April’s The Wine Club Review: The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca
The Baby Bargain
(Once A Marine #1)
by Jennifer Apodaca
ebook, 184 pages
Published March 11th 2013 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Indulgence)
ARC Courtesy of 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...
Crystal: The Baby Bargain falls into that secret baby trope. Admittedly, not one of my favorites to read about but when picking this book something about it called to me. :) Authors walk a tight rope while handling the characters reasoning and reactions, one misstep and I’m out for good. I felt that Jennifer Apodaca handled the situation well though and the heroines reasoning’s, though still inexcusable in my mind, where somewhat understandable. How did you ladies feel about this topic? Was Meg’s excuse for not trying harder to find Adam reason enough for you not to hate her? And was Adam’s reaction to the big secret realistic to you?
Lexi: I agree with you about the fine line, but Apodaca did a wonderful job of separating Adam from the situation that I could understand Meg’s reasoning and feelings. Apodaca likewise did a good job with Adam’s feelings on his discovery, his brief panic and acceptance felt real.
Crystal L.: I think I'm one of those few souls that actually loves the secret baby trope. And sometimes the reason I do like them, is because it gives me an opportunity to hate the heroine. I know... I'm weird. But I have to agree with you ladies here. Apodaca does the secret baby trope justice in this book by giving it a more believable reason as to why the heroine didn't inform the hero he was going to be a daddy. Adam's role was handled pretty well too. A good dose of anger/hate towards our heroine to battle with his ongoing feelings of lust and love.
Crystal: Someone is setting Meg up, framing her for a crime and destroying her credibility as a veterinarian, a mother, and a citizen in their small town. I had my suspicions as to who was behind this but following the different twists and turns I was still questioning it until the end. Was this an open and shut case for you ladies? Did you guess the whodunit right away or were you still waffling like I was until the end?
Lexi: I enjoyed the guessing game! I didn’t suspect the guilty party right away but blamed the known creep in her life. I like having hints but not knowing for sure until later in the story.
Crystal L.: I think this book does a pretty good job at making you guess between two characters. I waffled for about the first 2/3d's of the book, and then I had it figured out. A book is always more fun when it keeps you guessing, so that was an extremely enjoyable aspect to this story for me!
Crystal: The Baby Bargain was a short but sexy read. Adam and Meg had a past so it was easy to jump right back into the sizzling chemistry that flared between them. Though I have to say, I was wishing that Adam wasn’t such a gentleman a few times. ;) With the shorter length of this story, some of the steamy love scenes seemed to be cut short. Or maybe that was just my inner hussy talking?
Lexi: Your inner hussy may never be satisfied :) I thought the pace of The Baby Bargain was just right, enough storyline and smexy time to keep you turning the pages. A quick read that will leave you wondering where you can get your hands on another Apodaca book.
Crystal L.: I guess I'm joining Crystal's inner hussy club. I can remember at least once going, "Where's the rest of it?" The scenes weren't totally lacking for me though. They just felt like seriously good appetizers, and I kept looking for the main course.
Crystal: Let’s talk about the series itself, because I will admit, seeing ‘Once a Marine’ is what first grabbed my attention. Who doesn’t love a group of sexy ex-marines? And Adam Waters is just one such example. Starting a security business in L.A. after retiring, he has brought together an interesting group of former comrades. And you can’t have sexy marines without some intriguing nick names; Adam’s Shark is just one. So ladies, which marine in the group caught your attention and piqued your interest? Did the Shark take a bite out of your heart or are you looking forward to taking a ride on…erm... WITH Cowboy? Or were you a fan of the movie Ghost, perhaps? ;) I know that I’m looking forward to learning more about the smart, sexy and charming Professor!
Lexi: When I started reading this book I was a little apprehensive, the sexy group of ex-military men banding together to run a security company isn’t new. But once Adam pulled me into the story I forgot about any preconceived notions and enjoyed the group. Who wouldn’t? Especially the scene when they surround her house and break in, Adam leading the way to rescue her. That was when Adam stole my heart.
Crystal L.: I always love a military man book. Gets the motor running if you know what I mean. So I'm definitely looking forward to more 'Once a Marine' stories. And if Cowboy wanted to stop by and say hi to me, well let's just say I wouldn't kick him out of the bed for eating crackers. *winks*
Crystal: To sum it up, The Baby Bargain, while maybe not a new concept in the contemporary romance genre, was an enjoyable, sexy, and quick read and I look forward to more from this series!