Title: The Bad Boy's Baby
Author: Cindi Madsen
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hope Springs #3
Main Characters: Cam and Emma
Release Date: May 2016
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild
Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town’s golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town, she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed.
Cam and Emma are both shocked to discover he truly wants Zoey in his life. But Cam’s not sure he’s ready to be a dad, and Emma can’t gamble her daughter on maybes. As the long-simmering heat between Cam and Emma reaches a boiling point, he’ll have to work past his demons in order to be the man both girls need.
Daddy duty might be his toughest mission yet…
I really enjoyed this story. Usually secret baby stories aren't my thing, but the story on this one tempted me enough that I accepted it for review. I'm so glad that I did, because the story was excellent.
Cam and Emma had a one night stand the night before he deployed three years ago. They were both drunk, and obviously acting impulsively (Emma was NEVER the type for a one night stand, so even this small town assumes that she got pregnant via IVF). He hasn't been back to town since and after Emma tried half-heartedly to get hold of him through the military, she assumed that she would just do this single parenting thing alone. (Before they hooked up that night, she'd heard him saying he never wanted to have kids, so chances are even if she got hold of him, he wouldn't want anything to do with the baby.) But now he's back and Emma can't not tell him about Zoey. He deserves more than that.
There was so much to love about this book. Emma is in charge of the construction crew building new cabins for Cam and his brother Quinn's new property (although she had no idea Cam was involved when she took the job). Emma was always the quiet, studious one, so taking charge of this group of guys is not an easy thing for her, but she's doing it and excelling...because she wants to be more and have a better life for herself and Zoey. That means stepping up and taking charge. But it's awesome that she wields her power just as well as she does her hammer. She's right in the middle of everything working just as hard as the crews AND building cabins that are HER designs. But this also creates a wonderful ambience for the story...in the woods with the cabins...yes, please.
Cam has just been discharged after a horrible final deployment. He's more than a little wrung out and stressed. The last thing he expects to find when he comes home is a ready-made family...no matter how many times memories of that night with Emma have pulled him through rough deployments. He hoped to connect with her again, but he didn't count on falling in love with Zoey which is exactly what happens. Cam is this huge gruff soldier...watching him melt for this curly headed little two year old completely and totally melted my heart. Cindi Madsen did a wonderful job with the scenes between the two of them.
And then there is Cam and Emma together. Despite having a child, these two truly don't know one another at all. She had a crush on him in high school, but he was the bad boy, she was the nerd who answered all the questions in class. They never ran in the same circles. Despite the awkwardness, they have some incredible chemistry on the page that made this book so fun to read.
This is the third book in the series, and I haven't read the other two, but this completely works as a stand-alone. I couldn't even tell you who was in the other books (maybe Cam's brother?) But never once did I feel like I was missing any background details. The book works beautifully all on it's own. But I may have to go look up the other two anyway just because I did enjoy this one so much.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.