Friday, May 10, 2013

Father by Choice - Amanda Berry (HSE #2262 - May 2013)


A family was the last thing workaholic Brady Ward had ever planned on. So after eight years abroad, he was shocked when a blast from his passionate past walked into his office-and informed him that he was a daddy. Now he was faced with a choice: to keep climbing the ladder of success, or build a life with the daughter he left behind.

Maggie Brown wanted their little girl to know her father, but bringing a man as ambitious as Brady into their lives was a huge risk, one she wasn't sure she should take for Amber or herself. Because even after eight years, he still got her heart racing like no one else. Yet would he really give up the corporate lifestyle in the big city for life in a sleepy small town? Maybe if he realized that family was a gift that only came along once in a lifetime.... 

Good book.  Brady and Maggie had connected one night shortly before he left to go to England on a scholarship.  He had never been back.  When Maggie discovered she was pregnant she wrote to him and got no response other than some money regularly delivered by his brother.  Eight years later she finds out that he didn't know about Amber and went to New York to tell him.  

Brady had wanted out of their small town so much he couldn't wait to go.  Since their parents had died he and his brothers barely tolerated each other.  Brady was haunted by the memories that he couldn't escape.  He hated what he saw as pity in the eyes of the others in their small town.  He enjoyed one night in Maggie's arms before he left without looking back.  Now he has just about reached his goal and is feeling good about his life.  He's a workaholic but he is content.  When Maggie arrives in New York and tells him he's the father of a seven year old girl he is stunned.  A family had never been in his plans, but he can't deny himself or Amber the chance to get to know each other.  Brady's workaholic ways definitely worked against him in Maggie's eyes.  When he came to Tawnee Valley to get to know his daughter he was supposed to focus on her but was constantly being distracted by work related calls and texts.  I loved the way that Maggie finally put her foot down, and even better was the story of the cow and the cell phone.  I loved seeing Brady get to know Amber and begin to enjoy being a father.  He also found that being with Maggie went a long way toward filling the hole he'd felt in his heart since the deaths of his parents.  Brady still had some things to face, such as his relationship with his brother Sam, and how he wanted to go forward with Maggie and Amber.  His struggle with the needs of his two worlds was painful for him but ultimately made him realize what was most important.

Maggie was a strong woman.  Shortly before she graduated from high school she found out her mother had cancer and cancelled her college plans to stay home and care for her.  Then she discovered she was pregnant.  When the only acknowledgement she received from Brady was money, she accepted it and moved on.  She raised her daughter and took care of her mother until her death.  She stayed in her hometown where she had friends and plenty of support.  She was not happy to find out that Brady's brother Sam had never sent her letters on to Brady and therefore he didn't know about Amber.  So off she went to tell him, not expecting that the attraction she'd felt for him was still alive and well.  When they got back to Tawnee Valley she was surprised by how quickly Brady and Amber connected.  She was a little jealous at times but overall she was glad to see it happening.  I did like the way that she kept after him about the way he kept letting his work interfere with his time with Amber.  She also started to fall in love with him as she got to know the grown up Brady, but had no idea if he had feelings for her or just as Amber's mom.  She then had decisions of her own to make about what kind of future they could have together.

I saw the solution to their problem coming but it was still very satisfying.  I loved the emotional growth that both characters experienced.  I would like to see stories for Brady's two brothers.  

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