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Monday, July 14, 2014

ARC Review: His Secret, Her Surprise by Paula Altenburg

I love a good secret baby plot. What made this one even better was it didn’t take Logan long to figure out whose baby Olivia was. Cass also knows he knows, and while they dance around it, the plot really does work. And that is important because this type of plot can really easily fall flat. But with Ms. Altenburg’s writing and charactesr like Cass, Logan and Olivia there is no chance of that happening.

Her Secret, His Surprise was a very interesting book. Starting with a one night stand between Cass and Logan and then their meeting up again a few years later when he’s on assignment as her assistant. She can’t know what he is doing as her assistant or who he works for and she doesn’t want him to find out about their daughter. Thus the name of the book. However he easily does the math and takes one look at Olivia and figures out he is the father. And from here the book takes off. The attraction between them is still there and both heated and playful. A great example of their banter is found in this quote:

“Live in?” he asked. “I’m not so sure. My grandmother’s right next door. She might not approve of the arrangement. Or are we talking about another role-playing game?” He burrowed his chin between her shoulder and neck and whispered in her ear. “Because she wouldn’t need to know about that.” That made her laugh harder. Her grip on him tightened in a half-hearted hug, and then it relaxed, although she didn’t let go. “Thank you. For understanding,” she added, as if he might not be able to figure that out.

As Logan moves in with his grandmother who lives next to Cass and he learns more about her and she about him the love story begins. Cass loves to help the older people in the neighborhood, she cherishes her daughter and her house and takes her job seriously. Logan is truly a stand-up guy, who due to his brother-in-law being killed, is very into his job and will get to the bottom of anyone selling military secrets to protect others in the military. He feels like it is his main duty in life at least until he finds Cass and Olivia. But he is so by the books that he will even go to the extreme to not tell Cass what is going on. I love Cass’ and Logan’s drive, even though Logan can’t show his true drive to Cass. I also love that Cass is a wonderful mom as well, and Logan proves to be very caring where his daughter is concerned as well. And Olivia, well she is just darling.

Some other quotes that made me fall in love enough to note them (and I don’t highlight quotes often). The first shows a moment that Logan begins to fall for Cass and the second is Cass’ realization.

At some point, he wasn’t sure when, Cass had taken on a new meaning for him. He was past the banter. Most of it, at any rate. She wasn’t simply some woman he’d picked up in a bar. She was also more than the mother of his child. She was a woman he wanted more than his next breath. While he was terrified by the thought of losing Olivia, he was equally afraid of losing Cass. He wanted them both.

It wasn’t a handsome man with a baby that she found so irresistible, she discovered with a jolt of awareness. It was Logan with theirs. He loved Olivia, or was starting to. There was no question about that. And it was immensely appealing.

Overall this book was a winner for me. There were a few things I thought were repeated a little too much and sometimes repetition ruins things for me. I was a little tired of hearing about Cass’ painful past without knowing what it was. It finally comes out, but I felt like it was continually added in without giving details. I also thought that Logan’s past and the incident with his brother-in-law’s death was thrown around a little much. I think by the second mention I got Logan’s love and devotion for his job and the reason for it. But these are minor and thankfully there were enough other things in this book that it still came out a big winner. The romance was fun and then serious and it was able to be tender, loving and tug at your heartstrings without being too sappy. I genuinely felt for these two characters. The buildup in the plot was obvious, and the conflict, but I enjoyed the way it was worked out. It’s a romance, it’s usually easy to see where things are going so this isn’t a complaint. It’s seeing how they work out that makes the book. And here Ms. Altenburg does an amazing job of bringing the story to a heartfelt and believable conclusion.

A perfect light summer read. It’s just the right balance of fluff and seriousness for a quick romantic read.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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