbo type" he usually pursues. But pursue her he does. Tori is gradually won over by Brad who, despite having a secret that has haunted and shamed him for years, begins to hope that he, Tori, and Kevin can become a family. When an old nemesis that knows Brad's secret and has used it against him before helps Kevin to do something that could affect his entire life, Brad is forced to come to terms with his personal demons or risk losing Tori and Kevin forever.
The romance has a nice twist--the hero, not the heroine, is the dominant protagonist. Brad is a handsome, wealthy Rock star whose bad-boy image and playboy reputation are as undeserved as his little-boy charm is disarming. He is loving, considerate, and principled, a "keeper" by anybody's standards. Tori is a nineties career woman with old-fashioned values who has handled the many challenges that life has thrown at her with equanimity and resolve, not self-pity or resentment. She deserves this hero. Their romance is enacted with refreshing touches of reticence and humor, as well as sensuality. ONCE UPON A SECRET is a charming, memorable love story destined to find its way onto many readers' "keeper shelves."
For Painted Rock Reviews
ONCE UPON A SECRET by Catherine Andorka
Chiropractor Tori Glenn is raising her teenage brother, Kevin. When he has a chance to interview rock star Brad Daniels, Tori takes him to the theater where Brad and his group are performing. He is nothing like Tori had pictured; she is amazed at the mutual attraction. She has been having a little trouble with Kevin -- she believes a good education is a must. Kevin wants to play music and, during the interview, Brad says that he never finished school and learned what he knew about life and music from the "on site" method. Tension reigns from the start of this story as the protagonists try to deal with entirely new concepts. Kevin is not the only one learning about life and love. Throw in a devastating secret, a grasping ex-girlfriend, band members, and a career that keeps Brad on the road nearly all the time, and you have a slice of real life and real problems. Ms. Andorka's tight plotting keeps the story moving, and the characters' interaction with each other flows. Her strong, likeable characters make this an entertaining and thought-provoking read. VAD
ONCE UPON A SECRET
by Catherine Andorka
Publisher: Five Star; ISBN: 0-7862-4601-4; (November 2002)
Tori Glenn is a Chiroprator who is raising her fifteen year old brother Keven after her parent's death. Brad Daniels is a famous rock star who is performing in concert in her area. Kevin won a state-wide contest for young journalists and has an interview with Brad Daniels. He and his sister attend the concert and have back stage passes.
While Tori is a conservative woman, she finds herself immediately attracted to Brad. She holds herself back believing he has plenty of women throwing themselves at him. She's suffered a broken heart once and is afraid to open herself up to be hurt again. Besides, they are complete opposites with different lifestyles.
Brad is not the typical rock star. He is not a womanizer and has many of the same values as Tori. Her skill as a Chiroprator comes in handy when Brad is injured by over enthusiastic fans. The first thrust of infatuation grows swiftly into love but along with their closeness is his fear that she'll find out his secret. He uses various ruses to cover up the problem which he is afraid will put an irreversible rift in their in their relationship. Even though he's a success as what he does, his self-esteem in certain areas is low.
They are two wounded souls finding love and fullfillment in each other. Despite the difficulties they encounter it is obvious these two are meant for each other. Catherine Andorka has created a female protagonist who approaches the rock scene as we might have. Brad is not the usual coke head, ego maniac star either but a man looking for acceptance, love, and family. As I read the book I was charmed by the characters, and pleased by the flawless writing style of the author.
Catherine Andorka is a shining talent. Watch her star rise.
reviewed by Bea Sheftel