Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Baby for the Boss - Maureen Child (HD #2421 - Jan 2016)

Series: Pregnant by the Boss (Book 2)

Is it a baby trap or will the boss become a dad?

When Jenny Marshall meets gaming tycoon Mike Ryan, she thinks she's met The One. But when he realizes she's his competitor's niece he believes she's spying on him! Jenny thinks she's done with Mike…until she gets a new job -- and he's her boss!

His angelic-looking employee is more temptation than Mike can resist -- even if he still can't trust her. Now, she's pregnant with his baby. Is she playing the most elaborate game of all…or could mother and child be his if only he opens his guarded heart?

Mike and Jenny made their first appearances in the first book in the series Having Her Boss's Baby. Mike and his two partners own a video game company and have decided to branch out by developing three hotels based on their best-selling games. In this book, Mike is in charge of the Nevada hotel, and Jenny is the artist in charge of doing the themed murals. But there is an undercurrent of tension between them that makes working together difficult.

More than a year earlier, Jenny and Mike had met at a convention and been immediately attracted to each other. But the next morning Mike discovered that Jenny is a rival's niece and accuses her of using him. They part angrily and don't see each other again until Mike's brother hires her as one of the artists for their company. Mike is furious and still doesn't trust her, but won't tell his brother why. 

There were so many times I wanted to grab Mike by the ears and just shake him. He has huge trust issues that really have nothing to do with Jenny and everything to do with his parents. Something that happened when he was thirteen has had a profound impact on the way he looks at other people, and Jenny gets caught in that. His judgmental attitude and leaping to conclusions would have been funny if it wasn't so infuriating. He's so sure that he's right that he doesn't listen to anything she has to say. What makes it worse for him is that he is still incredibly attracted to her. When he visits her at her house to try to convince her to back out of her work on the hotel, he continues to accuse her of using him. Then the passion of anger turns to passion of another kind and they end up in bed again. And he's a jerk yet again the next morning, and still can't get her to quit.

I really liked Jenny. She knows what she wants and she's very good at what she does. From the very beginning, I loved the way she stood up to Mike and refused to accept his attitude. She could have made trouble for him with his partners, but she didn't, though they could see that there was something going on between them. It was great to see how she could put their differences aside when it came to work, even though the attraction was a big distraction. She has some relationship issues of her own, thanks to being pretty much abandoned by her parents who dumped her on her uncle to raise. She always felt as though she had been an obligation when all she wants is someone who will love her for who she is. 

As they worked together on the Nevada hotel, both there and after they got back, it felt as though they were growing closer. I liked seeing them able to coordinate their efforts so well, and that Mike seemed to be developing some level of trust. Unfortunately, Jenny's pregnancy sends him right back to his paranoid jerkiness. Conversations with his brother and his parents start the realization of his stupidity, but even then he hasn't fully accepted the truth. Jenny has some decisions of her own to make when Mike comes to see her. I loved seeing her stand up for her own needs and those of the baby. The final scene with her Uncle Hank was great, causing Mike to have to work harder to win Jenny's heart.

The epilogue was fantastic, and continued the build up to book three. Seeing California surfer dude Sean having to deal with winter in Wyoming will be wonderful. Add in a strong willed female contractor, and I expect the sparks will really be flying.

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