Suddenly Engaged (Lake Haven #3)
New York Times bestselling author Julia London proves that there’s no insurance against falling in love. Single mother Kyra Kokinos spends her days waiting tables, her nights working on her real estate license, and every spare moment with her precocious six-year-old daughter, Ruby—especially when Ruby won’t stop pestering their grumpy next-door neighbor. At first glance, Dax Bishop seems like the kind of gruff, solitary guy who’d be unlikely to offer a cup of sugar, let alone a marriage proposal. But that’s exactly what happens when Ruby needs life-saving surgery.Dax showed up in East Beach a year ago, fresh from a painful divorce and looking for a place where he could make furniture and avoid people. Suddenly his life is invaded by an inquisitive munchkin in sparkly cowboy boots—and her frazzled, too-tempting mother. So he presents a practical plan: his insurance will help Ruby, and then they can divorce—zero strings attached.But soon Kyra and Dax find their engagement of convenience is simple in name only. As their attraction deepens, a figure from the past reappears, offering a way out. Can Kyra and Dax let go so easily, or has their sudden engagement become something more?

Suddenly Engaged (Lake Haven #3) Details

TitleSuddenly Engaged (Lake Haven #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 25th, 2017
PublisherMontlake Romance
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary

Suddenly Engaged (Lake Haven #3) Review

  • Geri Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I love me some grumpy, anti-social hero with a heart of gold. Throw in a precocious little girl and a frazzled single mom to the mix and you have a feel-good romance in your hand. ARC provided by Montlake
  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    Kyra Kokinos can't believe what she has overcome in the past seven years. She was terrified when she found out she was pregnant with Ruby; and even more so when the father said he wouldn't have anything to do with her. She has done pretty well on her own - given her circumstances. Her and Ruby are now settled into Lake Haven. She even landed a job at a nice touristy restaurant. She is working hard to get her real estate license. Lake houses sell for millions and she can't imagine being able to s Kyra Kokinos can't believe what she has overcome in the past seven years. She was terrified when she found out she was pregnant with Ruby; and even more so when the father said he wouldn't have anything to do with her. She has done pretty well on her own - given her circumstances. Her and Ruby are now settled into Lake Haven. She even landed a job at a nice touristy restaurant. She is working hard to get her real estate license. Lake houses sell for millions and she can't imagine being able to spend more time with Ruby. She leaves her with a sitter more than she should, but someone has to provide for them. Bill won't pay themselves.All Dax Bishop wanted to do is make his furniture. That was becoming impossible due to his new neighbor. He hadn't met her parents, but Ruby Kokinos, or as he liked to call her Ruby Coconuts, was always sneaking into his yard. She loved his dog, Otto, and the dog did nothing to scare her off his property. Traitor. He like to be alone. He liked to work alone. He liked to wallow in self-pity. This redheaded monster was going to be the death of him or herself - since she liked to climb over his fence like a spider monkey.Kyra had the pleasure of meeting her new neighbor, Mr. Grump Bishop. Man, he was a looker but she didn't like his sour grapes personality. Unfortunately for her, Ruby kept bothering the man so he kept showing up at her doorstep to complain. There was something about him that intrigued her. So maybe it wasn't that unfortunate after all...This is the third book in the Lake Haven series, and it can be read as a standalone. I really enjoyed this book - more so than the other two in the series. What can I say? I am a sucker for grumpy heroes, strong women, and quirky little girls. This book was slightly emotional which really dumbfounded me. The previous books had that witty rom-com feel, so this one caught me off-guard. I barely scratched that surface of this story with my review, but some things are just better left unsaid. And for the reader to discover! 5 stars!
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  • NMmomof4
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 StarsOverall Opinion: This wasn't quite what I was expecting. In going in with what the blurb said it was about, I was expecting a marriage-of-convenience type situation where they can't help but fall in love after they are married...but that wasn't it at all! The proposal isn't even an subject until 79%!! They're pretty much in love and have been together for a while when all this goes down. The conflict is presented so darn late. They are separated after the conflict, and not even reunited 2.5 StarsOverall Opinion: This wasn't quite what I was expecting. In going in with what the blurb said it was about, I was expecting a marriage-of-convenience type situation where they can't help but fall in love after they are married...but that wasn't it at all! The proposal isn't even an subject until 79%!! They're pretty much in love and have been together for a while when all this goes down. The conflict is presented so darn late. They are separated after the conflict, and not even reunited until 97%!! Then we get thrown into an epilogue, and were supposed to be ok with a (IMO mediocre) HFN ending?! Ticked me off tbh....Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Kyra and Dax's story. They meet when Kyra and her young daughter, Ruby, move in next door to Dax. Dax is bothered by the persistent 6 year old, but he can't seem to shake her. Kyra is struggling as a single parent with no outside help, and when things start to really fall apart she reluctantly accepts Dax's help. The more time they spend together, the more they start to develop feelings for one another and they fall in love. There are some medical issues for Ruby, some financial issues for the h, and a few funny moments...and they get a HFN ending.POV: This alternated between focusing on Kyra and Dax in 3rd person narrative.Overall Pace of Story: My biggest issue (see above). I never skimmed though.Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.H rating: 4 stars. Dax. I liked him. He was hurt in his past, so I understood his reluctance with the h. I adored his relationship with the h's daughter!h rating: 3 stars. Kyra. She was ok. I appreciated how she tried her best to provide for her daughter, but I didn't like how she pushed away the H at times.Sadness level: Low, no tissues neededPush/Pull: Yes (view spoiler)[ They both push away at times as well as pursue the relationship at times. (hide spoiler)]Heat level: Low. They have some ok tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.Descriptive sex: Not really. I wouldn't call it fade-to-black, but I wouldn't necessarily call it descriptive either. It was more focused on the emotional connection rather than the physical act.Safe sex: Yes and no (view spoiler)[ Brief mention of condom use, but I don't remember any mention of std statuses or previous practices (there is one mention that the h got pregnant because she didn't use protection with the child's father). (hide spoiler)]OW/OM drama: Yes (view spoiler)[There is an OW that is interested in the H that is pretty aggressive in her pursuit of him. (hide spoiler)]Sex scene with OW or OM: NoCheating: Not between mcs (view spoiler)[The H was cheated on by his ex wife with a female co-worker of his. (hide spoiler)]Separation: Yes (view spoiler)[They are separated for a while (months?), but there was no mention or suggestion of other partners during this time. (hide spoiler)]Possible Triggers: Yes (view spoiler)[The h has a child from a ONS with OM that is not involved, the H is divorced to OW who left him for a female colleague of his, the H's ex used his sperm to get pregnant without his knowledge, loss of a parent (off page), and child with medical issues (on page). (hide spoiler)]Closure: This had ok closure, but I wanted a more smooth ending and more of a glimpse into their future. I wanted a HEA, but I got what I would call a HFN ending (view spoiler)[ they get engaged (hide spoiler)].How I got it: It was part of my kindle unlimited subscription.Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers(view spoiler)[- Does Not have cheating by mcs- Does Not have a descriptive sex scene with OW/OM- Does have both the h and H pushing away- Does have a separation between the h and H- Does Not have abuse- Does Not have OTT sad parts- Does Not have a HEA ending (hide spoiler)]
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  • Mindy Lou's Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    This might be the grumpiest Hero I have ever read in a story and I liked him. Dax is completely anti-social and borderline rude, not only to adults but to Ruby, our cute little six year old in this story. Instead of him coming off as a jerk, it was more funny to me than anything. Ruby was cute but she was a bit of a brat as well. The way Dax handled her was adorable to read about. Even later in the story when she got him wrapped around his finger, he changed the way he was with her and it just e This might be the grumpiest Hero I have ever read in a story and I liked him. Dax is completely anti-social and borderline rude, not only to adults but to Ruby, our cute little six year old in this story. Instead of him coming off as a jerk, it was more funny to me than anything. Ruby was cute but she was a bit of a brat as well. The way Dax handled her was adorable to read about. Even later in the story when she got him wrapped around his finger, he changed the way he was with her and it just endeared him even more. Kyra was just an ok character for me. I don't really have anything against her, I just felt the book was more about Dax. This had a small town setting but I will admit, some of the side characters where not likeable. Overall, I enjoyed this read and would read more by this author. I found the writing mature and the story kept my attention.
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  • Carvanz
    January 1, 1970
    I love alpha heroes, but you know what I love just as much? Grumpy, anti-social heroes who just want to be left alone. And that is exactly what I got in this book.Dax once wanted everything. The house, the wife, the children. When things didn’t quite work out for him in that regard, he took off for East Beach where he can be left alone to build his furniture. Kyra’s wild weekend seven years ago resulted in a little bundle of joy that deserves so much more than she can give her. Working as a wait I love alpha heroes, but you know what I love just as much? Grumpy, anti-social heroes who just want to be left alone. And that is exactly what I got in this book.Dax once wanted everything. The house, the wife, the children. When things didn’t quite work out for him in that regard, he took off for East Beach where he can be left alone to build his furniture. Kyra’s wild weekend seven years ago resulted in a little bundle of joy that deserves so much more than she can give her. Working as a waitress while trying to get her real estate license, she’s exhausted and just trying to keep Ruby from driving Mr. Grumpy next door crazy. It’s not working.While I really enjoyed the relationship between this couple, I absolutely loved the relationship between Dax and Ruby. Oh my gawd! He is so dry witted with her and she’s totally oblivious to his reprimands. Just as she forces herself into his house and yard, she forces herself into his heart. Just as her mother does. This is such an engaging read and I totally devoured it and resented any time I had to set it aside. I will say that the blurb may be a little misleading in that all the marriage proposal and insurance situation doesn’t arrive until much, much later in the book. So if you’re reading this for a marriage of convenience story, you may be disappointed. If however, you’re reading this for an incredible story of love developing between two people who never thought to find love in the first place, continue on.ARC provided by NetGalleyDual POVSafeNo apparent triggersThose who sometimes struggle with how children are portrayed in books: IMO, Ruby is spot on for her age. Voice and language is appropriate as well as all her movements and behavior. I am in love with Ruby!
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  • RachelW (BamaGal)
    January 1, 1970
    This a nice enough book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two books in the series. It was very slow to get going. Most of the time was spent in either Dax or Kyra's head, and they didn't really get together until after the first third of the book. The setup just took too long. Ruby was cute, though.I wasn't really crazy about Kyra. The prologue about her past kind of turned me off to her. I liked Dax okay, but his past story...(view spoiler)[the ex-wife who left him for a woman, having This a nice enough book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two books in the series. It was very slow to get going. Most of the time was spent in either Dax or Kyra's head, and they didn't really get together until after the first third of the book. The setup just took too long. Ruby was cute, though.I wasn't really crazy about Kyra. The prologue about her past kind of turned me off to her. I liked Dax okay, but his past story...(view spoiler)[the ex-wife who left him for a woman, having his baby and planning to raise the baby with her gf...the whole thing felt lifted straight from Ross and 'Friends' (hide spoiler)]. It just didn't work for me at all.The biggest issue I had with the book was that all the problems that popped up just went away a few pages later or were solved so unrealistically easy. I know it's a light romance, but don't introduce real life issues into the storyline if you're just going to sweep them all under the rug. It was all just too easy and cutesy.Overall, it was not a bad read; but there was so much potential that just wasn't explored. Still like the author and this series; but this entry wasn't up to par. It was a sweet story, but not particularly memorable.
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  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning of the book held such promise. The characters were funny and I found myself laughing quite a bit. The book however was slow moving and I found it a struggle to finish. With a title of Suddenly Engaged, I would have anticipated that this couple would have been engaged within the first few chapters. This couple waited until the last few chapters to become suddenly engaged.Kyra is a single mother raising an adorable but very feisty 6 year old named Ruby. I thought the author did a gre The beginning of the book held such promise. The characters were funny and I found myself laughing quite a bit. The book however was slow moving and I found it a struggle to finish. With a title of Suddenly Engaged, I would have anticipated that this couple would have been engaged within the first few chapters. This couple waited until the last few chapters to become suddenly engaged.Kyra is a single mother raising an adorable but very feisty 6 year old named Ruby. I thought the author did a great job capturing a six old's spirit and youthfulness.Kyra and Dax both had sad stories which brought them to Lake Haven. They bonded over their past and found comfort in their misery. I liked that they were building a strong relationship and making lemons out of lemonade. They had an easy friendship.My struggle with the book is that I found Dax was a pushover. He was a fixer and was always there to help but I was hoping he would man up. He let his ex-wife , her lover , Kyra, Wallace, Janet etc. walk all over him. It was getting a bit tiresome to readReview copy provided for a voluntary review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    ***ARC Provided by the Author and Tasty Book Tours***3.5 StarsI enjoyed this title overall. I liked Kyra and I thought Ruby, her daughter, was adorable.Dax, well, he was a little grumpy, but with everything going on in his life with his ex, this was understandable, I think anyone would be little grumpy.There was a lot going on in this book, with the grumpy neighbor, the things Dax was dealing with, the things Kyra was dealing with, and then Ruby’s illness. In a lot of ways, it made for a full st ***ARC Provided by the Author and Tasty Book Tours***3.5 StarsI enjoyed this title overall. I liked Kyra and I thought Ruby, her daughter, was adorable.Dax, well, he was a little grumpy, but with everything going on in his life with his ex, this was understandable, I think anyone would be little grumpy.There was a lot going on in this book, with the grumpy neighbor, the things Dax was dealing with, the things Kyra was dealing with, and then Ruby’s illness. In a lot of ways, it made for a full story. Unfortunately, at times this fullness of the story left me feeling like there was just too much going on. I know, life can be like this and things come at you all at once, but for me this took away a little from the story.Overall, you like the main characters, they are relateable, and even though all sorts of things are happening, they don’t turn into tragic characters, which I did like. The happy ending they reach was well-deserved for all involved, and I did enjoy the journey of this title.I do recommend this book.
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  • Jamie C
    January 1, 1970
    Don't you hate when you're reading a books that you are really loving and then all of a sudden, things turn and everything that you would want to happen in the book... happens? Sadly that was the case for me and this book. In the beginning It was such a cute book and I was looking forward to a great happy ending, but whenever the H's ex wife actually has the baby I started to dislike this book. Then the thing with Ruby's dad showing up, I just didn't like it. Also I really didn't fell the H's fe Don't you hate when you're reading a books that you are really loving and then all of a sudden, things turn and everything that you would want to happen in the book... happens? Sadly that was the case for me and this book. In the beginning It was such a cute book and I was looking forward to a great happy ending, but whenever the H's ex wife actually has the baby I started to dislike this book. Then the thing with Ruby's dad showing up, I just didn't like it. Also I really didn't fell the H's feelings for the h were that great. He was always saying he didn't love her but felt like maybe he could but he didn't know because he would never be as happy as he was with his ex. That really ticked and turned me off. And one final thing I didn't like was how the H said he wanted to marry the h at the hospital but waited a year to propose. And he wasn't even living with or beside them. I understand he wanted to be close to his son, but he could've proposed sooner and had them living with him when he moved. Idk I'm just super bummed this book didn't work out as I hoped it would. I unfortunately give this book a 2.5
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Although I enjoyed this book, I would say the title and the synopsis are a little misleading. Yes Dax offers marriage but it's not until nearly three quarters of the way through the book and they are already a couple by then. I really liked Dax. He's funny! I liked the beginning and how he is irritated by Ruby's visits but attracted to her Mum, Kyra Kokinos. It made me laugh how Dax refers to Kokinos as 'coconuts'! I liked Ruby, she's cute. I liked how the romance develops between Dax and Kyra. Although I enjoyed this book, I would say the title and the synopsis are a little misleading. Yes Dax offers marriage but it's not until nearly three quarters of the way through the book and they are already a couple by then. I really liked Dax. He's funny! I liked the beginning and how he is irritated by Ruby's visits but attracted to her Mum, Kyra Kokinos. It made me laugh how Dax refers to Kokinos as 'coconuts'! I liked Ruby, she's cute. I liked how the romance develops between Dax and Kyra. This is the first read for me by this author and I liked her writing style and she writes well from the male POV. Although this is book 3 in a series about separate couples, I wondered if Dax had been mentioned before in the other books as when we learn about his ex wife, it seemed to come across as if we should know his story? I was a bit confused by how he came to father his son, it wasn't explained in full. However, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story.This is a cute romantic read with a cute kid and a great hero. I felt like this was Dax's story rather than Kyra's. I liked Kyra OK but Dax and Ruby are the standouts. I will read more of this authors books now I've discovered her.ARC provided by Montlake Publishing via Netgalley.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    This book had a lot of the things I love in a romance – a grumpy guy with a heart of gold, a single mom and a precocious little girl. Yes, please! Based on the description, I was expecting a marriage of convenience trope but that’s not what’s really going on here. It’s a little more nuanced than that. I really loved watching the relationships in this book grow. Dax and Kyra are such an interesting couple. And Dax with Ruby just slays me! They are some of the best parts of the book. I really enjo This book had a lot of the things I love in a romance – a grumpy guy with a heart of gold, a single mom and a precocious little girl. Yes, please! Based on the description, I was expecting a marriage of convenience trope but that’s not what’s really going on here. It’s a little more nuanced than that. I really loved watching the relationships in this book grow. Dax and Kyra are such an interesting couple. And Dax with Ruby just slays me! They are some of the best parts of the book. I really enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it. NOTE: Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book to me for an honest review.
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  • Heather andrews
    January 1, 1970
    If his woman won't take initiative Dax will, “yeah, well,” he said, shrugging before he slipped his hand to her nape, “I’m going to kiss you.” Dax is confident in his skills, “I guess if you think *** is complicated,” he said, thinking out loud. “I don’t think it’s complicated. I have a pretty good feel for it. I go right in and get down to business and everyone is happy.” I really liked this book, Dax was moody and I loved it.
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  • Jeannie Zelos
    January 1, 1970
    Suddenly Engaged, A Lake Haven Novel Book 3, Julia LondonReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviewsGenre:  Romance, General Fiction (adult)I really enjoyed the first two Lake Haven novels and was eager to read this one. Its another great read, full of emotion and drama but tempered with some fantastic humour from little Ruby. Kyra, she's lovely but its hard, there's only her and Ruby, her dad lives far away and isn't really close to her, mum died when she was a kid and she's no other family. Still, Suddenly Engaged, A Lake Haven Novel Book 3, Julia LondonReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviewsGenre:  Romance, General Fiction (adult)I really enjoyed the first two Lake Haven novels and was eager to read this one. Its another great read, full of emotion and drama but tempered with some fantastic humour from little Ruby. Kyra, she's lovely but its hard, there's only her and Ruby, her dad lives far away and isn't really close to her, mum died when she was a kid and she's no other family. Still, she knuckles down and does the best she can for her and Ruby, works hard even if its is only breadline earnings. Ruby is a wonderful character and gave the novel so much fun. I could picture her red head nodding enthusiastically, her mouth moving at a mile a minute. Who couldn't love her? Some kids are like that - when mine were small I used to say all kids should come with volume controls. Wouldn't that be great? Save on the eardrums when all three were arguing, trying to get their voice heard. There was only three years separating eldest and youngest so....Then there's Dax, the neighbour in the new house they've just moved to. Mr Grumpy as Kyla refers to him. Poor guy, he's got a sad past, bad divorce, bad situation and I so felt for him. That must have been so tough emotionally. Ruby wears him down though, slowly bit by bit. He calls her and Kyra the Coconuts, play on their surname which makes Ruby giggle. she's such a sweet child, so full of fun, loves his dog Otto, knows no boundaries and has this innocent logic " but I didn't go under the fence today mummy, I went around it!" That kind of logic where she does just as she wants, seeming to feel she's still within mum's rules. She was a really great part of the story, the way she slowly wormed herself into Dax's heart. It was great seeing Wallace again too, from the furniture shop. He's a real character, and I enjoyed the way he put the moves on Dax every time he came in to bring his latest works. Its all chat and fun, he has his partner but can't resist embarrassing Dax. Who else? Well there's loads of characters, from Ruby's father to Furniture shop employee Janice and her friend Heather, who she kept trying to set Dax up with. I felt a little sorry for Heather, Dax really hadn't led her on, but she was hearing and feeling what she wanted to happen, and not what actually did happen or was said. Sad, but no ones fault. She was a little over enthusiastic, slightly pushy and I think most guys would feel a little taken aback by her attitude, even if they weren't hoping to be more with someone else...There's the diner staff, the others who live around the Lake, plus the summer visitors, and of course Ruby's father and his wife...When things take a turn for the worse with Ruby's health I so felt for Kyra. I'm so glad we have the NHS in the UK, and we don't need to find cash for surgery and doc visits, choose between expensive health plans or food and a roof. I understood just how scared and desperate Kyra must have felt. I loved Dax for what he offered, but was so cross at him not acknowledging even to himself how he felt until it was almost too late. But it would have cut short the story if he had ;-)The drama keeps on coming with Ruby's health issues, the financial side, the romance between Dax and Kyra and the involvement finally of Josh - and I so did not like him! Jerk! Its got the perfect ending, as with the whole story everything is perfectly paced, measured and we have to wait for the right moment, for the time when all falls into place. Its a great read, and one I'll re-read. Stars: five, a fabulous story, full of pathos and emotion, perfectly paced and with some terrific humour from Ruby lightening the story. ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
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  • Trish R.
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book mostly, even if it was a romance it didn’t need to be 334 pages. I read a couple of reviews that said they didn’t like Kyra because she had been a “party girl.” Yep, she was! Seven years ago, before the birth of Ruby. Then the partying was forgotten and it was all about motherhood: working, working, and working to keeping a roof over her and Ruby’s heads and making sure they had food to eat and clothes on their backs. Who really cared what she did seven years ago. I liked he I enjoyed this book mostly, even if it was a romance it didn’t need to be 334 pages. I read a couple of reviews that said they didn’t like Kyra because she had been a “party girl.” Yep, she was! Seven years ago, before the birth of Ruby. Then the partying was forgotten and it was all about motherhood: working, working, and working to keeping a roof over her and Ruby’s heads and making sure they had food to eat and clothes on their backs. Who really cared what she did seven years ago. I liked her. I liked that she was ready to pick up and move them to a coastal location where she could make better money as a server, and get Ruby into a better environment.This was about Kyra and Ruby moving to East Beach Lake Cottages and meeting their neighbor Dax/Mr. Grumpy. Ruby, with her flashing pink cowboy boots, met Mr. Grump first. And Ruby was written perfectly. Always talking and never listening. I loved the two of them together. Then, when Kyra finally met Dax it was constant arguments and disagreements, even between the lustful thoughts and feelings. Eventually, they gave up the arguments and decided on just lust. I didn’t really see any reason for the story about his ex-wife and the woman she left Dax for and the baby she had, with the use of his eggs. Its crap like that that makes a book longer but it’s totally unnecessary. It would have been enough just to have Dax divorced and suspicious of women. I tended to skim when it came to Ashley and Stephanie. Not part of the storyline as far as I’m concerned. Just something thrown in to add up page count. I love, love, loved that Dax referred to Ruby as Ruby Coconuts instead of Kokinos the real last name. I had to smile every time he said that. They had a perfect relationship, an inquisitive six year old and a grump.It was a cute story until the last 25%. Then it dragged soooo much. I kept rolling my eyes and wondering if it would ever end. Kyra made the wrong decision when she chose going to Indianapolis over staying and marrying Dax. That’s what dragged it out too long. There was sex in this story but it was not as explicit as other authors write. And the F-bomb was used 3 times.As to the narration: Cristina Panfilio was wonderful. Her voices and emotions were just great!
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  • Floryie
    January 1, 1970
    I was expecting an arranged engagement for convenience romance. That part is only a tiny bit of the story. Only the last 20% is actually about it. All other parts are totally different. I feel that the blurb was a bit misleading. If I hadn't like the book as much as I did, I would have rated 3.5 stars for this reason alone. But I loved the book. So I would be rating 4.5 instead. Yeah I know but the protagonists are worth it!The characters are many to keep in mind and they all sync well with the I was expecting an arranged engagement for convenience romance. That part is only a tiny bit of the story. Only the last 20% is actually about it. All other parts are totally different. I feel that the blurb was a bit misleading. If I hadn't like the book as much as I did, I would have rated 3.5 stars for this reason alone. But I loved the book. So I would be rating 4.5 instead. Yeah I know but the protagonists are worth it!The characters are many to keep in mind and they all sync well with the setting and the story. I especially love Dax who is a grump. He is gruff with a heart of gold. Without any intention he falls for the mother-daughter duo. Krya is hard working and trying to hard to make life better for her daughter. Her motives are pure and she is selfless in her actions. And the highlight of their romance is being chaperoned by Ruby. Oh my goodness, I adore her! Her silly nickname and her penchant for mischief had me smiling against my wishes. She is such a cutie. She plays a prominent role in this romance. Without her, this book wouldn't be!The romance plays second fiddle to the emotions of Ruby's health. But it is well done with the perfect sweet and hot connotation to it. I didn't feel that the protagonists were hurrying into their relationship inspite of the short timeline. I enjoyed their initial hesitation followed by their capitulation. I can totally understand each of their positions. The other thing which irked me was the ending. I felt it was a bit dragged out! I was as impatient as Dax!! Now I am hankering to try out the other books in the series. I don't know if they will be as good as this one.So I can say that I honestly enjoyed this family romance inspite of the misleading part.I received a copy for reviewing purposes which doesn't impact my review in any way.My one line review : A cute heart tugging romance.My rating : 4.5/5My reread factor : 4/5
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  • Debbie Oliphant
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to read this book as I am familiar with this author and enjoyed her previous novels. The first half felt a little slow, and started to gain momentum into the plotline. I realized this was done on purpose so we can enjoy the development of the relationships between Dax, Kyra and Ruby. Kyra is a single mother to a 6 year old daughter, Ruby. Ruby's father is not in the picture, but this does not deter Ruby from being a very strong willed and determined little girl. Kyra wants a better I was excited to read this book as I am familiar with this author and enjoyed her previous novels. The first half felt a little slow, and started to gain momentum into the plotline. I realized this was done on purpose so we can enjoy the development of the relationships between Dax, Kyra and Ruby. Kyra is a single mother to a 6 year old daughter, Ruby. Ruby's father is not in the picture, but this does not deter Ruby from being a very strong willed and determined little girl. Kyra wants a better life for the two of them and while she is waiting tables, she is also studying to get a real estate license so she can make more money and have a better career. They are new neighbors to Dax, who has been hurt through his divorce and would prefer to remain isolated and alone with his work. He works from home building custom furniture and the story begins with the curiosity of a 6 year old girl determined to get to know Dax and his dog, Otto.Dax wants to be alone and tries the stern approach with Ruby, but she isn't having it. She is not getting the message so he goes straight to her mother who he finds attractive, but this will not put a dent to his steely heart. Ruby defies her mom again and it is a matter of time that she is starting to crack the hard shell around Dax's heart. He starts to care for her and her mom and the three begin a relationship, or a "thing" as they called it. All is good until they are faced with some big decisions that could change everything. This story took the time to develop and add layers so that when it took a turn, you really appreciated the thought and care to the characters. I enjoyed this and look forward to more stories from this author.
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  • Jultri
    January 1, 1970
    I am a predominantly HR reader and Julia London is one of my favourite HR author. This book not only is a rare deviation into contemporary territory for me, but is also my first CR by London. I was a bit apprehensive volunteering to preview this and worried she won't appeal to me in the modern setting like she does in the historical. I'm glad to report my fondness for her writing transcends time periods and London still manages to move me. This book's likability is boosted enormously by a little I am a predominantly HR reader and Julia London is one of my favourite HR author. This book not only is a rare deviation into contemporary territory for me, but is also my first CR by London. I was a bit apprehensive volunteering to preview this and worried she won't appeal to me in the modern setting like she does in the historical. I'm glad to report my fondness for her writing transcends time periods and London still manages to move me. This book's likability is boosted enormously by a little 6 year effervescent sprite, Ruby, who stole her way into my heart as readily as she did the hero's. Perpetually stressed single mum moves in next door to divorced, antisocial grouch. Dax abhors noise and company other than his faithful dog. He does not stand a chance against Ruby's persistent and lively intrusions. The hero is an attractive mix of gruff and tenderness and his reluctant but easy interactions with Ruby are pure gem. Kyra, the heroine, is believable as an affectionate, hardworking Mum who craves affection for herself. She is strong and used to fend for herself and her child until disaster strikes and she has to ask for help. Highly enjoyable. This was an ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased opinion.
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  • Rosemary K
    January 1, 1970
    Suddenly Engaged is an emotionally intense story filled with strong and compelling characters. I was amazed by Kyra's strength and courage. She's a single mother who willing sacrificed her dreams to raise her daughter, Ruby. I liked this little girl. She added humor and joy to the story with her innocence. She's adorable. I was touched by her openness. Dax and Otto, his dog, are their next door neighbors. He's bitter about his divorce. He came to East Beach to get away from the pain and gossip a Suddenly Engaged is an emotionally intense story filled with strong and compelling characters. I was amazed by Kyra's strength and courage. She's a single mother who willing sacrificed her dreams to raise her daughter, Ruby. I liked this little girl. She added humor and joy to the story with her innocence. She's adorable. I was touched by her openness. Dax and Otto, his dog, are their next door neighbors. He's bitter about his divorce. He came to East Beach to get away from the pain and gossip after his wife left him. He wants to be left alone, but his neighbor's little girl won't stay away. I smiled as Ruby wormed her way into Dax's heart as did her mother. The chemistry between Kyra and Dax is both romantic and passionate. Seeing them together made me feel good. Dax is such an honorable man. It took me awhile to warm up to him, but he won me over. Julia London wrote a story that Made me cry. Her characters are unforgettable. She mixed humor and passion with intense emotion. It was impossible for me to put down Suddenly Engaged. This story appealed to both my heart and mind.I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
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  • LPJ
    January 1, 1970
    Talk about false advertising. The entire premise (and title) of this book make you think it's an engagement/marriage of convenience story, only it's not. The engagement referenced as "sudden" in the title only occurs at the 80% mark in the book. And the other 20% subverts that subgenre even more.So the story is an enjoyable, if ultra-realistic, contemporary about a grumpy next door neighbor whose heart is won by a single mother and her precocious child. There are some small town shenanigans and Talk about false advertising. The entire premise (and title) of this book make you think it's an engagement/marriage of convenience story, only it's not. The engagement referenced as "sudden" in the title only occurs at the 80% mark in the book. And the other 20% subverts that subgenre even more.So the story is an enjoyable, if ultra-realistic, contemporary about a grumpy next door neighbor whose heart is won by a single mother and her precocious child. There are some small town shenanigans and vivid characters. But if you wanted the trope you were promised, it's not there. So proceed with caution.Although I enjoyed the novel that was here, my constant frustration with waiting for the novel I expected to start reduced my happy level quite a bit.
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  • Babs
    January 1, 1970
    Dax and Kyra have a lot of issues and at times I thought Kyra was immature in a lot of areas. She was portrayed as a party girl who slept around a lot and ended up pregnant. We moved ahead 7 years later and her daughter is six years old. She notices her new neighbor and she wants to sleep with him right away. She hasn’t grown up much at all.Dax’s ex wife left him for another woman and his son is with them. He has trouble telling Kyra how he feels and once he does she leaves for a bit telling him Dax and Kyra have a lot of issues and at times I thought Kyra was immature in a lot of areas. She was portrayed as a party girl who slept around a lot and ended up pregnant. We moved ahead 7 years later and her daughter is six years old. She notices her new neighbor and she wants to sleep with him right away. She hasn’t grown up much at all.Dax’s ex wife left him for another woman and his son is with them. He has trouble telling Kyra how he feels and once he does she leaves for a bit telling him nothing, no contact etc. She comes back and expects things to be the way they were and wants to marry him.The writing was good but this book was not as good as the others. I received an ARC and voluntarily reviewed.
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  • vicki zimmerman
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure how to rate this one. Great romance. Great H, great h, and Ruby Coconut was hilarious and precious. Great story. Great hea. Yet somehow, this story just left me wanting. It seemed to go off in a hundred different directions; in the end, tying up very few loose ends, answering very few questions.As a romance, I loved it. As a comedy, it was a hit. Intrigue? Yep, that too.Maybe it just tried to be too much in one story. For me, in the end, in spite of all it had going for it, I guess I wasn't sure how to rate this one. Great romance. Great H, great h, and Ruby Coconut was hilarious and precious. Great story. Great hea. Yet somehow, this story just left me wanting. It seemed to go off in a hundred different directions; in the end, tying up very few loose ends, answering very few questions.As a romance, I loved it. As a comedy, it was a hit. Intrigue? Yep, that too.Maybe it just tried to be too much in one story. For me, in the end, in spite of all it had going for it, I guess I really didn't like it.
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    BreathlessOne definition of breathless is “short of breath or appearing this way because of excitement or strong feelings.” This book is full of breathless moments. Somewhere around Chapter 24 or 25 I lost my breathe and it was quite awhile before I found it again. If Ruby lived in my neighborhood, I would fall in love with her too. Quick read, as I couldn’t put it down! Thanks. Ms. London for another good book.
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  • Vikki Vaught
    January 1, 1970
    My MusingsWow, what a fantastic book! I loved, loved, loved Ruby. She's the sweetest little girl. Ms. London did a marvelous job in developing her character. She made this book a pure joy to read. Happy ☺reading 📚!I
  • Jen | Jen Talks Audiobooks
    January 1, 1970
    I grabbed this on audio from Kindle Unlimited. And it wasn’t just a great story with wonderful characters - it’s clever and funny. And the narration is absolutely stellar. It’s one of those romances that just doesn’t happen very often - it just came together beautifully.
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  • Jennifer Pierson
    January 1, 1970
    I have been reading Julia London for years, and she's always been at the top of my list of favorites, so getting the opportunity to read her newest book had me dancing it out all over the house! And once again, she didn't disappoint me in the slightest! Suddenly Engaged was a very entertaining story that I couldn't get enough of! Let me break it down in a very basic way, so no spoiler douchery comes out, and then I'll get on with all the dramatic feels. Kyra Kokinos graduated college, and got a I have been reading Julia London for years, and she's always been at the top of my list of favorites, so getting the opportunity to read her newest book had me dancing it out all over the house! And once again, she didn't disappoint me in the slightest! Suddenly Engaged was a very entertaining story that I couldn't get enough of! Let me break it down in a very basic way, so no spoiler douchery comes out, and then I'll get on with all the dramatic feels. Kyra Kokinos graduated college, and got a great job out of the gate. And since she studied so hard to get to that point, she let loose to where a weekend fling derailed her life, when she became a single mom. Now she busts her butt to take care of her daughter alone, which meant that she had to move to a place that was a bit safer for her precious Ruby. Unfortunately, she moved next door to a very cranky man named Dax, who has become a hermit after a humiliating divorce made him want to avoid people. And this is where the fun begins. OMG, the tiny human named Ruby stole this whole story with her entertaining self. She had me laughing throughout the whole story, especially with a dog named Otto. And Kyra was a hot mess, who was very enduring, so I fell in love with her instantly. I also loved Dax in all of his cranky glory. And if these three weren't awesome enough, there's a highly entertaining cast of secondaries that only added more hilarious moments. It's no secret that I think that Julia London is simply brilliant, so I couldn't get enough of this very original story! With a couple of twists coming out of left field, not only was I dropping loud f-bombs, it took the angst level up to eye leaking heights. I'll NEVER get enough of this author, so it should come as no shock that this super fan girl HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDS Suddenly Engaged to EVERYONE!
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  • Marilyn Rondeau
    January 1, 1970
    Kyra Kokinos is a single mother trying to make ends meet. Kyra waits tables by day, works on a real estate license by night and spends as much time as possible with Ruby her very precocious six -year old daughter. It’s a chore trying to keep Ruby from pestering their grumpy next door neighbor Dax Bishop. Dax is a gruff solitary man who keeps to himself after having been burnt by a nasty divorce. He might give you water if you were dying of thirst, but come to Kyra’s aid with a marriage proposal Kyra Kokinos is a single mother trying to make ends meet. Kyra waits tables by day, works on a real estate license by night and spends as much time as possible with Ruby her very precocious six -year old daughter. It’s a chore trying to keep Ruby from pestering their grumpy next door neighbor Dax Bishop. Dax is a gruff solitary man who keeps to himself after having been burnt by a nasty divorce. He might give you water if you were dying of thirst, but come to Kyra’s aid with a marriage proposal when Ruby needed life saving surgery? Wow, this was something Kyra never saw coming!*** I loved this story and Ruby aka little “coconuts” absolutely stole my heart away. Dax was such a gruff curmudgeon right from the start, but loved when he christened Ruby with the coconuts moniker. After learning more of Dax’s story I couldn’t help wanting to see him find his own happiness and if it included Kyra and little ‘coconuts’ so much the better! Actually, I couldn’t help comparing Kyra’s struggles with my own as so many women struggle to work, raise a child and go back to school to improve their lot in life. A simple enough theme and very current by todays standards. Nope, I even understood the fast food dinners one would settle for because life was so busy trying to stay above water and still provide for your child. The characters were all admirably fleshed out and the secondary characters were most creative adding to building the story into a wholesome and totally enjoyable read. Bottom line is that I absolutely loved SUDDENLY ENGAGED and the realness of the story!Marilyn Rondeau
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  • Siany
    January 1, 1970
    This was my least favourite in the series so far.I loved the character of Ruby. Very cute and precocious. The writing so well done, it was easy to see how she got the gruff Dax to fall in love with her.I really liked Kyra and Dax as a couple. I wanted to bang their heads together a couple of times. But like the previous couples, these just fit together well and you root for them the whole way through. The secondary characters were what probably made this better for me. I thought they were very e This was my least favourite in the series so far.I loved the character of Ruby. Very cute and precocious. The writing so well done, it was easy to see how she got the gruff Dax to fall in love with her.I really liked Kyra and Dax as a couple. I wanted to bang their heads together a couple of times. But like the previous couples, these just fit together well and you root for them the whole way through. The secondary characters were what probably made this better for me. I thought they were very entertaining and funny. Even though I didn’t enjoy this as much as I have done Julia’s other books. I still found this enjoyable in its own way.It was a nice easy read. Perfect reading at the end of a hard day.I still highly recommend this author. I however, would not start with this one 😊Read and reviewed courtesy of Netgalley
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  • Bec_BookMagicReviews
    January 1, 1970
    Being a single mother isn't easy for Kyra Kokinos, but she's managing the best she can. However, her daughter Ruby is too precocious for her own good, and doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. Annoying their neighbor Dax Bishop seems to be her latest adventure, and Kyra doesn't have a clue how to get her to stop. Yet, when Kyra discovers Ruby needs life-saving surgery, she discovers Dax is the one person she can count on to get her through the difficult time, especially with his willingn Being a single mother isn't easy for Kyra Kokinos, but she's managing the best she can. However, her daughter Ruby is too precocious for her own good, and doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. Annoying their neighbor Dax Bishop seems to be her latest adventure, and Kyra doesn't have a clue how to get her to stop. Yet, when Kyra discovers Ruby needs life-saving surgery, she discovers Dax is the one person she can count on to get her through the difficult time, especially with his willingness to propose marriage to help her solve a major problem. Will Kyra and Dax achieve their happy ever after, or will their relationship crumble before it's ever really begun?Ms. London always manages to impress me with her stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, not only because of the way it started with the prologue and the burning question it left me with as a reader in what decision the heroine would make, but because of the heroine's daughter and the bond she shares with the hero, as they figure out how to live next door to each other without Dax continuing to be annoyed by the little girl's presence. However, it was from the moment the hero and heroine came face-to-face for the first time that drew me into this story completely, as the heroine is struggling to manage everything in her life and the hero only adds to her problems. Will they find a way to get along?Seriously, everything about this story -- the well-written dialogue, the main characters and their fascinating back stories, and the secondary characters and their need to see Dax happy -- had me reading quickly, determined to discover what Dax and Kyra will go through on their journey to happy ever after. Will Kyra be able to find a way to break through the high walls the hero has built when it comes to relationships? Will the hero realize that second chances are possible? Moreover, the heroine is strong, brave and she's a great mother that would do anything for her daughter. Certainly, it's been a struggle over the years being her child's only support, but she made the right decision all those years ago. I also sympathized with her when it came to what was happening with her daughter's health. She's already lost someone she loved to the same manner and there's no way she can lose her daughter, and I liked how far she was willing to go to make sure her daughter was all right. While the hero, his last relationship ended in disaster and is even more complicated with what's going on with his ex. Will he be able to handle the complication? I also enjoyed the growing bond between the hero and the heroine's daughter, as Ruby is one determined little girl. Overall, Ms. London has penned a delightful read in this book where the chemistry between the hero and heroine was strong, the romance absolutely hot and illustrates how much these two need each other to move on from their past relationship woes, and the ending left me completely satisfied as the heroine knows what she wants and is determined to show the hero how much she wants forever after with him. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely, because get togethers can be so much fun, especially when there's a surprise to be revealed. I would recommend Suddenly Engaged by Julia London, if you enjoy the opposites attract trope or books by authors Jamie Beck, Terri Osburn, Jennifer Probst and Catherine Bybee.
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  • Book Gannet
    January 1, 1970
    This contemporary romance between a rushed-off-her-feet single mother and the grumpy man next door is much deeper and more involved than the carefree title and slightly misleading blurb suggest. Oh, there is an engagement of convenience, but not until well into the second half and so much else happens both before and after that the engagement itself is a minor part at best.It’s a bit of a slow build, taking its time to establish Kyra and Ruby in Dax’s world before things progress between any of This contemporary romance between a rushed-off-her-feet single mother and the grumpy man next door is much deeper and more involved than the carefree title and slightly misleading blurb suggest. Oh, there is an engagement of convenience, but not until well into the second half and so much else happens both before and after that the engagement itself is a minor part at best.It’s a bit of a slow build, taking its time to establish Kyra and Ruby in Dax’s world before things progress between any of them. Neither Kyra nor Dax are instantly likeable, but I did come to like them. Despite being a mother to a six year old, Kyra isn’t always as mature as she could be, while Dax really is grumpy, but learning more about their struggles did make me sympathise with both.It was quite refreshing to have a single mother in a romance not be portrayed as superwoman, capable of doing every possible thing with her child and still survive. Kyra is essentially alone with Ruby. Her mother died when she was twelve, her father isn’t interested, Ruby’s father isn’t interested, and she doesn’t have any other family or close friends to help. So she works really hard for minimal pay and studies when she can, desperate to keep a roof over her and Ruby’s heads. Her babysitting situation is frustrating and there were times when I wished she could swallow her pride a bit and accept more help for Ruby’s sake, but I did feel for her.I felt for Dax too, even if aspects of his life were a bit too reminiscent of a certain plot from Friends. He is a grouch, but he mostly wants to be left alone, so I didn’t hold that against him. I wasn’t sure about his attitude towards Ruby at first, but that swiftly changed when the little coconut weaseled her way into his heart. The two of them together are just adorable. When you throw in Otto the dog as well, I couldn’t resist.The romance is slow to build, given all the various job and babysitter troubles, followed by emotional issues, but I didn’t mind that. Both Kyra and Dax need to take things slow, so it worked for me. I also understood why Kyra struggled about how much she was getting out of the relationship and whether Dax genuinely cared about her or was just being a really good guy.Towards the end, when emotions are running extremely high, I thought both characters could have handled things a little differently. They are both dealing with their own issues, but Kyra asks too much and Dax likewise puts a bit too much pressure on considering everything Kyra’s dealing with. And then the silence. I wasn’t happy about the silence. I know it made for a cute ending, but still, it was a little unfair considering everything.On the whole, though, I really enjoyed this. Mostly because Ruby Coconuts is ridiculously adorable and I loved how she wound everyone – especially Dax – around her little finger. So if you’re looking for a slow-burn romance that takes a slightly more realistic look at single parent life and also packs a few emotional punches, with a bit of cuteness and a touch of heat, then give this a go. You definitely don’t need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this, since the important characters all change and it’s only the location that remains the same. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we’ll get to visit, because I’m looking forward to seeing who’ll turn up on the lake’s shore next.(ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.)
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  • J Kelley
    January 1, 1970
    Kyra Kokinos enjoyed living life to the fullest as a single woman on her way to becoming a senior editor for a fitness magazine in the big city. Splurging to attend a friend’s destination wedding, she thought she found love at first sight…except that the guy was having a last fling before getting married. When she ends up alone and pregnant, Kyra has to make some difficult lifestyle choices.Seven years later, Kyra and her daughter Ruby end up next door to ill-tempered Dax Bishop, who is a former Kyra Kokinos enjoyed living life to the fullest as a single woman on her way to becoming a senior editor for a fitness magazine in the big city. Splurging to attend a friend’s destination wedding, she thought she found love at first sight…except that the guy was having a last fling before getting married. When she ends up alone and pregnant, Kyra has to make some difficult lifestyle choices.Seven years later, Kyra and her daughter Ruby end up next door to ill-tempered Dax Bishop, who is a former paramedic turned furniture maker. We later find out that Dax is nursing a broken heart from his failed marriage. There is more to his story than a failed marriage, however. The result is that he is so distrustful, cranky, and anti-social that it takes even the new rambunctious 6-year old neighbor a while to crack the thick wall he has built around him. Quite frankly, Dax doesn’t want to like the little girl who keeps showing up unannounced at his house or her crazy mother. Kyra’s life has changed as well. With the big city and all her dreams behind her, she moves in search of a better life for her and Ruby. Anyone who has ever been, or known a single parent, knows the struggle is real and it’s no different for Kyra. If trouble can happen, it will when you least expect it. Kyra faces challenges from finding a job that pays enough to cover the bills, not to mention child care, to finding energy to be a good single parent to daughter Ruby. Quite honestly, some of the choices she made did not endear her to me. She grew on me though as the story unfolded.So, this is a contemporary romance. It has humor and it can be found in little Ruby. Ruby’s character is so central to the story. She makes you smile because you can just imagine this kid. Everyone has known a Ruby or someone very similar to Ruby. She is persistent, quirky, adorable and funny. Although Kyra and Dax have mutual attraction, they also have a lot of unresolved baggage from past relationships. Ruby is the catalyst for bringing them together when it is discovered that she is ill. Dax offers to marry Kyra so that she can use his insurance to cover Ruby’s medical care. Is this really a good idea? Will it work?Throw in the strange neighbors (everyone has those!), a very bad babysitter, the return of the baby-daddy to the story, and some tough choices for Kyra, and you get a contemporary romance with a lot of reality based single-parenting moments thrown in. This story does have a lot of “chuckle” moments but there are a number of serious events that occur that give it some grit. It has a HEA but it comes after a long developed story that builds slowly. This story is not quite what the title implies but it was an enjoyable read. *I received an ARC in return for an honest review.*
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