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.
Title: The Best Man's Baby | Series: Red River #2 | Author: Victoria James | Publisher: Bliss: an imprint of Entangled | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Purchased | Rating: 4
So, I’ve had The Best Man’s Baby on my Kindle for at least a year or two and finally decided to give it a go. When I purchased it, I think it was an impulse buy, you know how the 1-click order thing goes. Although I’m pleased to say, I really enjoyed it.
Claire Holbrook has had a crush on Jake Manning since high school. Although she’s a minister’s daughter who has lived her life playing by the rules, she’s ready and willing to break the rules to spend one night with Jake.
Jake knew he should never have left Claire after sleeping with her but things were getting complicated and Jake’s go to defense is to flee. Although when he discovers that Claire is pregnant, he’s determined to prove to her that he’s in it for the long haul.
I really liked how layered these characters were. They both have secrets—I’m not going to tell you what they are, you’ll have to find them out on your own—that have to be revealed before they can move on in their relationship. These were major issues and I’m really glad they had some depth to them rather than being flimsy. It gave it a more realistic feel.
Claire was an easy heroine to like. Even though she wanted Jake, she wasn’t willing to hop into a relationship just because she was pregnant by him. Although she did try to push Jake away, it wasn’t out of spite, it was more out of self-preservation. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and I really enjoyed that Claire had a snarky side.
Oh, Jake, poor guy. He was such a troubled soul. He’s carrying this huge secret around with him that he believes could change the way everyone in his life feels about him. It’s a secret that has to come out and the only person that knows about it is Claire’s dad.
I was really rooting for Jake. He was an easy character to care about and I really liked the way he decided to step up to plate when he found out that Claire was pregnant. He also wasn’t afraid to take the steps needed to ensure his child would be cared for in the future.
The chemistry between Claire and Jake was nice and I really enjoyed—even though they hopped into bed together at the start of the book—that they decided to get to know each other before jumping into a relationship.
I also enjoyed that this book was character driven and the secondary characters offered a nice support system to Claire and Jake without taking away from their story.
The pacing of the novel had a nice steady flow until the epilogue. I felt that the epilogue was rushed and the author was trying to jam in too much set up for the third book, which made it feel a bit disconnected.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I was thinking it was going to be a light and fluffy little romance and I was pleased to discover that it had some weighty issues. I always like it when a novel surprises me. Other than the rushed and disconnected epilogue, I found this one to be a pleasing little surprise and eventually I will get around to checking out the rest of the Red River series.
The Red River Series
A Risk Worth Taking #1
The Best Man’s Baby #2
The Doctor’s Fake Fiancée #3