Title: The Best Man’s Baby
Author: Victoria James
Series: Red River
Genre: contemporary romance
Format read: ebook
The Best Man’s Baby is the second book in Victoria James’s Red River series, and it begins as Holly and Quinn, the couple from book one, A Risk Worth Taking, are getting married. Quinn’s two brothers Jake and Evan are acting as his best men, and Holly’s best friend Claire Holbrook is her maid of honor. Claire, a preacher’s daughter, has had a not-so-secret crush on Jake, the middle Manning brother, since forever. Jake, though, has a reputation as a bad boy. But too many glasses of champagne and a whiskey or two at the reception give Claire courage she never had before, and soon she finds herself alone in a hotel room with Jake.
The same Jake who leaves their suite in the middle of the night and doesn’t return for six whole weeks.
By the time he gets back to Red River, Claire has some news for him—she’s pregnant. Next news flash? She doesn’t want to have anything to do with him.
Jake refuses to leave her to deal with his baby alone, though, and sets out to prove to Claire and to everyone else that he really is the best man for her.
The Best Man’s Baby was a fun book and a sweet story. I loved the interactions between Claire and Jake. The spur-of-the-moment way she tells him of his impending fatherhood is hysterical! (And gross. But hysterically gross, which is much better than just plain gross, really.) The many scenes that showed his newly-developed protective streak were also quite funny. Here’s a brief one from the doctor’s office:
A little boy with a runny nose and cough that sounded worse than a hacking mule sprang out from one of the neighboring chairs, startling Jake into action. He quickly shielded Claire’s face with his hands. “Don’t breathe in the air. That kid has the plague,” Jake roared. Claire swatted his hands away and gave him a dirty look.
“I hardly think that was necessary,” Claire hissed at him, her face turning red.
Who doesn’t love an amusing reference to the plague? (It can’t just be me, right? Right??)
And a little later on, when Claire convinces a reluctant Jake to give her a ride on his motorcycle:
He glanced over his shoulder at her. “Hold on,” he said gruffly. He pulled out onto Red River’s main street and Claire waited, and waited. She waited for him to accelerate, but it didn’t happen. She could have walked faster. She squeezed his waist, and it was as rock-hard as she remembered.
“I’m not going faster than this, baby. You wanted a ride, this is it.”
“I thought I told you I didn’t like being referred to as baby,” she said, ignoring just how good it sounded coming from his lips. How was it possible the man could make the word baby sound so…sexy?
“Well, if I were your husband maybe I’d consider it, but since you refused to marry me, I don’t really care,” he yelled over his shoulder.
She was about to tell him what she thought of that logic when she glanced over and spotted Eunice Jacobs passing them, waving. “Do you realize Mrs. Jacobs just passed us in her Mini Cooper? Better go faster, buddy, or she’ll tell the whole town you drive slower than an old lady,” she said as close to his ear as she could get.
I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop throughout the book; their chemistry was undeniable. They had more issues than just those with their own relationship to resolve, though: both of them were haunted by events from their past. Finding the courage to open up to each other and start to deal with them wasn’t easy, but James did a nice job with her characters here. This was one read I didn’t want to put down until I’d finished it.
The drama doesn’t stop when Claire and Jake’s novel ends, however. Evan’s book, the next in the series, looks to be even more intense—we’re given a teaser for it at the end. I’ll be counting the days until it comes out for sure!
In a nutshell: a sweet and touching story with a sense of humor. This series is definitely a keeper. B+ rating.
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Best Man’s Baby comes out on 8/12/13. Order a copy here:
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