Left with raising infant twins on his own, Jake turns to the woman whose heart he broke eight years earlier
Construction worker Jake Knight came home to find trouble on his doorstep in the form of his ex-girlfriend-and their twins. After accepting an offer, Jake finds himself a single father with infant twins to take care of and no idea how to do it. Desperate, he turns to the woman whose heart he broke, and who has never forgiven him.
Home on a sabbatical from her job as a photographer, Olivia is in no mood to play nanny or do anything remotely kind for Jake. But with guilt being thrown at her from every angle, she agrees to a temporary arrangement. The only problem? It means living under Jake's roof for the entire time.
Jake has too much on his plate to even begin to contemplate making things up to Olivia for his past mistakes but the more time he spends with her, the more he wants their arrangement to be permanent. Can he convince her that he's sincere in his feelings and that he is looking for a woman to love and not just a live-in nanny?
A sweet and tender contemporary romance perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, Bella Andre, and Marie Force
The Life, Love and Babies Contemporary Romance Series:
The Baby Arrangement (Book 1)
Baby, I'm Yours (Book 2)
Baby, Me Mine (Book 3)
"A wonderful story of love and family"
"...the love story of Jake and Olivia is emotional and intense...it makes one believe in love all over again"
"...struggle, heartache and the beautiful love scenes, that leaves you in inescapable desire"
"If you enjoy reading about rekindled childhood romance, babies, and a gorgeous daddy...this is a must read!!! Olivia and Jake are such sweet characters that are realistically portrayed with the lingering heartache and the new baby fears!"
"I read it in one sitting because I enjoyed it that much."
"I cried, I laughed, I fell in love."What readers are saying about New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase
"I love Samantha Chase books — I've read them all and can't wait for her to write more!"
"Samantha Chase has an amazing talent for writing and each new book that she writes makes that talent shine through even more."
"Samantha Chase is a master at writing sweet romances that you just want to curl up with."
"Samantha Chase has a way of drawing you in and holding you captive right to the very end."
"[Samantha Chase's] stories have a way of wrapping around the heart."
About the Author
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Baby, Be Mine
By Samantha Chase
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Samantha Chase
All rights reserved.
"But it's an emergency."
Olivia sighed. "Seriously, Mike, to you, everything's an emergency."
"This time I'm serious."
"Look, I really wish I could help you —"
"You can. You're here in town, and you said you need a distraction, something to take your mind off work for a while. I'm just saying this is a pretty desperate situation, and I really think you could help."
A migraine was beginning to throb behind her right eye. "I'm taking the month off so I can relax, and even though you won't tell me exactly what this dire situation is, I can tell it is not something that is going to help me in that department."
"Liv," Mike said with exasperation, "why can't you just trust me? Five minutes of your time, that's all I'm asking."
"I was willing to give you some of my time when we were supposed to meet for lunch this afternoon. You stood me up, remember?"
"Because of this situation!" he fairly growled. "Seriously, haven't you been listening to anything I've been saying?"
"I have, Mike. You're just not saying anything that interests me." Olivia was growing bored with the conversation and yawned loudly to get her point across.
"Okay, I shouldn't have called you."
"You think?" she said sarcastically.
"I'm sorry. There was an —"
"Yes, this situation came up, and I had to take care of it. Now I need your help. Please, Liv. You're the only one who can help."
"How is that even possible?"
"If you'd just meet with me, you'll understand."
Olivia knew she was fighting a losing battle. There was no way in the world she was going to get Mike to let this go, and the sooner she went and met with him, the sooner she could say no with a clear conscience. "Fine," she said dramatically. "Where are you?"
"I'm over at Jake's place. Well, his parents' place. You remember where it is, right?"
Everything in Olivia went numb. Jake? Jake Knight? There was no way in hell she was going to do anything that involved him, and there was nothing her brother could say, no amount of guilt he could lay on her, to make her change her mind.
"Liv? Are you there?"
"You remember where Jake's parents lived, right?"
"Oh, right. You probably didn't know. His parents were killed in a car accident about a year ago. Getting their estate in order has been a bit of a nightmare, but for now, Jake's living in the old house until he has it ready to sell."
What was she supposed to say to that? Why hadn't anyone told her about it? She'd never told anyone about the humiliation at her eighteenth birthday, so that couldn't have been the reason.
"Liv?" Mike said with more than a hint of frustration.
"I ... I can't, Mike. I'm sorry. I'm sure whatever the problem is, you and Jake can work it out." No sooner had the words come out of her mouth than she heard a strange sound in the background. "What was that?"
Mike sighed wearily. "A baby crying."
Olivia's heart sank. Why was there a baby crying? Did Jake have kids? Seriously, was her brother looking at her to come over and babysit for Jake and his probably Barbie-perfect wife? Was he out of his mind? She was just about to ask him that exact question when he spoke again.
"It's a long story, Liv, and it's a bit crazy here right now. Can you please just come over?"
She took a steadying breath and counted to ten. "I'm not interested in being a babysitter so you guys can go out or something. You'll have to find somebody else."
"It's not like that!" Mike snapped. Then, a bit calmer, he said, "Look, I didn't want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice. Remember your senior year of college when you needed me to buy you a ticket home from Vegas, and I did it — no questions asked?"
"Well, I'm asking for the same courtesy. I need you to come here, no questions asked."
"Mike, you have no idea what you're asking."
"I know, Liv, and I'm sorry, but we really need your help."
It would have been so much easier if she had just decided to have her mental sabbatical back in L.A., where she belonged. But no, Olivia had felt the need to come home and be near her family. She'd know better for the next time.
"Fine," she said once more, only this time with an overwhelming sense of defeat. "I remember the house. I'll be there in a little while."
"Thanks, Liv," Mike said with relief. "You're a lifesaver."
"Don't get ahead of yourself," she said with a sense of bravado. "I only agreed to come over. I didn't say I'd be able to help."
He didn't argue. "I'll see you soon."
Hanging up her phone, Olivia threw it on her bed as she flopped back against the pillows. How was she supposed to survive facing Jake after almost eight years? And how was she supposed to do it without turning into a babbling idiot?
With a sigh of resignation, she stood and grabbed her purse. Guess it's time to find out.
* * *
The drive over was way too short, and Olivia had hoped to have a minute or two to sit in the driveway and work up the courage to get out. Unfortunately, her brother and Jake were sitting on the front steps of the house, both looking miserable. As soon as she stepped out of the car, she was hit with an overwhelming sense of dread. "What's going on?" She focused her attention and her question at her brother. Her eyes actually hurt from not looking at Jake.
Mike rose and walked over to hug her. "Thank you," he whispered.
That was all fine and well, but Olivia was still clueless as to why her attendance here was of any relevance. Pulling back, she looked her brother in the eye. "Okay, I'm here. What is going on?" she repeated.
In the background, an infant's cry was coming from the house. The kid certainly had a set of lungs.
"Earlier today, Marilyn, Jake's ex-fiancée, stopped by."
Ex-fiancée? Jake had been engaged? That was another bit of news no one had bothered to share with her. "And this pertains to me ... how?"
He swiped a hand over his face, and Olivia forced herself to stay focused on him even as Jake came to stand beside him. "He hadn't seen her in months, and she showed up here and dropped them off." He motioned to the house behind him. "And then she left."
"Wait ... them?" Mike nodded. "As in more than one baby?" He nodded again, and Olivia felt a little faint. The sound of the crying, however, kept her in the moment. "So let me ask you this — if they're in there, why are you out here?"
"They won't stop," Jake said, and Olivia heard the tremble in his voice. At any other time, she might have taken a minute to let the sound of that masculine voice wash over her, but now was obviously not the time. Plus, he sounded like he was near hysterical.
"Have you fed them?" she asked, and both men nodded. "Changed them?" This time two blank faces stared back at her. "Oh, for crying out loud ..." she huffed before walking around them and into the house.
It didn't take long to find the babies — they were right in the family room in their car seats, and even louder now that she was standing before them. "Hey, guys," she whispered as she crouched down between them. They were so tiny, Olivia was almost afraid to touch them. "Okay, let's see what we've got here," she said and reached for the large canvas bag sitting between them. Rifling through it, she found diapers and wipes, then lifted baby number one from its seat.
Laying the child down on the carpet, she carefully undressed her. Of course Olivia didn't realize the baby was a her until she pulled the diaper off — her clothes were fairly gender neutral. "Okay, sweet girl," she cooed. "Let's get some dry clothes on you." It didn't take long to get the baby cleaned up and changed into clean, dry clothes. Olivia was hesitant to put her back in the infant seat, but there simply wasn't anyplace else she could currently go.
Once the baby was quieted and back in her seat, Olivia gave her a pacifier, then turned her attention to her twin. "Now it's your turn, sweet pea," she said softly as she laid the baby down. "How about we ..." She stopped when she took the diaper off. "Okay, wasn't expecting that." With a smile, she cleaned the baby up. "Well now, young man, now you have some clean pants too." The baby's eyes watched her intently as she worked, and when she settled him back into his seat, Olivia swore he understood her.
She wanted to pick them both up and hug them and snuggle with them and just breathe in their sweet baby smell, but she knew she couldn't. These were Jake's babies. Well, Jake and Marilyn's, and it was too much to wrap her brain around right then. Satisfied they were both all right and about to fall asleep, Olivia backed out of the room and went in search of the two who were responsible for this situation.
Walking out the front door, she found her brother and Jake exactly where she had left them — standing in the middle of the driveway. "What is wrong with the two of you?" she demanded as she stomped down the steps toward them. "Both of those babies were soaked to the skin! How could you have left them like that?"
Jake didn't look at her, and Mike stammered, "How ... I ... how am I supposed to know how to change a diaper?"
"It's not brain surgery, you moron! Those poor babies cannot take care of themselves. They need the adults around them to do it."
"That's why I called you, Liv! We have no idea what to do!"
She pinched the bridge of her nose and did her best not to wind up and punch her brother in the face. "Where is their mother?" she asked. "When is she coming back?"
"She's not," Jake said quietly.
Olivia looked at him in shock, but Jake still wouldn't meet her gaze. "Excuse me?"
"I never even knew she was pregnant. She said she found out after we broke up and figured I'd be willing to pay child support." He sighed and looked at the ground. "She wasn't planning on twins. When she showed up here this morning, she told me she had met someone, and twins — or any kids for that matter — don't fit into her plans."
Olivia felt sick. "So she just dropped them off and walked away?"
Jake was silent for a long time until Mike spoke up. "Not exactly ..."
"Mike," Jake warned.
"She deserves to know. Especially if she's going to help."
"Know what?" Olivia asked even though she knew she wasn't going to like the answer.
Mike waited for Jake to speak, but when he remained silent, he turned to his sister. "She asked for money. Said she'd sign over custody for a lump sum." He said the words with disgust. "So Jake wrote her a check and sent her on her way."
"So basically she used her womb as her own personal ATM?" Olivia asked no one in particular. "Charming." She'd always known Jake picked the wrong kind of women. That was why all those years ago, she had been so sure he would see she was the right one for him.
Pushing those thoughts aside, she straightened and faced Mike. "I still don't see what this has to do with me. I'm not a nanny nor do I want to be."
"It's after five in the evening, Liv," Mike said. "Jake has no idea how to handle a baby, let alone two! He just needs a hand until he can hire someone."
Olivia let those words sink in for a minute. She glanced at Jake, who was still staring at the ground, and then back to her brother. "Sorry," she said and watched as both men paled. "Like I said, I'm not a nanny. I'm sure between the two of you, you can get through the night and begin making calls in the morning. You're both successful businessmen. You'll figure it out." Turning, she walked over to her car.
"You can't be serious," Mike called out to her. "You said you would help!"
Facing them as she threw her purse in the car, she said, "No, I said I would come over. I never said I'd help or I'd stay. That was your assumption and your mistake." She hated how heartless she sounded and yet couldn't stop herself. "Make sure you change them, and you're going to need to get some real baby furniture soon — particularly some cribs."
"But ... Liv —" She had to give her brother credit; he wasn't willing to take no for an answer.
"I'm sure you each know some other females willing to come over and help out." Without looking at either of them, Olivia finished climbing into her car and had the key in the ignition before her brother crouched down beside the open car door.
"Why are you being this way?" he hissed. A million plausible reasons played through her mind, yet she couldn't voice any of them. "I get that you're on some sort of mental break, but that doesn't mean you can't help out a friend."
She didn't mean to snap. She'd had every intention of just driving away and forgetting about everything she had seen there. But Mike just wouldn't let her be. Turning toward him, she gave him a blank look. "Jake is your friend, not mine. And if one of my friends called with a real emergency, I'd be there."
"This is a real emergency!"
Olivia shook her head. "No, Mike, it's not. There are two babies in there and two of you. It looks like their mother left plenty of supplies for them. Surely the two of you can fumble through one night with them before Jake hires a nanny?"
His eyes narrowed at his sister before he stood. "I don't know what's happened to you. You never used to be like this."
"No," he interrupted. "Maybe this is the way you people treat one another in Hollywood, but around here we look out for one another."
She almost wanted to point out that his drama skills were perfect for the Hollywood lifestyle but decided to keep it to herself. Rather than argue, she simply agreed. "I guess you're right. Maybe that's why I left here and moved there. Obviously I don't fit in here anymore. My mistake for wanting to come home for a while." With that, she reached for the door handle, waiting for him to step aside so she could pull it closed.
Without a wave or a smile, Olivia pulled out of the driveway and vowed not to look back.
* * *
Jake wasn't sure which was more of a shock right now — finding out he was the father of twins or seeing Olivia again. It had been eight years since her birthday party, and he hadn't seen more than a glimpse of her from a distance since.
Not that he blamed her. He could have reacted with a little more finesse back then, but she had shocked the hell out of him. For years, she had simply been Mike's sister, then she had blossomed into an incredibly attractive young woman and she was off-limits. There was no way he was going to risk his friendship with Mike — they were like brothers. He shuddered as he realized that would make Olivia technically like a sister to him. That was certainly never the image he'd had of her.
As her taillights disappeared down the driveway, he felt completely defeated. She had barely looked at him, and when she had, it had been with disgust. Not that he didn't deserve it. It was just not what he had expected or needed right now. With his head thrown back, Jake closed his eyes and took a deep breath. What the hell was he supposed to do now? When Mike had suggested calling Olivia, he had known it was a mistake. But there hadn't seemed to be any alternative.
"I could call my parents," Mike said as he came to stand beside Jake.
"They're in Arizona while your mom's recovering from her surgery," Jake stated miserably. "They're two thousand miles away. I don't think they'll be able to help us tonight."
Mike raked a hand through his hair. "No, not tonight, but I'm sure if I called them, they'd get a flight out tomorrow."
Jake shook his head. "No. This is my problem, not theirs."
"That's a load of bull, and you know it! You're family, Jake. You always have been. You know good and well if you ever needed anything, they'd be there for you." Mike stopped and paused. "And obviously, you need help."
His head still shaking, Jake turned and looked at his friend. "You have no idea how much I appreciate how hard you're trying to help me out here. I don't know what I would've done today without you here to keep me sane."
"I honestly thought you were joking when you called."
"Lucky for me you're the best lawyer I know, as well as my best friend, and you were able to draw up those papers so quickly."
Mike looked at the ground as he thought about the events of the day. "I still can't believe Marilyn did this. You never suspected she was pregnant?"
"No." Jake's voice was both weary and sad. "She knew how much I wanted kids, wanted a family. It was one of the reasons we broke up — I wanted kids, and she didn't. We were always so careful, so cautious; she was near fanatical about birth control."
Excerpted from Baby, Be Mine by Samantha Chase. Copyright © 2014 Samantha Chase. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the third stand-alone book in the Life, Love and Babies series from Samantha Chase and it was quite possibly my favorite. And perfect timing for Father's Day! Jake Knight is thrown into fatherhood when he finds out that he has twin infants. Abandoned by their mother, it's up to Jake to make a life for them, but he's completely clueless. Olivia agrees to help him out - reluctantly - and long-forgotten sparks begin to fly. Great story with characters who are very real and relatable. A sweet, contemporary romance.
Samantha Chase is a master at writing sweet romances that you just want to curl up with. Baby, Be Mine was a great addition to the Life, Love, and Babies series. From the prologue, you can't help but hope that the two characters can make things work. When the two come together again, 8 years after the mortifying experience where Olivia kissed Jake and he pushed her away, you sit back and watch with baited breath. If you love sweet romances, you're going to love this book and series!
I just loved this book! I love Samantha Chase! Each book gets better! I love how it is romance with out being too much! Such a great story start to finish! Could be a real life story! It was just perfect!
Best Book in 2014 Samantha Chase I am “Simply Speechless”. You deserve a million stars for writing such a spellbinding captivating story. Words cannot do justice to your writing style “Incredible”. In Baby Be Mine I loved how you portrayed Jake and Olivia’s struggle, heartache and the beautiful love scenes, that leaves you in inescapable desire. Olivia and Jake their love is so intense and addicting, you feel every emotion grasping for your attention. Every word uttered, every touch I felt it. To capture pure emotion and paint beautiful pictures in my mind is Magnificent. The main characters compliment each other physically, emotionally and intellectually. Samantha your writing is pure genius. Baby Be Mine will forever have a special place in my heart and home. If you are reading my review, please do not hesitate to one click Five Stars Guaranteed Baby.