Review: The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca

Posted May 23, 2013 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Baby Bargain by Jennifer ApodacaThe Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca
Series: Once a Marine #1
Published by Entangled: Indulgence Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Seeing Adam Waters is the last thing veterinarian Megan Young expects. Ex-Marine. Ex-boyfriend. And still extremely dangerous territory. But Adam doesn’t know the secret Megan has been keeping from him. The secret that was created three years ago, after their last night together...

Adam returns to Raven’s Cove to sell his home in a final break with the town and memories that haunt him. The problem is that his attraction to Megan is as blazing hot as it ever was. But when a vicious smear campaign against Megan turns ugly, Adam learns the truth he never knew—he has a son.

Now the only way Megan can protect her child is to strike a bargain with Adam. And it’s a bargain that looks a lot like blackmail...

I downloaded this book a few weeks ago when I was in the mood for a sweet contemporary romance after all the murder mystery and serial killer stories I’d been reading at the time. Well, I shifted out of that mode but still had this book to read and was really pleased to discover that this wasn’t the “cute” story I thought it would be. It has a really strong mystery/suspense element underpinning the romance and there’s quite a bit of conflict.


The Set Up

Megan Young dated Adam Waters in college but they went their separate ways when he wasn’t able to sustain a committed relationship because of some serious emotional trauma from his childhood. She’s now a veterinarian with her own practice in their home town of Raven’s Cove, California. About three years ago, he came home for his parents’ funeral and looked to Megan for comfort but left the next day to join the Marines, telling her he couldn’t do this and didn’t leave any contact information, and she hasn’t heard from him since. He suddenly appears at her office doorstep with an injured stray dog asking for help. Megan’s panicked because he doesn’t know that he left her pregnant and they now have a son. Adam is out of the Marines, now owns his own security firm and has returned to sell his parents’ home.

The Conflicts

I really hate when a woman doesn’t tell a man that he’s a father and can rarely accept an excuse for her doing so. It was a major conflict for me (and Adam!), though Meg had some pretty compelling reasons to explain her actions. They made me more sympathetic to her situation and while I still believed she was wrong in not attempting to find him, I at least understood her perspective. Meanwhile, someone is trying to set her up, putting her practice in jeopardy and the potential of her facing jail time. Having this issue in the background while the two of them struggled to come to terms with their feelings for each other, their baggage and Meg’s secret made for a really interesting and compelling story. It wasn’t tough to figure out the mystery but it still added so much tension to the mix that the book was tough to put down.

The Bottom Line

This was a layered story with the two main characters showing up as courageous, tragic and misguided at the same time. Their physical relationship was the one thing that always worked for them but also worked against them in working through the hard issues. It’s not the sweet story I anticipated (the title really doesn’t do this book justice) and believe me, I was really happy about that. What I got was so much more (4 1/2 stars) and made even sweeter when I discovered this is the first book in a new series. Bring it on.

About Jennifer Apodaca

Award winning author Jennifer Apodaca grew up in Southern California and met her very own hero at the dog pound. She worked there, he came in on a business, and it was puppy love. They married and had three wonderful sons.

While her husband worked on his master’s degree, Jen did the mom thing by day and went to college at night with the intention of perusing a marketing degree. But her true passion was writing. With time at a premium, she had to make a choice.

Choosing writing, and with the full support of her husband, she poured herself into her dream. A mere eight years later, she published her first book DATING CAN BE MURDER. In her career, Jen has written a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances. Taking the pen name of Jennifer Lyon, she also created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and most recently, The Plus One Chronicles, an emotional and sexy adult contemporary series.

Jen has achieved many of her dreams except for attaining a self-cleaning house, a latte delivery service, and finding the holy grail of nonfattening wine and chocolate. She can live with those disappointments as long as she can keep writing the stories she loves to share with readers.

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I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

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