Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rent-a-Dad - Judy Christenberry (HOTW #11 - Apr 2000)

Series: Heart of the West (Book 11)

Every Man Has His Price!

Lost Springs Ranch was famous for turning young mavericks into good men. So word that the ranch was in financial trouble sent a herd of loyal bachelors stampeding back to Wyoming to put themselves on the auction block!

NAME: Russ Hall
AGE: 33
IN FIVE WORDS: Efficient, determined, reliable, independent, charming.
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT: Not getting caught at the altar.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU: Out romancing beautiful women.
IDEAL WOMAN: Someone who can enjoy a good time without any strings attached.

Why in the world had Melissa Bright bought a bachelor? Between running a business and caring for her daughter, she barely had time to breathe. And what would Russ Hall do when he found out she had a baby? He'd expect candlelight and romance. Instead, he'd find bottles, diapers -- and a little girl who would bring THIS bachelor to his knees....

Very good book.  All Melissa wanted from the bachelor she bought was for him to model for her line of greeting cards and watch her daughter one morning so she can sleep in.  Russ showed up expecting that she wanted the kind of fancy date that other women wanted.  Both of them got more than they expected.

Melissa had lost her fiance shortly before their wedding and was raising their daughter by herself.  She loves being a mother but there are days when she really love to have someone around to help her.  When she had originally bid on Russ at the bachelor auction, it was to seek his help for her business.  Now she'd be happy with a couple hours of extra sleep one morning.  Her initial impression of Russ leads her to believe that won't happen.  He is obviously not someone comfortable around children and has no clue what to do.  She's ready to cancel the whole idea, but Russ insists on carrying through with it.  She is surprised by his willingness to learn, and even more by Mandy's acceptance of him.  She's disturbed by her own reaction to him as she never expected that another man would appeal to her.  Melissa spends a lot of time fighting her feelings for Russ.  She goes from fighting everything he wants to do for her to total acceptance by the end of the weekend, but is sure that there's no future in it.  I really enjoyed the photo shoot that did with Russ and the effect it had on both of them.  Melissa has to decide if she can open her heart to the risks of loving again.

Russ came to Wyoming expecting to take Melissa on a fancy date.  His flight had been terrible, with a crying baby right next to him, and he arrived in a less than pleasant mood.  When he discovered that Melissa wanted his help with Mandy he was surprised and very nervous.  He'd never been around kids and had no clue what to do.  Once he'd recovered from the flight he was interested in doing as she'd requested.  I loved seeing the way that Russ jumped in and took care of Mandy.  He was so sweet in the way that he wanted to give Melissa her wish.  I loved the way that Mandy found her way into his heart. It was great fun seeing just how much he enjoyed doing things with her. He also found that he was falling for Melissa.  Being around her made him realize that the life he had in Chicago wasn't as satisfying as it used to be and that he'd really like more. He also discovered that seeing everything she was going through as a single mother changed the way he looked at his own past and the way his mother left him at the boys' ranch.  I really loved the difference that made in his own attitude and what he did about it.  I also loved the way that he didn't give up on Melissa and went after what he really wanted.

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