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352 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 1, 2009
"Why? Do they make you nervous?
"Not at all." I gave him a mock-threatening glance. "I eat alpha males for breakfast."
There was a spark of mischief in his dark eyes. "I’ll be over here early then".
“Dear Miss Independent,
I've decided that of all the women I've ever known, you are the only one I will ever love more than hunting, fishing, football, and power tools.
You can’t stand between a Texan and his power tools. We like them. Big ones that drain the national grid. We also like truck-stop breakfasts, large moving objects, Monday night football, and the missionary position. We don’t drink light beer, drive Smart Cars, or admit to knowing the names of more than about five or six colors. And we don’t wax our chests. Ever.”
"Don't ever leave me, Ella. I need you."
Ella Varner learned in early childhood to fend for herself and her baby sister. She’s independent, and in control of her own life, just the way she prefers it. And her boyfriend of four years gives her the freedom and space she needs. But when her sister leaves her new born baby with their flaky mother, Ella’s life is turned upside down. Suddenly she’s responsible for her nephew, and the only way she can think of helping her missing sister, is to find the father. Which leads her to playboy Jack Travis’ doorstep, the type of alpha male she always tries to avoid. But there’s no avoiding the sparks flying between them.
Jack Travis has always loved women and sex. And after getting his heart broken he prefers playing the field, never getting serious about anyone again. Until he’s confronted by an angry and very cute blonde, claiming the baby with her is his. And even though Jack knows for a fact that he never slept with Ella’s sister, he’s more than willing to prove it and to offer assistance. And hopefully get Ella to leave her useless boyfriend, and give him a chance.
But Ella is stubborn and the way Jack makes her feel scares her. She’s been disappointed too many times to want to take a risk on him. Can Jack convince Ella that he’s perfect for her?
This is a man, I thought, who could break my heart.
Ella was a fantastic heroine. She really had a horrible childhood at the hands of her mother, who was more focused on her looks and her men, than she was on her daughters. But Ella is nothing like her mother, she’s responsible and doesn’t believe she needs a man to make her life complete. I loved how she immediately decided to take care of little Luke, who was so cute, even though it changed her life completely, and how quickly she fell in love with him.
"There's not much I wouldn't do for you, Ella," he said quietly. "Haven't you figured that out yet?"
Jack was sex on legs with his charm and confidence. I loved how intensely attracted he was to Ella, how hard he pursued her and tried to convince her to give them a chance. And he was so great with little Luke, and being there for Ella when she needed help. I do wish we had gotten things from his POV too.
"I want you to trust me, Ella. I want every part of you. Someday you're going to let go with me."
The romance was great. I probably should have been upset that Ella slept with Jack while still dating Dane, but frankly Dane informed Ella just before that happened that they had an open relationship, which she didn’t even know, and he refused to help her take care of the baby, saying it was not his problem. They were more like friends with benefits, than a couple. I loved the intense chemistry between Ella and Jack. It was so very hot and sexy, but I also loved how much they talked to each other, how focussed they were on each other, so hungry to learn all there is about the other person. It was wonderful. Ella tried so hard to keep her walls up around Jack, not wanting to let go of her control, but Jack broke down her barriers with a patient seduction of sex and charm that was wonderful to witness.
I really hated Ella’s mother, who is a sorry excuse of a mother. The way she insulted Ella, and made moves on Jack was disgusting. And Ella’s sister was not really better. I found her selfish and immature. Jack’s family was as wonderful as always, and I loved seeing Hardy and Haven and how happy they are together. And I really can’t wait to read Joe’s book.
Lisa Kleypas is my favorite HR author, and her talent extends to her contemporary romances. They are wonderfully romantic and sexy, with great characters and dialogue. And this book was just wonderful. A must read for all romance fans.
“Babies were dangerous . . .they made you fall in love before you knew what was happening.”
"He was tall and big-framed, all hard muscle and easy masculinity, with dark eyes and heavy well-cut black hair. The way he carried himself - the confidence in his walk, the relaxed set of his shoulders - proclaimed that he was accustomed to being in charge."
“The baby woke up before you did. I took him to the other room to let you get a little more sleep. We've been watching a game."
"Did he cry?"
"Only when he realized the Astros were having another first-round play-off flame out. But I told him there's no shame in crying over the Astros. It's how we Houston guys bond.”