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New Release Review! THE BAD GIRL AND THE BABY by Nina Croft (Cutting Loose #3)

Captain Matt Peterson prides himself on being able to handle anything…until he winds up as the guardian of his baby niece, Lulu. Two years and six nannies later, his well-ordered existence is in chaos. Still, he’s all Lulu has. Except, well…there is an aunt…

Darcy Butler has spent the last three years in prison for beating up her abusive brother-in-law. Her only regret is that she didn’t hurt him worse and stop him from killing her sister in a drunken car crash six months later. But now, Darcy just wants to rebuild her life. Starting with finding her sister’s child.

But Matt doesn’t want an ex-con with a record for violence anywhere near Lulu. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to keep away from Darcy, himself. Despite their differences, their chemistry is combustible…and the sex is incredible! Still, it can’t possibly last. Can it?

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The Bad Girl and the Baby is a sweet (and sexy!) story about family, redemption, and finding love. It’s the last in the Cutting Loose series, but definitely works as a standalone (how did I not know of this series before? I must go back and read Regan and Summer’s stories!)

Even though this is the second book in a row I’ve read with a military guy taking over the guardianship of his young niece (and it’s hard not to see the appeal of a big, strong man a bit over his head caring for a little girl, amirite?) this book has a totally different premise, with a heroine–the baby’s aunt–still on parole after nearly three years in prison for beating up that same baby’s abusive father. I liked that Darcy didn’t make any excuses for her past–even though she technically did “do the crime” there were definitely extenuating circumstances there–and that Matt was so open to looking into the truth of what happened, once he actually sat down and had a conversation with her.

I loved that both of them were so determined to do what was best for LuLu, and the whole opposites attract aspect of their relationship made every scene between them that much more delicious. Ms. Croft did a fantastic job of showing that the two of them couldn’t possibly be together, yet allowing them to find a way to achieve the impossible in the end.

Happy sigh! (Or maybe I should give a quiet “woof!” instead? ;))

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

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