Tina Gayle
Contemporary romance
Available from Smashwords
ISBN: 9781476270180
July 2012

Our story opens with what should be a happy occasion in a woman's life -- the birth of a child. But Brie is facing a grim situation instead. She lost her husband to an accident before this story begins, the man she loved and father of her two children. Learning that she was pregnant with another of his children after his devastating loss only adds to the despair.

It's clear from the beginning that Brie is completely overwhelmed by her circumstances. She's getting little sleep, she has two other children to take care of and they lost someone too. There's Jason who also lost his father in the crash that claimed her husband's life and in her desperation, Brie decides he is her salvation. She proposes marriage to Jason, sure that he'll say yes and hoping that will solve her problems. He'd be a father to her children and a help to her. When he says no, she eventually decides to find another candidate -- again because of the desperation of being alone, being overwhelmed and wanting help. Jason has to do something or risk losing Brie. Can he help the woman, and the family, he cares about?

I struggled with the early chapters of this story. I can absolutely understand the grief and loss this character experienced and like Jason, I believe that she may have been experiencing post-partum depression. My worry, at first, was that this character wasn't going to be able to pull it together and her decisions, and how she viewed things, really made me pause at times.

I'm rather glad I stuck it out because the second half of this book really came together. Once Jason took the steps he had to take to prevent Brie from finding someone else, the way the relationships developed was well done. And we're not just talking about a romantic relationship between hero and heroine, but also how Jason and her children related to one another. It's a complex tale and no relationship aspect was left unexamined. The author did a thorough job of fleshing out this tale and infusing it with realism.

This story is the second book in the author's Executive Wives Club series and while I didn't read the first book, I didn't feel lost in reading this one. The author's voice is pleasant and well matched to this story. The characterization is strong and I particularly like Jason's character for his wisdom, sensitivity and abundance of patience. The pacing of this story, for me, gained momentum as the pages passed and the ending is one that romance readers will enjoy. For fans of traditional romances or romances with kids, this is a must read. For all other romance readers, give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Overall rating:
Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual

Reviewer: Rachel
June 27, 2013

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