THE BEST MAN'S BABY – Karen Booth
Harlequin Desire #2496
ISBN: 978-0-373-83823-3
January 2017
Contemporary Series Romance

Wilmington, North Carolina – Present Day

Hollywood star Julia Keys returns to her hometown as the maid of honor for her sister Tracy's wedding. Alas, just as she arrives at her parents' home, the paparazzi are waiting for her to ask her about the news that her recent relationship with a Hollywood hotshot was a phony affair. Julia brushes aside the press and hopes they (and her family) don't learn her biggest secret: she's three months pregnant. Julia is grappling with the news herself, especially since she's not sure who the father is. It could be the man she ended a relationship with three months ago, or Logan Brandt, the man she's had an on and off again sexual relationship with since they were in high school. To make matters worse, Logan is the best man in the wedding.

Former pro baseball star turned broadcaster Logan Brandt feels like there is always unfinished business between himself and Julia. They're not dating, but every time they run into each other, like their class reunion three months ago, they end up in bed. Julia is now keeping Logan at an arm's length and he senses something is wrong. It takes a friendly visit to his mother's house with Julia to discover Julia is expecting. To his shock, she isn't sure who the father is. Logan wants to marry her, but can he be a father to another man's child?

THE BEST MAN'S BABY is an unusual tale for sure, what with an actress as the heroine, but what drives this story is the fact that she doesn't know which man is the father of her unborn child. Julia isn't a loose woman, but three months ago she'd just ended a relationship when she arrived at the reunion. Sparks have always flown between Logan and her, which usually led to them having sex. Julia was stunned to find out she was pregnant and wants to do the right thing for Logan in letting him know about the paternity issue. He wants a paternity test, but she balks. Logan offers her marriage and she turns him down, as she wants to wait until the baby is born to find out who the father is. Meanwhile, Julia is already dealing with her sister's bridezilla antics, and when the news of her pregnancy is revealed, it has Tracy going crazy. Will her relationship with her family survive?

Logan misses baseball, but an injury ended it all. While he has a steady job in broadcasting, he wonders if it is the right career for him. Then there are his feelings for Julia. He has always had this unexplained connection with her but it never went beyond “friends with benefits.” When the press are after her for comment on the make-believe relationship with another man, Logan fears their hounding could hurt Julia or the baby, so he announces that they are in a relationship. It works, but this has now forced them to act like a couple.

While there are sex scenes in THE BEST MAN'S BABY, the main story revolves around the emotional reaction to Julia's pregnancy. Add in the stresses of a wedding and this tale is one compelling and emotional read. It's an intriguing romance that will pull you into the story, and the ending will have you go “ah ha!” Grab a copy of THE BEST MAN'S BABY to find out why.

Patti Fischer