by Reese Ryan
Series: Billionaires and Babies #1
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
“Just for tonight.”
Until their chance reunion takes a sharp turn…toward twins.
Tech billionaire Benjamin Bennett can’t resist a steamy weekend with Sloane Sutton—his crush on her goes way back. But when he tracks her down, she’s pregnant—with twins! Now their fling needs trust to survive. Benji wants a wedding; his family claims she’s a gold digger. But Sloane won’t be bought—or married. Can they find common ground…and a shot at forever?
This is my first book by Ms. Ryan, but it definitely won’t be my last! I’ll admit that even though I don’t usually like “oops baby” stories, I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and the blurb featuring the friends-to-lovers trope. I’m glad I took a chance, because this was so much fun! This is a standalone, but set in the same world as her Bourbon Brothers series, and I think it works fine without having read the other series.
Sloane’s living her dream – well, sort of – and on track for getting a lucrative promotion at her music industry job in Nashville when she returns home to Magnolia Lake for a family wedding. She’s surprised to find out that her best friend’s little brother, Benji, has grown up into a handsome, kind man, and a tech billionaire, to boot. One thing leads to another, and she ends up spending the night with him, only for him to surprise her with the offer to go with him on a six month business trip to Japan. Sloane, however, is fiercely independent, and doesn’t want to be his kept woman, so she refuses. Benji can’t stop thinking about her, however, so he decides to surprise her with flowers when he returns home. Well, she has her own surprise as well, as she’s pregnant – with twins. Benji has a plan for how to make things right, but can Sloane give up her hard-won independence?
Just two old friends catching up on each other’s lives. Nothing wrong with that.
She repeated it three times in her head. But there was nothing friendly about the sensations that danced along her spine when he’d held her in his arms and pinned her with that piercing gaze.
“Okay. Maybe we can catch up over a cup of coffee or something.”
Benji is a fixer. If he sees a problem, he tries to solve it, even if others think it’s impossible. Initially, he even approaches winning Sloane over to his side as if she’s a business deal – and I’m sure you can guess how that goes. Sloane is used to taking care of herself and not relying on others, so the thought of being completely dependent on him is terrifying to her. Benji’s family, including his sister, Sloane’s best friend, don’t react well to the news, and Sloane’s very much aware that she’s the reason for the rift between Benji and his mom and sister. Because of that, she worries that Benji will come to resent her as nothing but a gold digger – like his mother believes – and that it will taint his relationship with the twins. Watching them navigate Sloane’s stubbornness and Benji’s need to get things done was very entertaining. Ms. Ryan managed to make the “oops baby” and “billionaire romance” tropes, something that’s been done a hundred times before, feel fresh and interesting.
I was a bit disappointed that Benji’s steamrolling of Sloane was never fully addressed. For instance, when the babies came early, he called in a decorator to finish the nursery – without telling Sloane, who’d been adamant that she wanted to do it herself. The worst, though, was that he planned a big “welcome home” party and invited all of the family for when she first came home from the hospital. I remember how I felt both times with my kids, and frankly, I have a ridiculous amount of respect for Sloane for not turning into an incandescent ball of rage and ripping Benji a new one. I think he did get better as the book progressed, but honestly, I would’ve liked more groveling!
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and will definitely be picking up the others in the series!