About the book:
Connor O’Leary knows nothing about babies, families, or good women, yet he’s up to his ears in all three. Coming to Shadow Creek, Montana was meant to be a new start for this former oil rigger, but he had no idea that fresh beginning would include a baby on his doorstep and a hot nanny he can’t stop thinking about. Diapers, feedings, and late nights soothing his little bundle of surprise were definitely not on his itinerary.
The last thing Haley Thomson expected to see is the reclusive Connor with a baby in his arms. Before she knows it, she’s volunteered as nanny—temporarily. Helping out with baby Rosie is a dream come true and fills a space in her heart she believed will never be filled. But falling for Rosie’s hot and sexy bachelor daddy is not on her to-do list…but boy would she ever like it to be…
Oh, I really wanted to like this one. And there were good things, like:
A strong start. The close relationships between the Baileys, the Thomsons, and the rest of their crowd is great; we’re thrown right into their warm and wacky world right away, and it’s a fun place to be. Then there’s a surprise baby left on a doorstep? Yes, please! The single dad/nanny troupe can be so much fun, and Connor and Haley seem worthy of HEAs and are conveniently attracted to each other…so far, all good things.
But. I had. A. Few. Issues.
Baby Rosie, as adorable as she is, seems more like a plot element than a baby. Other than a few nights early on where she kept Connor and Hailey awake, she’s pretty much an ideal baby, neatly sleeping through all kinds of events where a fussy infant would be an inconvenience. Connor spends the novel kicking himself over the fact that he’s let his daughter down by 1) not knowing she existed until she was a month old (how? How would he know? Her mother kept her existence from him, so…) and 2) sleeping with her irresponsible mother (um, if you hadn’t, Rosie wouldn’t exist). His internal I’m-not-good-enough-for-Haley also got to be a bit much–he really isn’t a bad boy, the title notwithstanding; yes, he dropped out of high school to help his mother pay the bills but he has since had a very successful life as an adult. Other than working a dangerous job for a few years (on an oil rig) and making at least one dubious relationship choice (which resulted in his daughter) he really hasn’t done anything that even comes close to earning him that label.
Then there’s Haley: I really wanted to like her, but her inner dialogue drove me a little nuts, and I’m surprised that Connor didn’t get whiplash from her constant flip flopping over their relationship. Yes, some hesitancy about relationships is understandable given her past, but Connor is beyond patient with her and she spends the whole book jumping to conclusions and making up his mind for him without even letting him have a say in things. Fortunately she comes to her senses eventually, but…yikes.
So, sadly, Baby on the Bad Boy’s Doorstep is not destined to be one of my favorites from Ms. James. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s just a one-off, though, and her next book will be more like her earlier ones. The book is the fourth in the series and could work as a standalone–be warned, though, there’s a lot of secondary characters here to keep track of; if you’ve read the first three books that will be a bit easier 😉
Rating: 3 stars / C
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.