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Crossing The Line    by Lauren Baratz-Logsted Amazon.com order for
Crossing The Line
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Order:  USA  Can
Red Dress Ink, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

The twenty-nine year old editor from The Thin Pink Line is back. Jane Taylor was a rather immature and self-involved woman who unsuccessfully faked a pregnancy for nine months - she had a lot of room to grow emotionally. That maturation begins in Crossing The Line, when Jane finds a black infant on a church doorstep. She begins caring for the baby, whom she names Emma. Jane's on-and-off boyfriend, Tolkien (who works for Scotland Yard), pulls strings so that the baby is not immediately taken by social services.

The bulk of this story is about Jane caring for the infant and maturing as a result. Jane quickly falls in love with little Emma and smoothly forges her way into mommyhood. Concerned about the child's cultural development, Jane befriends a black woman, Mary Jr., and Emma and Jane begin attending play dates with other black children. Jane met Mary Jr. when she went to a funeral for Mary (Sr.), a black woman whom she never knew - Jane lied about her reason for being at the funeral (she told Mary Jr. that Mary used to clean her office not true). While Jane's heart is in the right place (she wants to properly care for Emma), she's still spinning lies to get what she wants.

When Stephen Triplecorn from Social Services begins working on Emma's case, Jane asks to adopt the child. This leads to a lengthy investigation of Jane's life, including thorough interviews of her family and co-workers. Jane's strained relationships with her mother, her sister, and some co-workers, could hurt her chances. So she enlists the help of her beautiful, but lonely boss, whom she calls 'Dodo'. Dodo uses her feminine wiles on Triplecorn and her power position with her staff to help Jane's cause. Of course, in Jane's life, things tend to go awry, leading to interesting plot twists and turns as she manipulates to maintain custody of Emma.

Navigating life as a new mother, Jane learns what is important to her and who she truly loves - she shows a vulnerable side that was not present in the first book. Though the story has a tendency to play out like a silly television sitcom at times (due to Jane's wacky nature and the improbable situations she finds herself in), her character had a lot of room to grow and the author did an admirable job with this sequel, which was funny and had more depth than the first episode. This series is recommended to fans of chick lit, and if you enjoyed The Thin Pink Line, I recommend Crossing The Line as well.

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