Friday, February 26, 2016

One Secret Night, One Secret Baby - Charlene Sands (HD #2434 - Mar 2016)

Series: Moonlight Beach Bachelors (Book 3)

During a city-wide power outage, Emma Bloom turns to her old friend Dylan McKay for help. The Hollywood heartthrob comes to her rescue, action-hero style, and sees her safely home. But what happened next? The details are blurry -- because Emma was tipsy, and an on-set accident leaves Dylan's memory of that night in tatters.

But soon irrefutable evidence surfaces: Emma is pregnant. It's hard enough sharing her secret with a man used to fending off scheming women. But Dylan does the right thing and proposes. And then, one day, his memory returns…

Very good friends to lovers story. Emma and Dylan have known each other for a very long time. She is best friends and business partners with his sister Brooke, and has always had something of a crush on Dylan. One night when at a party she got a bit tipsy, then the power went out all over the city. Panicking, she called Dylan for help and he picked her up and took her home. She has vague recollections of begging him to stay because of her fears, and things went further than she expected. Dylan remembers nothing because of an on-set accident the next day that killed his best friend and stunt double and injured him.

I liked Emma. She is a strong and independent woman, determined to make her own way in the world. She is also a very good friend to both Brooke and Dylan. She cherishes her friendship with them and doesn't want what happened that night to change things with Dylan. She's not sure whether she's relieved or disappointed that he doesn't remember their night together, but decides to keep it to herself unless he remembers. Then she discovers that she's pregnant and knows she'll have to tell him.

Dylan was great. He's made it big in Hollywood, but it hasn't gone to his head. He loves his sister and by extension, her friend Emma. Still grieving for his friend and recovering from his injuries, she and Brooke are keeping a close eye on him. Dylan finds himself attracted to Emma, but as his sister's friend it should be hands off. 

I loved that Dylan and Emma were friends first. I loved the way he asks her to go with him to a hospital event because he knows he can trust her. His attraction to her starts to show, and she notices the way he keeps touching her. She's not sure what to do, because she wants him but can't believe that he'd really be interested in her. They're getting closer when she discovers her pregnancy. I loved the way that Dylan became so protective of her and wanting to take care of her. It's a circumstance that he never expected to happen to him as he's careful not to raise expectations in the women he's with. He'd been hurt once before and has been protecting himself ever since. 

It was sweet to see how Dylan wants Emma to move in with him so he can take care of her, but when she resists he backs off. Emma would like nothing more, but she wants to be wanted for herself, not because of the baby. Being an obligation is not what she wants from the man she is coming to love. I really liked the way that Dylan decides that going slow is the way to win her over, and uses old fashioned dates as the way to do it. I loved the progress he made, and the terrific scene where his wish comes true. Things are really looking good for them until his memory returns, revealing an unexpected twist from the night of the blackout. Dylan's insecurities rear up, causing him to react badly. The pain that both were in had me reaching for the tissues as I read.

An attempt on his life has Dylan realizing that he had made some mistakes. When the threat suddenly extends to Emma also, he is terrified for her safety. I loved seeing him wake up to the truth of his feelings. The ending was so sweet and romantic and perfect for them.

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