Friday 8 March 2013

#CBR5 Book 24. "Undeniably Yours" by Shannon Stacey

Page count: 384 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Guy meets girl when breaking her boss' nose. Guy gets girl fired. Guy meets girl again at his brother's wedding. They have a one night stand. A month later, girl shows up and tells guy she's pregnant.

Kevin Kowalski has women throwing bar napkins with lewd propositions and phone numbers at him, but the only woman he really wants is the one doesn't seem to be interested in a relationship at all, despite being pregnant with his child. Beth Hansen gets pregnant after a one night stand (turns out that even using a condom doesn't always keep you safe), and is stunned with Kevin not only doesn't freak out when she tells him the big news, but seems quite excited about becoming a father.

Having grown up an only child with over-protective parents, Beth doesn't like to stay tied down in one place for too long. She's fiercely independent, and extremely worried that taking her developing friendship with Kevin to the next level will blow up in her face somewhere down the line, dooming her child to a miserable life with parents who hate each other. So she insists that they just stay friends. Even when the giant Kowalski clan do their best to envelop her and make her feel welcome and supported, and she moves into a flat over Kevin's bar, right across the hall from him, and even, later in the pregnancy, accepts a job from him. Despite Kevin's best efforts to woo her, she will not be swayed, and there are still all those eligible ladies throwing their numbers at him. Is he really going to wait around forever?

This book was not as fun as Exclusively Yours and Yours to Keep, mainly because Beth kept being so incredibly insecure and stupidly stubborn, long after it was realistic. If Stacey had set up some sort of horrible relationship trauma in her past that made her so wary of committing again, it would have been more plausible, but even after living next to Kevin for eight months with him proving time and time again how totally committed he is to her, their future child and making her safe and happy, all she can do is whine about how she feels smothered because he keeps doing nice things for her and wanting a real relationship with the mother of his unborn child.

While she's right that they barely know each other when they have the night of passion that knocks her up, and he keeps being given bar napkins with random women's phone numbers, it's made quite clear over the course of her pregnancy and the months following it that he has no interest in ever acting on any of those offers, and instead keeps being supremely patient, waiting for her to wake up and smell the amazingly supportive baby daddy.

Still, the supporting cast of the various Kowalskis and the sweet secondary romance of Kevin's bar manager Paulie and her ex-fiancee, as well as some of the banter was enough to keep me interested. I really did want to reach into the book and shake Beth so her teeth rattled a bit though. Also, her constant diet of cheese burgers or chicken wings while pregnant set my own teeth on edge. Not healthy, lady. Not healthy at all.

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