Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington, 34, is a novice in matters of the heart. After her only romance breaks up, Jane hears her biological clock ticking. But deciding to have a child is easier than finding a father for the baby. Treated like a freak most of her life, Jane is determined to spare her child that pain. Most sperm donors are intelligent medical students; she needs someone with good genes, but not too smart.

The Chicago Stars linemen tell football groupie Jodie Pulanski they want to give a woman to quarterback Cal Bonner for his 36th birthday. Making her own deal, Jodie promises a classy hooker. When she hears Jane despondently discuss having a baby, Jodie has a devious brainstorm.

Jane finds herself portraying inept hooker Rose Bud and seducing Cal. When Jodie lets slip what Jane's doing, Cal furiously insists that Jane marry him so their child will have a legal father. They both plan to go their own way, but media hoopla soon puts a stop to that.

Escaping to his hometown, Cal drags along a guilt-ridden Jane. To spare his family pain from their breakup, Cal asks Jane to act obnoxiously to alienate everyone. Annie Glide, Cal's wise and witty hillbilly grandmother, sees through the charade and begins meddling. There's more than one way to get a Bonner man.

When it comes to tugging on your funny bone as well as your heartstrings, nobody does it better than Susan Elizabeth Phillips. NOBODY'S BABY BUT MINE is another triumph! (Feb., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith