Title: Black Ties and Lullabies
Author: Jane Graves
Publisher: Forever Romance
Release Date: July 2011
Format: Mass-Market Paperback
How I Read It: Mass-Market ARC from the publisher
Rating: 5 Cups
A good girl can be bad for one night...
Bernadette Hogan doesn't make mistakes. Not when it comes to caring for her mother, and not at her job protecting Texas's most eligible--and infuriating--bachelor. Maybe that's why she's overcome with guilt after one tiny indiscretion: a passionate fling with her boss that's left her confused, intrigued...and pregnant.
but can a bad boy be good for a lifetime?
To self-made millionaire Jeremy Bridges, women are like fine wine: if held for too long, they sour. But one wild night with Bernadette changed all that. She makes him laugh, she makes him think, and soon she's going to make him a father. For the first time, Jeremy wants to be a one-woman man. So how can he convince the fiercely independent Bernadette he's ready to change from partying playboy to dependable dad--and become the loving husband she deserves?
(from the publisher)
Three Sentence Summary:
Bernadette Hogan and Jeremy Bridges are like chalk and cheese, yet one night of angry passion changes their life forever. Now what was once an employee/employer relationship becomes a bit more complicated when Bernie discovers that she is carrying Jeremy’s child. Can Jeremy prove that he is ready and will to give up his bad boy ways and become a father?
Bernadette Hogan: Bernie comes across as a no-nonsense kind of woman. She knows that she cannot make mistakes, especially since she has to look after her mother. She also comes across as tough, yet we see her layers peel away as the story progresses. As a bodyguard for Jeremy Bridges, she watches as he lives the high life, attends glitzy charity events, and pulling birds as he pleases. When he fails to listen to Bernie’s advice regarding a crazy blond, things soon escalate beyond control.
Jeremy Bridges: CEO of Sybersence Systems Jeremy is indeed living the good life. Glitzy parties, limousines, any woman. To top it all off he has the one thing that matters the most-control. He seems to be doing rather well for himself, although he fails to realize that in the process he comes across as a shallow control freak. Although after the saferoom incident, he learns what happens when you lose control.
As I said before these two characters are like chalk and cheese, you would never envision the two of romantically involved for fear of one of them killing the other. Each of them knows the buttons to push to make the other go over the top, and they push those buttons daily. Both like to be in control and they have their own reason for that, but as the old saying goes too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the broth, ultimately they need to figure out how they are going to work together to raise the child Bernie is carrying. Let me just say that this is not going to be an easy task to accomplish.
There are several characters that pop up throughout the novel but I have to say that there are a few who act like the voice of reason throughout the novel.
Phil-Jeremy’s best friend and financial advisor who steers Jeremy through his “how can I be a dad when I have had such a terrible example” stage.
Teresa- Bernie’s friend who shows her that mothering is not as bad as one might expect.
Max- New bodyguard to Jeremy and one of Bernie’s oldest friends. He has Bernie’s best interest at heart and that does not bode well for Jeremy, although it does make for some interesting reading.
Then we have Eleanor, Bernie’s mother. Like most mothers, she knows what her daughter needs/wants before her daughter does. We see her helping led Bernie in the right way. Although we also see Bernie taking of her due to the dieses Eleanor has.
I loved this book. I devoured this book in one setting and now I am on the prowl for Jane Graves’ other novels. Often I find that contemporary romances fail to capture my attention because they are often flat, but BLACK TIES & LULLABIES was one of my absolute favorites of the year. The characters were well rounded and believable. I was drawn to the situation at hand and was eager to see how it was going to be concluded. The way the plot unfolded was phenomenal. While the number of twists were limited, a few spanners were thrown into the works every now and again. I also enjoyed the way Jane Graves revealed her characters to the reader. She only allowed certain bit and bobs of information out at a time so it would be a buildup of facts rather than a downpour, and I have to say that made me want to read it even more.
Would I read this book again? Definitely!
About the author:
Jane Graves is the author of seventeen contemporary romance novels. She is a seven-time finalist for Romance Writers of America's Rita Award, the industry's highest honor, and is the recipient of two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Booksellers' Best Award, and the Golden Quill, among others. Jane lives in the Dallas area with her husband of twenty-eight years and a very sweet kitty who kindly keeps her lap warm while she writes.
You can visit Jane's website at www.janegraves.com , or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She'd love to hear from you!