In the Dark: Office Mom Becomes a Real Mom

This is post number 17.



This is a standalone novel by Pamela Buford

Plot: Cat Seabright is in her late thirties and wants to have a child before it’s too late. She enlists the help of her friend’s cousin to set up a rendezvous where he would sleep with Cat and then leave, in the hope of getting Cat pregnant. A misunderstanding leads to Cat sleeping with a mystery man, and finding out who he is could put her plans in jeopardy.


“SPOT SET UP a hellacious howl downstairs, barking and snarling at the front door. Brody scanned the computer room for the cheap digital clock Leon had bought him. There it was, precariously perched on a heap of paperbacks that were themselves precariously perched on top of the computer monitor. Twelve noon on the button. She was punctual. Brody abhorred punctuality. He took a last drag of his cigarette and ground the butt in the ashtray balanced on his knee, a weighty slab of green glass he’d swiped from a steak pub during his misspent youth. He thumbed the red buttons on his handheld electronic game a half dozen more times, annihilating two giant lizard warriors and a grenade-chucking alien octopus, to the accompaniment of staccato bursts of static from his Gatling gun.”

Spoilers/Opinion: Let’s start with what I like. I enjoy the fact that the characters in this story are in their late thirties/early forties. It mixes it up from teen/twenties/early thirties that almost every free romance has. The writing is easy to understand and has a decent pace. Sometimes the author likes to use those “big words”, but the grammar and mechanics are fine. The dialogue, for the most part, has no large blocks of exposition that interrupt what the characters are saying. Nothing worse than someone asking a question and getting the answer five pages later because they were too busy getting lost in each others’ eyes.

Now the parts I don’t like mostly involve the plot itself. I cannot believe that a successful woman would setup a one night stand and risk potential litigation and custody agreements with a basic stranger rather than going to a sperm bank. She claims she trusts the cousin, but he is basically a stranger.Also she tries to hide her pregnancy from the father, Brody,  and almost succeeds until the cousin randomly shows up at the stranger’s door. Too coincidental to be believable. Brody then tries to clean up his act instead of telling her he knows, or trying to get a court order. He just passively hopes Cat will let him in the child’s life without trying to setup visitation or child support. What a weenie.

This is nothing compared to her job. Cat’s job involves her being an “office mom”, and her boss Nana apparently requires her employees to be saints. The whole plot revolves around the fact that Brody takes advantage of Nana’s rules by threatening to tell her employer they had sex. In exchange for staying mum, he hires Cat as his office mom.This does not really matter though because if Nana finds out Cat is pregnant out of wedlock, then Cat’s fired anyway. By the way, this is highly illegal. I don’t think the author did her research on discrimination laws. Or employment in general.

Other ways this job is weird include the following:

  • Comforting employees of other companies
  • Doing cleaning and organizing for the office
  • “Mothering” and offering a place for employees to vent
  • Baking cookies and serving it with milk

I don’t know about you, but I think if an office requires a “mom” like this, then that office has issues or severe under staffing.

Overall, the romance is believable outside of the plot. Brody and Cat seem to enjoy each others’ company, and they are genuinely attracted to each other. They seem to make each other better people, especially Brody, which I like.

Ratings: This is a romance novel so here are the ratings for:
Relationship drama: 5/10
Romantic Development: 5/10
Hot love interest: 7/10
Creativity: 2/10
Plot: 2/10

Overall, I give In the Dark a 5/10. The plot brought down what was a decent romance with stupid choices and a strange career.


Burford, P. (1999). In the dark. Retrieved January 27, 2017.


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