What tickled my fancy: Manages to be a realistic fantasy.
What ticked me off: Dude, worry less about sexual harassment and more about anger management.
Who might like it: Readers who like kids and moms in their romance.
This isn’t really my type of story, but it was such a short, quick read that I went with it. It’s a mostly lighthearted office romance in which struggling law student and single mother Charlotte becomes the paralegal of notorious player Jake Hamilton, who promptly reforms, starts up a workplace childcare center, and childproofs his home. Meanwhile he and Charlotte try to keep their hands off of each other.
Jake is not my favorite kind of hero — women are pretty much disposable to him until he meets Charlotte and finds himself feeling thoughtful and protective for the first time. It helps that he’d already started feeling tired of his lifestyle, and guilty about how he treats women, and that he makes a strong effort to keep their relationship professional. His almost instant devotion to Charlotte’s son Harry is kind of over-the-top; Charlotte’s half of the story is more realistic, as she comes to realize that she has feelings for Jake and that her relationship with Harry’s dad Roger, her “first and only love” is really over for her. It was nice that Harry’s dad is still in the picture, though he’s a bit of a jerk; Jake shows his superiority by giving Harry a baby doll, which Roger finds unmanly.
The main conflict is Jake’s past, which comes back to “bite him on the ass” with a vengeance. I enjoyed seeing him pine a bit, but was uncomfortable with how physical he gets with Charlotte when he’s angry — not actually hitting her, but grabbing and yanking her several times. She doesn’t even seem to notice.
This is the first in a multi-author series about a wealthy and powerful African-American family, so there’s an introduction to all the gorgeous Hamiltons and some hints at their future issues. I kinda loved Jake’s awful upper-crust mother, who makes pithy comments like “you look like a Depression-era street urchin” and tells Harry that he needs to work on his limp handshake.