In The Nine Month Plan by Wendy Markham, Nina Chickalini has long dreamed of getting away. After her mother’s death years ago in childbirth, she put her dreams of seeing the world on hold to be mother to her younger siblings. She also works full shifts helping her father in the family pizza parlor. With her youngest brother about to graduate from high school and her other brother due to return from college and take his place in the family business, Nina finally thinks she will be free to pursue her plans. Nina has already raised a family and has no plans to marry or have a family of her own.
Nina’s best friend is her next door neighbor, Joey Materi. Nina and Joey have a great relationship. They laugh and joke like best friends often do. The interplay between the two characters made up some of the best parts in the book. Joey has been unlucky in love, and he feels more than ready to meet the girl of his dreams and settle down. He’s ready to be a father. Joey has been a good friend to the Chickalini family, bailing them out financially and more years before when Nina’s father had a heart attack and was unable to work. Nina feels indebted to Joey. When Joey jokingly suggests that Nina have a baby for him, Nina after consideration, agrees. Will Nina have the baby and leave, giving Joey the greatest gift of all, or will Nina have a change of heart?
I haven’t read a simple romance novel in quite some time. This story was cute, and I plowed through it in one day. I found it while home recuperating from a surgical procedure, and once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I read several reviews where readers complained about the author’s use of present tense. That didn’t bother me at all. I was so wrapped up in the story itself I didn’t care what tense it was written in. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it. The author has written other stories about the Chickalini family, and I have already purchased those. If you want a simple romance that will make you smile, try this one.