REVIEW: The Billionaire’s Baby Arrangement by Charlene SandsMonday, August 30, 2010 13:00
Limecello’s review of The Billionaire’s Baby Arrangement, (Napa Valley Vows, Book 3) by Charlene Sands
Contemporary Romance released by Silhouette Desire 10 Aug 10
Although this book is last in the trilogy, the Napa Valley Vows, but I came across it first (as my books are listed alphabetically), and after I checked out the premise of the first one, I knew I wanted to read The Billionaire’s Baby Arrangement first. And with a title like that, how can you resist? It’s so ridiculous! But I don’t let that affect how I feel about a Harlequin category book. Also, the title in this incidence is rather misleading, I’m happy to say. I really enjoyed this book, and it had so many aspects and themes I gravitate toward. Friends to lovers, reuniting high school [sweethearts], an unexpected inheritance, the wonderful list goes on.
Brooke Hamilton is an incredibly likable heroine. She’s had a rough life, and has come through very well on her own. Brooke fights her attraction for Nick throughout most of the story, but she isn’t snide or hurtful about it. She also has her own issues to work through, and her complicated past with Nick. While she does hold some of it against him, in a way she has moved on, and I love that Ms. Sands is clear that what happened scarred Brooke because it underlined Brooke’s own issues and questions of self worth and concerns about socioeconomic status. Easily understandable when you’re growing up in Napa Valley and are not one of the privileged. I also love that Brooke acts a bit selfishly and for herself. At the same time it’s “sanctioned” because it’s what she and Nick agreed upon, and what he offered from the start.
Nick Carlino has a lot more depth than first meets the eye. In a way I’m glad I read his book first because it might have been too drastic a change. He’s been labeled as a playboy, and he’s careful to maintain that lifestyle, but he’s not a jerk about it. Nick doesn’t want any ties because he’s been burned before. However, his case is different from your typical hero who has been hurt and is almost a misogynist. Nick’s life was ruined, at least, he’s unable to do what he wanted to forever. He knows his life is pretty damn good, but with his dreams gone, he’s been living in the moment and fine with that. Brooke changes things, and Nick gets a wake up call.
It’s nice that Brooke and Nick learn from each other, and both are able to discuss their past and side of the story. It’s clear there was a major misunderstanding between the two. I loved that Ms. Sands had Brooke and Nick converse, rather than dance around their issues throughout the book, especially when there were so many other more prevalent and important problems. There’s enough substance to make this book different, but it’s not reaching either. The Billionaire’s Baby Arrangement is incredibly believable, and aside from the hero conveniently being a millionaire (and a few other minor coincidences), it could potentially happen to anybody. A neighbor. A friend.
And quick note, Brooke has a daughter, Leah, who is just a baby. Nothing against babies, etc, but I don’t have baby fever. At all. However, in this book, Leah was adorable, and not only a great addition to the story, but necessary.
Charlene Sands has been and continues to be one of my favorite Silhouette authors, and I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys categories, or is looking for a sweet romance that is a great summer read. Especially if you’re short on time.
The highway collision had brought together more than their two vehicles. Suddenly businessman Nick Carlino was face-to-face with a woman from his past…and her five-month-old baby. Though they hadn’t seen each other in years, Nick offered Brooke Hamilton and her child shelter after the crash. It was the right thing to do as they got back on their feet.
But how could something so right feel so wrong? Having Brooke under his roof brought back memories the billionaire would rather have kept forgotten. And passions he needed to control. Nothing short of Carlino Vineyards’ legacy hung in the balance….
Read an excerpt here.
Other books in this series: