Another sweet romance break after reading a lot of steamy paranormal action, Jackie Braun’s Confidential: Expecting! offered a nice break.
Told mostly from the heroine’s perspective, Confidential: Expecting! hints that it’s a baby story. BUT baby doesn’t make a cameo unless and not really even as a baby bump; the pregnancy doesn’t get that far before the end.
So heroine Mallory Stevens is a journalist who earned a reputation as being quite ravenous and uncaring when she scented out a great story, hence the nickname “pitbull”. But then she meets the hero, a local (the story is set in Chicago) celebrity Logan Bartholomew—what a last name!—and though it starts off as using their attraction to gain leverage to Logan’s dirty laundry, she of course starts falling for him hard and that complicates career plans.
Which explains why most of the conflict is internal: Logan struggles with his insecurities with relationships and Mallory struggles with her childhood-gained low self-esteem and threshold for taking risks (and considering life is all about risks, and her job as a journalist involves tons of risks, she’s got a problem).
That and their several nights of censored passion—remember sweet romance!— Mallory learns she’s pregnant with Logan’s kid (oh and that wasn’t a spoiler guys, you sorta can put two-and-two together if you read the blurb).
As far as work-related romances go, I’d say I liked Confidential: Expecting! because it was 1) written well: the pacing’s superb—the story/relationship spans out over about 2 months and it didn’t feel rushed for a story that’s ~50K; 2) characterization-wise I found Mallory’s bluntness as endearing as Logan had; 3) there was no over-the-top craziness—it was done well enough that it really did feel realistic, and though personally I don’t go around searching for or injecting too much realism into my romance, the HEA (or is it HFN?) was super real.
And speaking of ends, this one has a twist in the black moment. One that I didn’t expect and it made the last twenty or so pages fly by because I was THAT more eager to find out what happened in the end. Just throwing it out there as a warning! Last twenty pages are addictive and you’ll be in it for the long haul!
There was nothing I hated about this book. It was read quick. It got to the point and it was done. Ms. Braun didn’t feel the need to tie up every knot, but it worked! It worked extremely well!
That’s it then, short review for a speedy read. 🙂