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Monday, January 18, 2010

Bossman’s Baby Scandal by Catherine Mann

Bossman’s Baby Scandal by Catherine Mann
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (181 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Nothing had stopped Jason Reagert from making his own millions. And now that he was securely ensconced at Maddox Communications, he was determined to become an even bigger success. Then startling news broke and Jason—along with everyone else—discovered he had gotten heiress Lauren Presley pregnant. He couldn't afford even a whiff of scandal, so he proposed to his lover of one night. Surely she'd agree to a lifetime of convenience, if only for the baby's sake.

This story is all about a man who thinks he has control of his life so completely, it’s fun to watch him scramble when the threads of his plans unravel with delicious results.

Jason is a take charge kind of guy. He maps out his goals, plans his attacks and implements his strategies, all to get out from under the thumb of his family – to feel like a man in his own right. A self-made man is one to be respected but for some reason, his dad doesn’t see things that way, and it’s that emotional pain that drives Jason to do what he’s done with his life. You can imagine what lengths a guy will go to in order to keep things the way he thinks they should be. I can easily see his path falling into a rut, a broken record that if left unchallenged, would leave him a broken man, stunted emotionally and bitter without ever facing and understanding why. So, I found I had some sympathy for this misguided hero. He’s also fallible, vulnerable to repressed passions which make him lose his head. Thank goodness.

Lauren is not an impulsive heroine nor free spirited. She feels responsibility deeply. She also has family opinions to deal with but nothing like what Jason has. I think it’s worse. Lauren is plagued with loving someone so much, it leaves her open to extreme emotional pain, yet she never gives up hope, never stops loving and is loyal to a fault. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel resentment, and guilt for that resentment. Those are characteristics that are very real and quite believable in today’s society. Years ago, no one would understand what was going on and the person in question would have been institutionalized. It’s a very special woman who doesn’t give up, especially when it’s so easy to do so. Lauren is someone you can respect.

Take two injured souls; stir up a heady mix of friendship, passion, crossed purposes and pride and you have a volatile combination. Toss in a baby surprise and it’s a panicked scramble to find the balance of what Lauren and Jason think they need or should need and what is actually important in their lives and each other. The dialogue flows brisk and clever. The secondary characters provide understanding into Jason and Lauren’s personalities and provide little pushes and tugs to the movement of the plot. When the two lovers finally get over all their power plays, the loving is at times fierce and others achingly tender but they are in all ways ardent and hot.

Bossman’s Baby Scandal gives a reader exactly what they hope to find when they pick up this book. Characters with depth steeped in reality that is relatable, internal conflict that doesn’t seem contrived, lovin’ action to break out the fans and cold showers and a happy ever after which is endearingly saucy. I love what they do with basting brushes.