Florist Claire Holbrook has always played by the rules her entire life, but breaks them to spend one night with sexy lone wolf Jake Manning, a man she's adored since she was a teenager. Six weeks later things get complicated when she discovers they created a bond that will last a lifetime...
Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook's daughter pregnant wasn't part of any life plan, but he won't run from his responsibilities. He'll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn't have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn't with anyone--the truth and his heart.
Being the good girl has gotten Claire Holbrook no where in her desire to be the one Jake Manning loves. When her best friend Holly marries Quinn, Jake’s brother, Claire has no ulterior motives. When the two meet up at the bar after it’s all over, sparks fly that the two cannot deny. But in the morning Jake leaves, thinking he just isn’t good enough for Claire.
Six weeks later, Jake is back from his road trip and trying to ignore his feelings for Claire, but Claire has news for him that will jolt his system and bring up very bad memories of his childhood. Claire tells Jake in style that she is pregnant and so begins a short but heartfelt story of family, healing and love.
While we see some of the love scenes, make no mistake, this is not a steamy romance. The love scenes were lukewarm at best, which left me disappointed. Jake has some deep baggage on him and Claire’s father know about that he must share to finally start to heal and take on being a father. Claire also needs to stand up for herself with her mother and the image her mother has of her as a beng the socialite beautiful daughter to the minister.
This had me reminiscing of Harlequin novels I grew up on. Man meets woman who has had a crush on him since high school. They hook up and get pregnant. Move on to the healing of the past and the joy of finding love, resolving their issues and moving on to being parents.
This was the second book in a series and I felt a little lost about Holly, Quinn and their daughter Ella. Evan’s book is up next, being the only Manning brother unattached. Even Claire’s parents have a reawakening of their relationship. Not very long, this book was a fun escape in the afternoon.
“I never had you pegged as a whiskey drinker,” a deep voice said close to her ear. Her body and mind recognized that voice at the exact same time. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
He’d come back. Jake was the only man who could fill the void that was threatening to consume her tonight. She could feel the heat emanating off his body. He was standing directly behind her, close enough that if she leaned back an inch or so, she would be against Jake Manning’s hard chest. She slowly turned around, heart hammering, senses buzzing, and looked up into his blue eyes. Try to be cool, Claire. Sultry. “And what kind of drink do you think I would have ordered?”
A leisurely smile graced his handsome face, revealing straight white teeth. “A Shirley Temple.”
Her mouth dropped open. The man thought she was a child. “Thanks,” she muttered, determined tonight she would change his opinion of her. “I bet you your Harley you don’t know a thing about me.” She finished off the remains of her whiskey and licked the moisture from her lips. Jake’s gaze went from her mouth to her eyes, and then he took a drink. He placed his empty glass on the counter, his arm brushing against her bare shoulder.
“Can I buy you another one?”
“It’s an open bar, but I guess old habits die hard. Woman at bar. Buy drink. Score,” she said, tapping her finger against his hard chest.
“I’ll have you know it takes a lot more skill than that,” he murmured, his voice low and delicious, each syllable resonating inside her body.
“I’ve seen the women you hang out with. I’m sure it doesn’t.”
“I wasn’t aware you were keeping tabs on me.”
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