Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Baby for the Doctor - Jacqueline Diamond (HAR #1499 - May 2014)

Series: Safe Harbor Medical (Book 13)


A baby is the last thing surgical nurse Anya Meeks expected from her passionate New Year's Eve fling. Growing up, Anya shouldered more than her share of responsibility, even raising her three younger siblings. She isn't ready to tackle a lifelong commitment to a child -- or to a man -- no matter how caring and attentive he seems.

A drop-dead-gorgeous doctor like Jack Ryder is used to the women of Safe Harbor Hospital vying for his attention. Too bad the only woman he wants is avoiding him. Jack longs for a family -- he'll do anything to persuade Anya not to put their baby up for adoption. But with her jaded views on relationships and family, it won't be easy. Can he convince her that their love is no accident?

Good book. Jack and Anya have worked together for several months. Jack has been interested in Anya, and a New Year's Eve kiss turned into a passionate night together. But since then, Anya has been avoiding him. Anya has discovered that she's pregnant and she's not at all happy about it. 

Anya got stuck caring for her younger triplet sisters while she was growing up. Her mom was disabled by rheumatoid arthritis, and unable to do much. With her older sister married and moved out, her father working long hours and her brothers with him, most of the responsibility fell on her. Making it worse, she never seemed to be able to do anything right in her father's eyes. Even when she finally had enough and moved to California, visits to her family were awful, as they laid guilt trips on her for avoiding her responsibilities. She feels that she isn't ready to be a mother and plans to give the baby up for adoption. Then she discovers that she must get Jack's signature also.

Jack is stunned to discover he's going to be a father and he doesn't mind at all. His childhood wasn't all that great, and he'd love to have a family of his own. His mother dumped him with his grandparents and went off to follow her dreams of saving the world. He rarely sees her and never has gotten any feelings of love from her. He is determined to convince Anya that they are meant to be together and raise their baby as a family.

I really enjoyed seeing the way Jack and Anya, with their opposing views on what was best, get closer together and find their happy ending. Anya is determined to give up the baby and furious when Jack refuses to simply sign away his rights, while Jack can't believe Anya can so easily give up their baby. He offers to take complete responsibility, but Anya doesn't believe that Jack is capable of that kind of commitment. So Jack offers to take the next two weeks and prove to her that he is. So he ends up running errands for her and cooking for her and her housemates. They also spend time together and get to know each other. The attraction that flared on New Year's Eve is still there, but Anya is still afraid to trust that she wouldn't get stuck with all the work.

One of the things I liked was the support that they gave each other when it came to the issues with their families. Jack's uncle is a bit of a jerk at times and Anya has no trouble calling him on it. And when Jack's mother comes to town, Anya is there for Jack as he faces that his mother will never be what he had hoped for. At the same time, Jack listens to Anya's complaints about her family. He sees the way that she has tried to deal with them by avoiding them, and challenges her to stand up for herself instead of running away. I loved their visit for her grandmother's birthday and the way she finally spoke of her feelings, thanks to Jack's quiet support of her. It was great to see how that visit turned out. That support of each other went a long way to making them both see what they could have together. I liked the way that Anya showed Jack that she was ready.

I loved the dynamics of the housemates and how they all interact together. The fireworks between Zora and Lucky are pretty intense and I suspect that their story is going to be very good. I'm also looking forward to seeing if something develops between Jack's uncle Rod and Karen, and to see what happens with the girls that used to be his daughters. 

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