BOOK REVIEW (26): The Billionaire’s Baby SOS (The Larkville Legacy #8)

BOOK REVIEW:
The Billionaire’s Baby SOS
 
I’ll preface this review by saying I’ve had an exciting month reading-wise. I’m expanding to test out what kind of romances I enjoy, so I’ve been reading a lot of romances outside the Vampire Kisses series, which is a YA PNR.
This next book is another Harlequin and another first read from a category romance series of theirs called Harlequin Romance. Fun fact! Harlequin Romance was the first series published by the romance publishing giant. Cool, huh?
If the title isn’t self-explanatory The Billionaire’s Baby SOS has a baby trope in it. And the blurb at the back of the book will also give away another trope, often closely associated with the babies, the nanny trope. Oh, yeah, and there’s also a billionaire. Yup. That’s what the title will surmise. Luckily this review isn’t a title review, so let’s go beyond the title shall we?
Before we dive into the review though, I’d like to give you the warning I wish I had. As far as I can see the hard cover version of The Billionaire’s Baby SOS does not state it is part of an 8-book series and with my crap luck this is the eighth and final story of that miniseries. Personally I don’t think that this book is a spoiler at all. The other characters from the 7 other stories are all mentioned and/or make appearances at the end of the book, but nothing is given away as to how the couples met or any major plot details shared from the rest of the series.
But if that kinda thing bothers you, there’s your warning. Cherish it! J
Okay, first I really found myself enjoying the baby thing! It’s a new thing for me. I know some people either A) have tried reading romances with babies, but hated it, or B) never bothered to try because it’s a turn off. In my case it was neither. I haven’t read one prior to this novel and it’s not my style to judge a book entirely by the cover. (All right. Sometimes I judge by the cover…and title, oddly enough.)
I’m glad I didn’t though. Baby Bella was adorable! And she wasn’t really either a prop or such a significant distraction from the story that I forgot it was a romance. Let me emphasize that. I never forgot it was a romance. Author Susan Meier doesn’t allow you with all the scenes wrought with sexual tension between heroine Claire and hero Matt.
Claire isn’t actually a nanny, but I’ll let you read and find out what I mean by that. What I liked about Claire is her interaction with Bella and Matt in the book, both together and separately. I realize I really I’m a sucker for these sorts of books were romance is tinged with family elements, so it’s not entirely the H/h in a bubble of their own, oblivious to the world around them. Not as romantic as it sounds when you’re actually reading 190+ pages.
Claire has her problems, too. Her backstory made me cry…well, almost cry. It definitely made me uncomfortable with sorrow. The gist of that story is she’s learned to hold onto the good/positivity in her life, and Matt and Bella are the upside in her life right now.
I didn’t like that her compassion came off fake. I mean she did a lot of over-and-beyond tasks for Matt that seemed unnatural considering they’re virtual strangers even with the lust. Then there was the conversations with her boss that came off really fake.
But for better or worse our story’s billionaire falls for this “little slip of a woman” (p.200)—which btw is the strangest saying and entirely out of context with this time period.
Yeah. So Matt falls for Claire hard, and first it’s just the usual physical attraction, but then that unnatural compassion of hers is what tugs and thaws this Wall Street Ice Man’s heart. I liked Matt, too. He had such a complex childhood and he isn’t alpha, like at all. And I think the nickname he’s given “the Ice Man” doesn’t’ do his character in action much justice.
He’s not an A-hole, and he isn’t cold-hearted and constantly shrugging off Claire. He doesn’t hover whenever she’s taking care of Bella either. I guess I’m coming off of reading some alpha males in romances and I’ve decided I’m thoroughly disenchanted by the magic of the weirdly possessive, controlling alpha hero.
And since the book is talking babies and it’s all about fatherhood and the challenges associated with this half of parenting, let’s talk Matt and his new status as daddy. IRL I find it funny when a guy (or girl for that matter) who isn’t really experienced with children is forced to interact with them. I don’t have wicked baby skills/experience myself, but I’m always ready to learn. (Yes. I dolove infants.)
I was expecting a romanticized version of fatherhood, and I got it—like there was no messy poop stain smearing an expensive tie—but I only got half of it.
Unlike Claire’s freaky-sized compassion, Matt takes the fatherhood slowly and his progress is natural. I mean, near the end it’s rushed a bit, but he isn’t like SUPERDAD suddenly.
Same goes for Claire and Matt’s relationship. The story takes place over the course of, I think, one week. Or one week and a bit, but Claire and Matt jump in the bandwagon of love and rush into their relationship and “I love yous” much, much quicker. And I’m not an insta-love fan at all, but after spending a week caring for a child together with all that crazy sexual tension I totally get where they’re coming from. (Not entirely, but we’re all cool.) Also by sexual tension, I mean just that. Lots of hot and broody looks, awkward silences, lip biting and stroking, kissing and caressing. But no sex.

I wouldn’t call the story a SWEET romance. But I would say that it is entirely devoid of a sex scene, closed door or open. Claire is adamant to hold onto her panties a little longer, and Matt is totally cool with that. It’s hinted that there’s plans for sex at the end of the book, but it isn’t explored more than one line of a mention of roses and champagne awaiting their shared bedroom.

Anyways by the book’s closure I figured there would be some life hurdles awaiting Claire and Matt. And Bella too. You know besides the conflicts wrapped up in the story in the HEA.
Not a baby-romance fan? I’m not going to convert you, but I hope you’ll consider reading about this trio’s story.
My verdict:
✮✮✮✮.5

 

(4.5 stars)
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