Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daddy, Unexpectedly - Lee McKenzie (HAR #1452 - May 2013)

Series: Ready Set Sold (Book 3)

From Friends To Lovers To...Parents?

Claire DeAngelo's fantasy was the white picket fence and a husband and babies. She thought she'd found it, but now she's getting a divorce. Her ex's behavior is bordering on harassment, so it's lucky Claire runs into her college buddy-now undercover cop-Luke Devlin.

Luke can't believe his luck. He's investigating a smuggling ring, and Claire lives in the building he has under surveillance. What better way to keep an eye on the criminals than to move in! When Claire's ex becomes hostile, Luke's protective instincts take over and the attraction between old friends heats up.

Back in college, Luke was a carefree playboy. So when Claire discovers she's pregnant, she knows better than to expect Luke to be family material. She's finally getting that white picket fence and a baby...even if there's a piece missing!

Good book.  I've liked Claire since the first book and it's fun to see her get her own story.  She is busy dodging phone calls from her ex-husband who has been harassing her when she runs into Luke.   He is working undercover doing surveillance on a condo in her neighborhood.  They were study partners and friends in college but had lost touch with each other afterward.  As they reconnect there is a spark of attraction.  Claire decides to step outside of her usual way of doing things and accepts a dinner invitation from Luke, then invites him in.  While he is there her ex enters her home with a key he still had and makes a nuisance of himself.  The next day Luke offers to move in as protection until she moves.  He is also planning to use her place to conduct surveillance on that other condo without telling her about it.

I liked Claire's relationship with her friends and how well they worked together.  They also had a bond of friendship that showed whenever one of them needs support.  They have been great help for Claire during her divorce.  When she runs into Luke she remembers what good friends they were in college and how much she had liked him.  I loved the way that she embraced the the idea of doing something different and found herself enjoying the ride on his motorcycle.  She also felt her attraction to him flare up during that ride.  When they arrived back at her place I loved the way that she showed him that she wanted him, and didn't let her ex's interruption derail those wants.  Even though she didn't think her ex was dangerous he made her nervous enough to accept Luke's offer to move in, but also admitted to herself that she was really loving his presence for more than security.  The only problem was his declared intent that he would never marry and have children due to his own childhood.  Even though she knew there was no future she couldn't help falling for him and was furious when she found out about his deception.  She had to decide what to do about telling him about the baby knowing his feelings about having children.  I liked the way that she told him she wanted all or nothing from him.  Even though she loved him she wasn't going to trap him into marriage.  I liked her reaction to his appearance at the end.

I had a lot of respect for Luke.  Even though he was quite a playboy in college he had never been anything less than respectful of Claire.  Once he got out of college and started as a cop he finally took responsibility for his actions and dealt with his drinking.  Even through everything he and Claire went through he was able to hang on to that.  I loved the way that he was so protective of Claire when her ex broke into her place.  I also felt that that protectiveness is what took priority in his feelings rather than using her for surveillance.  I liked the way that he felt guilty about not telling her.  He was somewhat disturbed by the fact that his relationship with her felt different than anything he had experienced before, especially considering his commitment issues.  When he first found out about the baby he was angry, but her demand of "all or nothing" really made him think.  I loved his "all" at the end.

The epilogue was fantastic and I loved seeing the three women together with their families.  I'd love to see them make "guest appearances" in future books.

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