An orphan, Gwen’s never wanted anything more than a family, and she finds in the Andersons a place she and her baby might belong. When Gwen’s therapy expertise leads to long hours of intense, late-night collaboration on a lucrative project, the attraction between her and Carter leads to a night of white-hot passion. But Carter’s distrust remains, leading them both to wonder if he will ever embrace his brother’s baby—or the love that’s blooming between them
Gwen had worked hard to leave her past behind as a foster child. She had finished college and worked as a physical therapist at Walter Reed helping to rehabilitate wounded soldiers. That’s where she had met Ben Anderson and they had become friends. Gwen had never dreamed that she would be involved in a one night stands with too much drinking that ended with an unexpected pregnancy. She planned on raising her baby by herself but would let the father know about his child. The only problem is the father was killed by an IED in Kandahar Province and that is how Gwen found herself at Jenkins and Sons Funeral Home and Mortuary.
This was her only chance to give Ben a picture of the life they’d created. He’d never meet his child in person; the least she could do was send him to eternity with this one memento.
The plan was to place the ultrasound in Ben’s casket and get out without anyone knowing she was there. As expected, plans never go as they should and Gwen must ask one of the funeral attendants to help her since it is a closed casket funeral. The attendant says he will be happy to help, but must ask the family first. Gwen turns to leave and runs into Carter, Ben’s brother. Her reaction to him is immediate and unexpected.
What was she thinking? Pregnant with a dead man’s baby, the last thing she should be doing is checking out his brother. He was her future child’s uncle, for goodness sake.
Carter has been stung by a woman before, his ex-wife. He finds it hard to trust women; especially one claiming she is carrying his dead brother’s child. His mother believes that the child is Ben’s and wants Gwen to move in with them, but Carter sees her as a con-artist after the families’ money. He insults Gwen and she leaves telling them she wants nothing from them.
"There is, if that grandchild is encased in the womb of a con artist,” he retorted. Carter’s words seared like a lash from a whip, causing Gwen to suck in a sharp breath of air. “I didn’t come looking for charity, and I certainly won’t be insulted. I came here because it was the honorable thing to do, to explain that Ben had fathered a child. But I can see now it was a giant mistake.” Head throbbing, she spun on her heels and stalked out of the room, trying not to trip on the Persian rug.
Things go from bad to worse for Gwen. Her apartment is destroyed by fire and she has nowhere to stay; so sleeps at work. When her best friend finds her there he offers his home. Knowing it is a bad decision, because of his boyfriend, she goes home with him. Ben’s mother comes looking for Gwen and offers her home until Gwen’s apartment is repaired. The only way Gwen will agree is if she is allowed to pay rent and doesn’t have to interact with Carter.
“But I won’t live there for free. I’ll only stay if I can pay rent.” She bit her lip. “Though I can only pay as much as I did to live at my apartment.” Judging by what she’d seen the morning of the funeral, that would probably cover the cost to clean River View’s door mats. “Very well,” Judith grinned. “If you insist.”
Gwen moves in and the conflicts begin between her and Carter. But Carter is advised by his attorney to play nice and get Gwen to sign over the baby’s shares in the family’s company. So Carter begins his pursuit of Gwen and her proxy which means he must play nice and change Gwen’s opinion of him.
Bolstered by his plan, Carter plastered on a smile and turned to Gwen. “Truce?” He extended his hand.
Carter will do anything to get what he wants. He begins with a lunch date that turns out totally different than what he is expecting. This woman is nothing like he expects her to be, instead of wanting to eat at a fancy restaurant she leads him to a street vendor.
“A falafel cart?” Carter worked to keep the distress from his voice as he eyed the bright silver box in the quad between two buildings on Walter Reed’s campus…”Carter? Are you okay?” Gwen asked. “You look at little…I don’t know. Disgusted.”
When Carter finds that he wants more from Gwen will he be able to convince her to give him a chance? Or has he burned to many bridges?
Hero –Carter Anderson: 3.5 stars
Heroine –Gwen Radley: 3.5 stars
Steam: 2 stars
Plot: 3.5 stars
Would I recommend this book: Yes! If you’re looking for a book about true love and its struggles to find a way when huge obstacles are in the way this book is for you.
Would I read other books by this author: Yes! I really enjoyed this book and know I will enjoy reading others written by author.
***Received an ARC of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review***