Inherited: One Child by Day Leclaire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you don't like kids in your romance, this might be a hard sell for you. For that's a big part of this story. Billionaire, hard-working businessman, Jack Mason, has inherited his niece after the death of her parents (his sister and her husband) in a plane crash. His niece has serious emotional issues, and has managed to chase off every nanny Jack has hired thus far. Additionally, Child and Family Services is making noises about taking her away. His lawyer gives him one solution: marriage. Jack isn't ready for marriage, but he refuses to let go of his niece, even though she's adopted. So, he decides to advertise for a nanny, and convince her to marry him for two years.
When he has his interviews with nanny candidates, he's impressed with Annalise Stefano from the beginning. She's a good-looking woman, although understated. But she also has a calm, cool, collected demeanor he finds very appealing. And then, there is the masterful way she deals with Isabelle in full tantrum mode. He's a bit worried at her lack of experience, but circumstances occur that prompt him to hire her. She's definitely the best person for the job, able to bond with Isabelle, but also give her a sense of order and security, dealing smoothly with Isabelle's tantrums. Soon, it's clear that he can't keep his hands off her, and she seems to feel the same way. But Annalise is a person who tries to be control of herself at all times, and she wants to put Isabelle's needs first and foremost, which is what he wants too. Yet, he also wants her. He feels that the chemistry between them is too strong to resist. There were some interesting conversations regarding this issue that made me laugh.
The whole time, Jack is thinking about his master plan: marriage. He's sure Annalise is the right person for the job, in many ways. Jack is able to convince Annalise to marry him, and they form a very happy family. However, Annalise is keeping a whopper of a secret that will change things between them in a huge way.
I have to say that I loved this book. It was a slow evolution, although I knew that it was going to be a strong read from the beginning. Day Leclaire writes very well, and I thought her characters were very charismatic, from Jack to Annalise, to young Isabelle. Add in a pregnant Great Dane, and it's magic. But, the ending. Now that was just fantastic. That's what earned this book a five star rating. If a reader is too cynical to believe that lives can interconnect so seamlessly to form a perfect whole, then that reader won't like this book. However, I like to believe that we all go through rough experiences in our lives, but they have a reason, and they open doors to greater possibilities. This is one of those books.
If you don't care for kids in romances, I'd say give this one a try. It wasn't sappy. It was very well done. I don't see how it couldn't bring a tear to your eye.
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