Friday, February 7, 2014

Bound by a Child - Katherine Garbera (HD #2286 - Feb 2014)

Series: Baby Business (Book 2)

Two polar opposites unite for the sake of a baby...

Cocky businessman Allan McKinney has always gotten on Jessi Chandler's nerves--especially now that he's taking over her family's company. But when tragedy strikes, and they become coguardians of their best friends' child, Allan shows Jessi his sensitive side, going from unbearable to irresistible just like that. 

For Allan, it's getting harder to keep his eye on the bottom line when his head is turned by Jessi. Now a storm is brewing that threatens to blow away their fragile bond. Will Allan and Jessi let their very personal merger slip through their fingers?

Very good book. I loved the intensity between the two.  Jessi and Allan have struck sparks from each other ever since they met, first when their best friends married and now that his family's company has taken over her famly's company.  Due to a long standing family feud there are bad feelings on both sides.  When those friends are killed in a car crash Jessi and Allan are named as coguardians of baby Hannah and must find a way to work together.  As they leave business behind in order to concentrate on the baby things start to change between them and neither knows quite how to deal with it.

Jessi knows her marketing job with the new company is on the line and that the new owners really want to remove all Chandler influence.  As she's in the middle of preparing a new proposal she and Allan learn that their friends have died and named them as guardians for their daughter.  As they head for North Carolina Jessi starts to see a different side to Allan, one that's far more appealing than the cold businessman she is familiar with.  The lowering of some of their barriers also allows the chemistry they've been fighting to get a stronger hold on them.  Jessi has always considered herself the loner of the three sisters and has worked hard to keep her emotions under control.  She is nervous about taking care of Hannah because she's never been comfortable around children.  I loved the way that she jumped right in, in spite of that nervousness.  She usually feels like she doesn't know what she's doing, but she does a great job of figuring things out.  She admits to some envy at the way Allan always seems to know what to do.  I loved her reaction when she found out he was reading baby care books on the sly.  Jessi finds that her feelings about Allan are changing the longer they spend together.  She really opens herself up to him but also fears that she's depending on a man who doesn't believe in love.  I loved the way she stood up to him at the end and called him on his denial of what they had come to mean to each other.  I also loved the way she responded to the business challenge and didn't make things easy on Allan.

Allan prides himself on his iron control of his feelings.  He refuses to allow himself to have strong emotions after seeing the way his father allowed his emotions to control his life.  Jessi has caused all kinds of reactions in him for a long time.  He still hasn't forgotten the one steamy kiss they shared at their friends' wedding, and the sparks they still generate are intense.  Finding out about the deaths of his friends has put him in a very vulnerable place.  He needs to reinforce his walls and challenges Jessi to prove to himself that his control is just as strong as ever.  He discovers that when it comes to Jessi that control just isn't there.  Later on, sharing their grief makes him realize that he actually likes her quite a lot and that worries him even more.  He knows his cousin wants Jessi out of the company and feels that would be best for him also, to get her away from the temptation she is.  Working together to take care of Hannah causes even more conflict within him.  He is beginning to like having her around every day and she's affecting the way he thinks of the direction his life is heading.  The closeness they experience during the hurricane scares him and makes him feel more vulnerable than ever.  Knowing that no one ever stays around in his life, he uses the business as a wedge to push Jessi away.  I loved seeing him realize that Jessi had been right when she called him a coward and how he feared that he had lost her forever.  The boardroom scene at the end was great.

I'm really looking forward to the next book.  Kell and Emma are the ones left and I expect their story is going to be great.  With his attitude the way it is I'll bet that he's going to fight hard and fall hard.

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