tl;dr: sweet Christmas story full of tropey goodness
This story picks up almost immediately after Pregnant by the Billionaire, and follows the sister of the main character from that book as she deals with her pregnancy post-breakup to someone who she was falling in love with but has told her in no uncertain terms that he is not relationship material.
Charlotte Locke wants to get her life turned around. She’s been the family party girl all of her life, and now she wants to get serious about her real estate career and make a living so she can provide for her unborn baby. Her plan is to use her family connections to be the agent responsible for the luxury condos on the top floors of her brother’s hotel. There’s a giant wrench in the shape of her former lover thrown into the mix, however, as Michael Kelly is the agent that her brother has already picked for the listings.
Charlotte hasn’t told Michael about the pregnancy, and she keeps giving herself excuses to put it off longer. She really isn’t looking forward to the inevitable rejection when she does spill the beans, so she continually thinks of fairly logical reasons to put it off. (People don’t share pregnancy news until 12 weeks! Makes total sense, right?) She also doesn’t want her brothers to know she’s knocked up until she can prove to them that she’s got what it takes to sell those condos, particularly when her brother tosses her a bone and says that she and Michael can each have half of the listings.
I really enjoyed the first half of the book. It was mostly about Charlotte trying to regain her confidence after she was shattered by the break up and resulting pregnancy. She squares her shoulders and really decides to go for what she wants. She makes it clear to Michael that they can’t be casual and if that’s all he can give her, she wants nothing to do with it, despite how she feels about him.
The second half I was less invested in, and partially that’s just because of particular romance tropes that aren’t my favorite. Pregnancy and birth and general are things that irritate me in fiction because often they are so unrealistic, and we fall on the same tropes over and over again to maintain drama. Here, Charlotte has a scare where she begins bleeding and has to be sent to the hospital for observation. In turn, that causes Michael to drop everything and run to be by her side. Now, he had realized the error of his ways before that and was trying to get in touch with her before, and that makes it slightly less tropey, but it’s still not my favorite dramatic device.
There was also some parts of the dialogue toward the end that were overwrought and didn’t seem real. The grovel toward the end didn’t seem natural to Michael’s character. I also didn’t completely buy why his so-called tragic backstory affected him the way that it did, and how he was able to be completely over it within a few days.
Overall, this was a nice book. It’s very fluffy and light on the peril, and for fans of the secret baby trope, it’s sure to be a winner.
Do you have a favorite secret baby story? Share it with me and maybe I’ll review it!