Monday, June 6, 2016

Secret Baby Scandal - Joanne Rock (HD #2445 - May 2016)

Series: Bayou Billionaires (Book 4)

His proposition: pretend they're a couple to end a scandal. But she has secrets of her own…

Tatiana Doucet has dealt with sexy, arrogant athletes most of her life. But Jean-Pierre Reynaud is a whole different animal -- in bed and on the field. Unbeknownst to him, their one amazing night produced a son. Now her family's biggest football rival is back, offering a seductive wager she can't refuse.

Jean-Pierre despises the media. When rumors fly, he knows a fake relationship is the perfect diversion for the tabloids -- and Tatiana's unbridled passion is the perfect diversion for Jean-Pierre. But when she drops a baby bombshell, the scandal will rock them both!

Very good book and my favorite of the series. Tatiana and Jean-Pierre were teenage sweethearts when her dad was working for his grandfather's pro football team. Then the two men had a falling out and Tatiana and Jean-Pierre didn't see each other again for ten years. When that happened, they were on opposite sides of the courtroom as Tatiana was prosecuting a friend of his for sexual harassment. Their encounter after the trial was explosive, and ended up with the two of them in bed. Harsh words were spoken the next morning, sending them back in opposite directions.

Fast forward a year and Jean-Pierre is quarterback for her father's football team. A flippant remark by Tatiana has them both scrambling to do damage control. What Jean-Pierre doesn't know is that there is a bigger bombshell waiting for him - the discovery that Tatiana gave birth to his son. Now they need to find a way to work together to minimize the possible scandal and raise their son.

I really liked Jean-Pierre. He's a top notch athlete, but he isn't arrogant about it. He's worked hard to get where he is and doesn't take it for granted. He had been hurt by their separation all those years ago and it still affects the way he approaches relationships. I loved the way he reacted to finding out he was a father. Yes, he was angry that he hadn't been told sooner, but he doesn't threaten Tatiana with anything. Instead, he immediately steps up and wants to be a good father. He also wants to do the right thing and marry her, giving their son a proper family. His biggest problem is that he tends to overthink things, especially when he should be listening to his heart.

I liked Tatiana also. She had been just as heartbroken as Jean-Pierre when they were split as teens, but she was far more heavily influenced by her strong-willed father. By the time she had developed some backbone, it came back to bite her. The legal case that she was involved in became even more vital to her because of her father's attitude against it, and her stubbornness spilled over onto her chance to be with Jean-Pierre again. Though it was wrong of her to keep her pregnancy secret, I completely understood why she did it. 

I loved the revival of their relationship. It starts as a need to come to an agreement over the right way to reveal the baby's existence to their families and the press. However, it quickly becomes obvious that the chemistry between them is still just as strong. I loved seeing Jean-Pierre's determination to get Tatiana to marry him, even though he didn't realize the underlying reason why he was so determined. He had quite a few very romantic moments, as he tried to remind Tatiana of all they had been to each other before. Tatiana knows that she never stopped loving him, but after a lifetime of playing second fiddle to the game of football, she wants to feel as if she is the most important thing in his life. I loved seeing her stand up for her own needs as well as those of the baby. Jean-Pierre's big moment at the end was really romantic. There was an interesting twist at the end involving the case that had caused all the trouble between Jean-Pierre and Tatiana.

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