Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Baby in the Bargain - Victoria Pade (HSE #2254 - Apr 2013)

Series: Camdens of Colorado (Book 2)


Who knew that members of the all-powerful Camden clan could come in such pretty packages? The retail dynasty that had steamrollered Gideon Thatcher's grandfather decades ago had now sent beautiful emissary January Camden to make everything right. And falling for the enemy never felt this good.

It was tough enough for Jani to convince Gideon the Camdens were sincere about making amends-convincing "herself" she felt nothing for this stubborn city planner was the real trick. He simply didn't fit into her best laid baby plans; she wasn't lucky in love, but she "would" soon be a mother, on her own terms. Or could they repair the wounds of the past together...and build one family from the shards of two? 

Very good book.  The Camdens are continuing their mission of trying to right the wrongs done by their great-grandfather through the years.  This time Jani is supposed to find out from Gideon what they can do to redeem themselves.  Once she finally makes contact it is an uphill battle to convince Gideon that they are serious.  There is also an attraction between them that is hard to resist, but each one has issues that make it impossible to give in.

I really liked both Jani and Gideon.  Jani loves her family and her work in public relations and marketing for the family business.  She also wants a family of her own and has been very unlucky in finding a love of her own.  Because of health issues she doesn't want to delay becoming a mother any longer and is planning to do it on her own.  Getting involved with Gideon is a bad idea all around.  He hates the Camdens for what happened with his great-grandfather and he has no intention of ever having children.  I loved the way that things started out, with Jani's refusal to back down from talking to Gideon about their families' issues.  She was nice about it, but determined, and finally got Gideon to listen.  I loved the way that her involvement helped Gideon start to let go of the resentment, especially as they got to know each other better.  She was fully aware of his "No Camdens, No Kids" rule about relationships, but she still had trouble resisting the attraction.  Even after she learned why he felt that way she still felt that he could be shown that it could work.  There was so much pain on her part as her feelings kept growing but Gideon continued his resistance.

Gideon had finally broken the continued streak of bad fortune that had followed his family since the rift between the Camdens and Thatchers.  He has made a success of himself and his business.  Since his divorce and the loss of the little girl he had considered his he has concentrated on work and protecting himself from ever suffering that kind of misery again.  He was very wary of Jani and her proposal, not trusting that the Camdens weren't out to screw them again.  Once he accepted that the offer was genuine he started to relax a little bit in her presence, but not too much.  He was aware of her goals and he refused to open himself up to that kind of pain again.  But he was also fighting a losing battle against the attraction and the feelings that were growing stronger.  He had so much to do to try to let go of the resentment that was still there over their success and what it had cost his family.  He also had to come to terms with his feelings about kids and whether he could let go of his fears and take a chance on a future with Jani.

There were several places where the pain that each of them was going through brought me to tears.  It was so clear that they belonged together but they were fighting it all the way.  I loved the way that Gideon's friend finally found the right argument to show Gideon what he was passing up.  I look forward to seeing them appear in future books to see how things are going with them.

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