Goldreich (West To Eden, 1987; Leah's Children, 1985, etc.) leaves the Jewish family saga to take up a contemporary, still-hot item--surrogate motherhood. Some elements in this vast, chatty, overheated tale resemble the famous Baby M. case, but there are obvious and startling deviations. David and Nina Roth have received a mind-blasting suggestion from David's brother, obstetrician to Stacey Cosgrove--mother of three, happily married to irresponsible, charming, and adoring Hal. There's no doubt that the Cosgroves could use $20,000 for a new start in California (from New York). Overtures are made, and Stacey (with Hal only reluctantly agreeing) contracts to bear a child by David for the Roths. Nina, once widowed and the mother of teen-age Hildy, now unable to have more children, nurtures a friendship with Stacey, who responds. But what of conception'?. Stacey feels that there should be a one-night warm bed for sperm transfer instead of a cold doctor's office. (Stacey knows exactly when she's fertile.) Everyone except Hal eventually thinks it's a lovely idea, and Stacey conceives. The pregnancy proceeds, as does friendship (and the Roths' aching yearning for a child). Meanwhile, Hildy, a rebellious teen, learns the troth from Hal, but matures through the ensuing traumas. Felicity Miriam is bom, but immediately afterward there's a tragic, devastating event, and Stacey clings to her baby. Be prepared for nobility all around. Implausible and damply sentimental, but the subject and the author's sauna-room prose should pull a popular audience.