Today is my stop during the blog tour for His Pregnant Secretary by Joanne Rock. I got the chance to read this book, I’ll share my review with you today. After that there are two teasers and an excerpt from the book. And there’s a giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The boss’s baby bargain…
Becoming a father was never part of Jager McNeill’s plan, until the heat between him and his luscious assistant turned into searing passion. Now Delia Rickard is carrying his baby. After growing up without a father, Jager’s determined to be there for his child. And marriage would ensure that. But despite their chemistry, Delia’s unwilling to marry for anything less than love.
A trip with Jager to Manhattan could change all that. For in this enchanting city ablaze with Christmas lights, romance begins to blossom. And a kiss under the mistletoe just might turn into lasting love.
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
I’ve been enjoying Joanne Rock’s stories about the McNeill brothers so far and I was excited to finally get to meet the other three brothers. While His Pregnant Secretary wasn’t my favorite of the series so far, it was a good addition to the series and I am looking forward to the other two brothers their stories. We get a few hints about them in this book so far, which makes me curious about their stories.
His Pregnant Secretary follows the story of Jager and Delia. Jager is a successfully business owner, for the past year he’s been overseas a lot and Delia, his secretary ran much of the business. Now he is back and the heat between them reaches new heights. When their night together leads to Delia being pregnant, both their lives change.
I liked getting to know Jager and Delia. I like how while these books aren’t too long, the author does make sure to give the main characters some personality to make them feel real. Delia never got much love and affection from her father and her mother died in childbirth, so she is determined to be the best mother possible for her child. Even though she never finished her education, she works hard and is capable at her job. Jager’s mom died when he was little and his father left them, so he is just as determined as Delia to be a good parent.
I am not really a fan of baby/ pregnancy plot lines, so I didn’t really care much about that part. Another part that bothered me a bit is how part of the conflict is similar as in previous books in this series, I just wish these characters handled it differently than the previous ones as it gets a bit old to have the same type of conflict pop up in each book. Jager wants to marry for practical reasons, while Delia won’t settle for anything less than love. And they are so busy with those ideas and not communication for a lot of the book, that I never really felt their romance as much as I would’ve liked. It also seemed that if Jager knew Delia he would’ve understood she would only marry for love and that Delia would’ve understand Jager wasn’t communicating everything he felt. It just felt a tad off and unrealistic to me how they acted sometimes.
I did like how there conflict and drama stayed limited and how there isn’t a big break-up scene at the end. I did like how the conflict got resolved, although it did feel a bit sudden and a tad to easy how everything suddenly got resolved. And I really wished they had talked a bit about things more. I did like the epilogue and that’s when I did feel their love for each other. I also liked the Christmas touch at the end and the setting in new York. With a few descriptions, the author brought the setting alive. I also liked how it had a bit of a Christmas feel as well with the snow and Christmas timing.
I liked that we got to see the brothers from the first 3 books again and how the two sides of the family meet. It was fun to get to see the previous main characters again and see them meet the current main characters. I also liked the parts we got to know about the next two brother’s and I am looking forward to their stories.
To summarize: I enjoyed reading this book. It was fun meeting the other three brothers and seeing them interact with the previous main characters. I liked how we got to know a bit about Jager and Delia, although it did stay a bit limited. I didn’t really care for the baby/ pregnancy plot line, but that’s more personal preference than that the author wrote it badly. It did bother me a bit that part of the conflict surrounding the marriage was similar to that of previous books. I had hoped to see them communicate a bit more as I didn’t always feel their connection. I did like the epilogue, which was well done and I did feel their romance there. The setting and Christmas touch in the second half of the book was well done. All in all a good addition to this series and I am looking forward to the next two stories!
…“There’s a lot about the McNeill lifestyle that’s impressive,” she noted dryly, straightening.
It was a welcome change of subject.
“We’ve been fortunate financially,” he admitted, wondering how he could tempt her into eating something. To keep her strength up. “But I hope you know I’d trade it all to see Damon happy again. Hell. I’d trade it all to see him.” Jager worried about him. Damon wasn’t himself when he’d left.
Jager grabbed the white china plate Delia had set aside and refilled it. It might not be a high-risk pregnancy, but she still needed to take care of herself. He’d read online that exhaustion would kick in over the next few weeks and she could lose her appetite even more.
“I wonder where he went?” She frowned down at the plate as he handed it to her, but she took a raspberry and popped it in her mouth. “Do you think he had a plan?”
“I think he was going to look for Caroline himself. Visit places her credit card was used in the last year. I spoke briefly to the investigator Cameron told us about—the one who said he could find Damon. But ultimately, I know my brother wants to find the men responsible for his wife’s disappearance.”
“That sounds dangerous. Can you stop him?” Delia set her plate aside again, worry etched in her features. Damn it. He hadn’t meant to upset her. “Before he does something rash?”
He hesitated. The truth would only make her more uneasy. But Delia had been lied to before. He had no option besides being completely forthright.
“I’m not sure I’d want to, even if I could.” The police had honored a request from Caroline’s father that they “respect his daughter’s wish for privacy.” But Jager didn’t believe for a moment that she’d left by her own free will, and neither did Damon.
Unfolding herself from the couch cushion, Delia rose to her feet. Clearly agitated, she paced around the sofa before returning to the window.
“But he could get in serious trouble.” She laid a hand on the back of Jager’s. “I didn’t have time to get to know Damon very well before you all left Martinique, but I spoke with him often enough to realize he’s a good person. If you could talk to him, you could convince him to speak to the police again.”
Jager came to his feet, wishing he had more comfort to offer her. But his words were unlikely to ease her mind.
“Men came into his house. Took the woman he loved. And, as far as we can tell, those same men let her die alone at sea rather than return her to him after he did everything they asked.” Talking about it made him agitated. Putting himself in Damon’s shoes lit a fiery rage inside him. “If someone hurt you, I’d turn over heaven and earth to find them too. How can I blame my brother for doing the same?”
His heart slugged hard as he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her close.
“What if he finds the men he’s searching for? He could get hurt. Or killed. Or end up in prison for the rest of his life if he—” Delia objected.
He gently quieted the torrent of worries with a finger on her lips.
“He’s already suffering more than we can imagine. I’m not sure there’s any punishment worse than what he’s going through right now.”
When she sighed, her shoulders sagging, he shifted his finger away from her soft mouth, feeling his way along her smooth cheek. His hand traveled down her warm neck to the curve of her collarbone, mostly bare above the square neck of her nightgown.
“Damon’s in hell.” The truth had been apparent to Jager when they parted. “He may never have the chance to touch his wife this way again.”
He meant to comfort Delia somehow, but as he glanced up into her hazel eyes, he wondered if he was the one who needed the warmth of this connection. The solace of her touch.
The vanilla scent of her skin beckoned him. Her hair, still damp from a bath, was beginning to dry in soft waves. And damn it all, no matter who needed who, he couldn’t deny himself the feel of her any longer.
Gently, he tipped her head back, giving her time to walk away if she chose. But her eyelids slowly lowered, her lashes a dark sweep of fringe fluttering down. He kissed her there. One press of his lips to the right eye. One press of his lips to the left.
Her raspberry-scented breath teased his cheek in a soft puff of air. Her fingers trailed lightly up his arm through the worn cotton of the well-washed Henley shirt that he’d pulled on along with a pair of sweats after his shower. The light, tentative feel of her hands on him seared away the conversation they’d been having. All he cared about was touching her.
Cradling her face in his hands, he waited for her eyes to open again. He wanted to see acceptance there. When her entranced gaze found his, there was more than just acceptance. He saw hunger. A need as stark as his own.
About the Author
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
There’s a giveaway during this tour! You can win a Prize pack that includes a copy of A Chance This Christmas, a Blaze 2-in-1 with full length holiday stories by Tawny Weber and Joanne Rock, plus kitchen towel, Younique lip gloss and holiday notepad and pens (US only). For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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