Single mom Daisy Sorensen doesn't believe in fairytale endings-at least not for her. All she wants is to enjoy a much-needed, stress-free family vacation at a friend's Lake Tahoe home. So of course everything that can go wrong does. Including a gorgeous man and his daughter showing up in the middle of the night.
Soon-to-be Governor Jack Harrison has had a crazy week, but he's sure nothing can top arriving to find a bathrobe-clad, beautiful stranger in the home he's staying in for the week. He's wrong. When things spiral out of control the next morning, Jack makes Daisy an offer she can't refuse. She'll pretend to be his fiancée and he'll help her open the bakery she's been dreaming about.
But in between late-night campfires and days on the lake, Jack finds himself falling for the strong, stubborn woman for real.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Her Surprise Engagement
A Sorensen Family Novel
By Ashlee Mallory
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Ashlee Mallory
All rights reserved.
Squeak. Squeak. Squeak.
Daisy Sorensen would have thought the buckets of rain lashing against the windshield of Skippy's tow truck for the past twenty minutes would have lubricated the wiper blades enough to dull the incessant squeaking refrain by now. But as the last month week had proven, she wasn't so lucky.
Unsurprisingly, the only thing more annoying than the sound was the ever-pounding headache she'd developed somewhere between Reno and the mile marker located twenty minutes outside of Tahoe City where her never reliable minivan decided to make its last stand.
"Are we almost there yet?" her eight-year-old daughter, Natalie, asked from next to her in the backseat, a mere five minutes since seven-yearold Paul had asked the same question.
Having never been to their intended destination before, Daisy wasn't entirely sure. She squinted, trying to look through the rain for any signs indicating their location, but it was well past nine at night, and with the dark rain clouds obscuring any light from the night sky or from the streetlights lining their path, her task felt impossible.
"Actually, this should be it," the guy she assumed was named Skippy said, dropping the truck into a lower gear as he maneuvered them off the road and onto a small, graveled drive.
Natalie and Paul walloped in excitement while her oldest, ten-year-old Jenna — up front with Daisy's aunt — remained silent, no doubt just as worried as her mother at the turn of events that had left them without their car. Her aunt Glenda patted Jenna's arm reassuringly and glanced back to smile at Daisy.
Daisy tried to smile back, more than a little relieved that she'd caved to her aunt's pressure to let her come along on this last-minute vacation to help out. The older woman had claimed that she'd always wanted to go to Lake Tahoe herself and that she was just as excited as anyone at the opportunity. Daisy hadn't been as sure, since, as well-meaning as her aunt was, she knew that the seventy-one-year-old woman preferred the comfort of her home, her dog, and her bevy of friends to any traveling. But the prospect of undertaking the eight-plus-hour drive from Salt Lake to the western portion of Lake Tahoe alone and with three young kids had been intimidating, and Daisy had acquiesced with the understanding that her aunt would be there solely to have fun and relax.
For the millionth time since their divorce, Daisy cursed her irresponsible, self-absorbed ex-husband. Had Leo honored his promise, he and their kids would be on their way to their original summer vacation destination — a week in sunny Disneyland. The kids had done nothing for the past few months but talk, plan, and dream about their trip only to have Leo decide last week to call it off. Apparently, he and his latest girlfriend had decided alone time in Europe was more important than spending time with his kids.
In any other scenario, Daisy would have declined her new sister-inlaw's generous invitation to make use of her family's vacation home located on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Daisy hated handouts. But the prospect of devastating her young kids with the news that their summer plans were broken and that they'd be spending their week back in day camp had left Daisy desperate to salvage what she could of their summer plans. Which was why she'd reluctantly accepted Payton's offer, rearranged her work schedule — not an easy feat — and packed everyone up early this morning and set out for Tahoe.
She could only hope that the closest grocery store would be in walking distance since, as far as Daisy knew, the house hadn't been occupied in months and their limited supply of Twinkies, Doritos, and Go-Gurts were sure to run out by morning.
The truck slowed even further as it reached a driveway before coming to a stop. Despite the darkness outside, she could make out the hulking but elegant shape of what she assumed was the Vaughns' summerhouse.
"Call the shop in the morning. They should be able to give you some idea of what you're looking at for repairs," Skippy said, a toothpick clenched in his teeth. "But keep in mind. Next week is the Fourth of July, and the shop's working with a skeleton crew, so it might not be ready for a day or two."
So long as it would actually be ready in a day or two, she supposed things could be worse.
She nodded and thanked the driver as everyone piled out. "Okay, kids," she said with enthusiasm she didn't feel. The sky was dark and the rain seemed to be coming down even harder, but it couldn't be helped. "Make a run to the front door, and I'll be there in a minute."
With shouts of excitement, the three kids zoomed across the lawn and up to house that, right now, Daisy couldn't begin to appreciate. One step at a time. Instead, Daisy started unloading the suitcases from the back while the tow guy stayed dry and warm in his seat. But she wasn't going to complain since it was favor enough that he'd gotten them this far.
Three trips later, the roar of the tow truck heading back down the driveway ringing in her ears, she searched her phone for the security code Payton had given her.
The kids were bouncing up and down, eager to see their new digs for the next week. So much for getting them into bed and asleep in the next hour so she could have some time to decompress.
She closed her eyes.
Dios mio. Dame fuerza.
Asking God for strength had become a regular thing in her life these past couple of years. Heaven help her when she exhausted those prayers.
"Come on, Mom. I have to go to the bathroom," Natalie said, bouncing side to side.
Exhaling, Daisy opened her eyes again. "I'm hurrying. And make sure that everyone takes their shoes off when we get inside. I don't want to track in mud and water." She entered the last numbers for the twelvedigit code and waited, holding her breath that she'd done it right and a swarm of security guys wouldn't descend.
She turned the key in the lock and tried the door, pushing it open. The security beep Payton told her to expect went off, and she nearly wept in relief as the kids barged in, their excited shouts telling her that their enthusiasm at this last-minute vacation to Lake Tahoe hadn't waned despite the detour.
She flicked on the lights and took a moment to slip off her own shoes before following everyone down the hall, passing a couple of smaller rooms on each side. She stopped at the threshold of a room that appeared to be the center of the house.
"Can we sleep anywhere we want?" Jenna asked, wonderment in her voice as she looked around.
"Let's try and keep our rooms close together. Aunt Payton said there are five bedrooms upstairs. I'd like to use no more than three. Total." Especially since she'd insisted that Payton not worry about providing housekeeping, and Daisy wanted to keep her own cleaning to a minimum when they left.
The kids trampled up the stairs, leaving Daisy and her aunt to stare dazedly at the room surrounding them.
"I feel like I've stepped into one of those magazines. You know, the ones that usually feature homes out on Martha's Vineyard," Glenda said.
The room's white cathedral ceilings soared above them and the thick colorful rugs that covered the beautiful hardwood floors squished beneath Daisy's bare feet. The chic but comfy looking couches, rugs, and chairs were organized to break up the large room into sections, making the space feel cozier. Even the air — aside from the pungent scent of the rain outside — seemed to be of elevated quality, evoking hints of evergreens, sand, and water.
She'd never stayed anywhere so fancy in her entire life.
And Payton's family owned this? She'd spent her summers coming here? No wonder her sister-in-law was so fun and lighthearted. She'd had a dream childhood. Not that Daisy was really complaining. Growing up, the Sorensen family might not have had much, but they were happy and they'd known their parents loved them. Payton hadn't been so lucky.
They walked across the room and flicked on another set of lights that revealed a wide deck outside where, once the sky finally cleared, she could see herself sitting with a glass of wine or mug of coffee in her hand as she looked out. She turned to the left past a dining area and walked into the large open kitchen, smiling a little more now. This was beautiful. Payton had bragged about the top-of-the-line kitchen that would be at her disposal for perfecting a few recipes she'd been working on, and Daisy could see she hadn't exaggerated. She ran her hand across the cool granite surface, stopping when she saw an envelope with her name on it.
She recognized her sister-in-law's handwriting. How had Payton managed to get this here? She shook her head. Never mind. This was Payton. She could make anything happen. Opening the envelope, she read:
I hope you all have as much fun in this house as I did coming up here every summer! I had the housekeeper stop and buy a few supplies to get you started, and before you say you couldn't accept it, know that whatever you don't eat will just get thrown out anyhow — and I know you wouldn't want to waste it!
So please enjoy.
All my love, Payton
Daisy handed the letter to her aunt before heading over to the fridge. Sure enough, the thing was packed with milk, eggs, juice, raw chicken, steaks, bacon, and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. She smiled, touched by Payton's generosity and thoughtfulness.
"Looks like we might be set for the entire week," she said to her aunt.
Before she could scope out the cupboards, there was an explosive crash of thunder overhead, followed immediately by screams from the kids, who, half in terror, half in excitement, came racing back downstairs. Jenna looking paler than the other two, since, even though she was the eldest, her anxiety in storms was off the charts. Jenna was definitely her worrier. And thanks in part to the circumstances of the past two years, far older and more mature than warranted for her near twelve years.
Daisy looked at the time on her phone. Already ten. Well past bedtime.
"Why don't you guys help grab these suitcases and head upstairs. You three can campout in my room for tonight. Like a slumber party. We'll explore more in the morning."
Jenna's face, tight and drawn before, softened as she nodded gratefully.
Sure, Daisy's bank account might be barely balanced and the car — and the terrifying total it would take to bring it to working order again — might drain that balance quite a bit, but she was here with her favorite people, staying in a beautiful home thanks to her sister-in-law's generosity. She was determined they were going to have a great time.
The worst was over. Now she just needed to relax.
* * *
"Why didn't we fly again?" Jack's thirteen-year-old daughter asked probably for the fifth time since they left Salt Lake early that morning.
As he'd already told her, he'd thought it would make their impromptu summer vacation even more fun if they drove to Tahoe in his prized 1967 Ford Mustang convertible. But he was certain Lily wasn't looking for a reminder, just a chance to whine, so instead he said simply, "Because I wanted to torture you as much as possible."
"Well, congratulations, I'm officially bored." She kicked her legs up on the dashboard, balancing her phone on her knobby knees. She blew a bubble with her chewing gum, then snapped it back in her mouth.
A flash of lightning split across the sky followed swiftly by a rumble of thunder and immediately Oliver, their five-month-old chocolate Lab, jumped to a sitting position in the backseat.
"Ollie, don't even think about it," Jack warned, having settled the dog a few minutes before, after the last break of thunder had stirred him into a frenzy.
So maybe the convertible idea — with its small interior confines and minimal luxuries — hadn't gone quite as planned, particularly since the rain made taking the top down impossible. Good thing they were only a few minutes away from their destination.
Lily read an incoming text and moaned. "You're totally ruining my life, you know. Both Emma and Caitlyn are at a sleepover at Tasha's house while I'm stuck a million miles away with my dad." The way she said the word "dad" was anything but excited.
"Try not to drain that battery, kiddo. It's the only thing we have until we reach the house." Thanks to him forgetting his own charger at home, something he didn't discover until his iPhone died an hour ago. He'd have to pick up a new one in the morning, but for the time being, Lily's would have to be their backup.
"If you'd got me that iPhone instead of this wannabe phone like I'd asked, you wouldn't have this problem."
It had taken him a while to come around to the idea of getting his thirteen-year-old daughter her own cell phone in the first place; giving that same thirteen-year-old something as pricey as a new iPhone was another story — no matter how many of her friends had one. "You used to love coming here," he said instead. "Playing out on the beach, going to the fireworks show. Eating pancakes at your favorite diner —"
"Yeah, when I was eight. And that was back when Payton was there and would hang out with me. You wouldn't let me bring any of my friends this time, so I don't know what you think I'm going to do all day."
"You could hang out with me and Ollie for a change."
Jack didn't need to see her face in the dark to know she'd rolled her eyes. "Joy."
Maybe he hadn't thought this through enough. Now that she mentioned it, it was true that in the past, Payton Vaughn — well, Payton Sorensen now — had been around to help keep Lily company.
But when the governor had called Jack into his office on Monday to share the incredible news that he was accepting a position in the cabinet of the president of the United States, it only took Jack a few seconds to realize the importance of what was about to happen. As the current lieutenant governor, Jack was, by law, slated to become the state's next governor.
Which meant his and Lily's lives were about to be seriously altered. Again.
And if Lily balked at what she saw as Jack's obsessive overprotectiveness of his only child, she was going to hate the restrictions that would be placed upon her as the daughter of the governor.
At Governor Pratchett's urging, Jack had decided that before the news reached the press and their lives were irrevocably changed, he and his daughter needed to get away, just the two of them, to spend some quality time together. The Vaughns' vacation house in Tahoe had seemed the perfect solution, and after a call to Payton's mother, Emily, he'd been assured he and Lily would have the place all to themselves.
Well, Payton or not, there were bound to be other families vacationing nearby, Lily would simply have to make an effort to meet some new people.
At just past eleven and the worst of the storm finally over, Jack turned the car down the drive that led to the Vaughn property. His heart lightened when he saw the estate come into view as he was reminded of all the good memories he'd experienced here, beginning back when he and his dad were first invited to vacation with the Vaughns. He hoped that maybe this week he and Lily could make a few more memories.
As soon as Jack parked the car in the driveway, Lily threw the door open and bounded out, Ollie on her heels. Lily laughed as she chased the puppy in a circle, bringing Jack a sense of relief.
This was going to be good, despite his daughter's reservations.
Lily was a tough kid. Always had been, even before losing her mom when she was only seven years old. She'd survived that heartache — they both had — and she would survive what was to come as well. She was a Harrison.
His arms filled with their bags, Jack headed up to the house, fumbling a couple times over the security code before they reached the dryness of the house. The alarm beeped again as it reengaged.
Ollie's paws tapped loudly across the hardwood floor as they headed down the hallway toward the main room where Jack stopped to drop the bags and looked around. There were a few changes to the room since his last visit but, for the most part, everything was nearly the same.
Almost absentmindedly, he noted the light was on above the stove in the kitchen as well as an upstairs hall light. But Emily had mentioned that she would get word to their groundskeepers that guests were arriving today; it was his guess the lights were probably on for their late arrival.
Excerpted from Her Surprise Engagement by Ashlee Mallory. Copyright © 2017 Ashlee Mallory. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm normally not drawn to books that deal with politics except small town mayors, but I'm so glad I read this one because I would have missed out on a good book. I enjoyed all the characters. Both Jake and Daisy both had gone through heartbreak with their previous marriages, but in different ways. A mix up on vacation may just lead to a bright happy future neither saw coming. I could relate relate to Daisy's children because I was in the same boat when my parents split when I was young. I could sympathize with them because I knew what they were feeling. Jake and Daisy are going to have their bumps along the way, but it's a beautiful love story.
The synopsis caught my attention right from the get go, as there are two types of books that really get me going: Sports Romance and Political Romance. As the leading man in this novel, is a soon to be Governor, I couldn't wait to read it. Ashlee Mallory did not disappoint with this easy, quick read which will leave you smiling. I found the storyline a bit corny and far fetched that the only thing that the Governor's publicist could think of was that he was engaged to Daisy when they happened to be double booked at the same vacation home. Although it was a bit corny, Mallory made it work to her advantage and found a story to tell. I loved the connection between Jack and Daisy, it was not forced or rushed. The romance seemed to happen on a pace that worked with the characters. I loved the fact that each of them had kids and brought something unique to the picture. If you are looking for a fun, quick and easy read, then Her Surprise Engagement is the book for you. Ashlee Mallory makes it so her readers are able to enjoy the tale of Daisy and Jack along with their families. It may be the perfect book for that long weekend that is just around the corner! Make sure you pick up a copy or add it to your To-Be-Read Shelf!
Ashlee Mallory returns readers to Salt Lake City, Utah and the lovable, close-knit family of the Sorsensens. In the final installment of the series, oldest Sorensen sibling, Daisy finally gets her happily-ever-after. Daisy Sorensen is a single-mom of three kids. For the past two years, she has been pretty much taking care of the kids alone, since her ex-husband only likes to acknowledge he has kids when it’s convenient for him. Daisy is headstrong, stubborn, full of pride, and doesn’t like to take handouts. While her family has often offered to help her, she consistently refuses. For months, Daisy’s ex has been promising to take the kids to Disneyland, only to cancel on them at the last minute to go on a vacation with his current girlfriend. Not wanting to disappoint her kids and at the insistence of her sister-in-law, she takes them to Lake Tahoe and the family cabin of the Vaughns. Jack Harrison is a single father to a 13-year-old daughter. He’s currently the Lieutenant Governor of Utah. He’s just found out that the current Governor is taking a different position and he’s about to become the new Governor. Wanting to take a quick vacation with his daughter before the news breaks, he accepts the offer of Mrs. Vaughn to head to the Vaughn cabin. Daisy and Jack are both surprised to learn that the other is at the cabin. They become even more surprised and shocked to discover reporters have learned of the government change and show up at the cabin. Things get a little out of hand. In order to save his reputation, Jack makes a business arrangement with Daisy. If she pretends to be his fiancée, he will help her secure funding to open her own bakery. Things get blurred when lines are crossed and a fake engagement turns into real feelings. Her Surprised Engagement was the story that I’ve been waiting on. I’m not crazy about the setup. This is a standalone read, but honestly, what are the odds that four siblings will all find their happily-ever-after from what started as fake relationships? As characters, I liked both Daisy and Jack. And the kids definitely added to the story. While on this week vacation, they all actually became a family. I loved that the kids played a role in bringing them together in the end.
Loved, loved, loved this story! Quirky, funny, and oh so engaging from the beginning, this story is real treat.
When I heard about this book I knew I had to read it. I'd just gotten back from a trip to California and had stopped by Lake Tahoe to show my kids how beautiful and magical it was. So when I saw it was a romance set at Tahoe I was totally hooked. I related to this book on so many levels. First of all, the characters are from Utah which is where I live, and next, it's about a single mom with three kids. Until recently I was a single mom with four kids. I found this great guy who swept me off my feet and helped me out just like in the book. Swoon. Jack Hamilton was such an amazing character. Handsome, successful, kind-hearted, generous, and the future governor of Utah? That was just SUPER hot. He was the perfect Prince Charming and she was his Cinderella. Daisy was a strong, independent woman, who'd lost everything because of a cheating, loser ex. I couldn't help but feel for her. I totally related to the guilt she felt for marrying him in the first place. So it made sense that she was so hesitant to jump into a relationship with Jack despite the chemistry and the feeling of it just being right. I felt a little frustrated that Daisy wasn't more accepting of his generosity in the book, but as I read further I understood the flaws of each character and why they made the choices that caused them to experience some bumps in their relationship. It was beautiful to read about their growth and their realization of how they needed to change. I loved this book so much. It was incredibly hard to put down and made for a great weekend read. My husband had to put up with a lot of giggling and squealing from me as I read. But that's how you know it's a good one, right?
Lovely and Engaging Romance. Daisy Sorensen has had to be strong to cope with her husband divorcing her for a much younger woman and leaving her with three young children, little money, no credit rating and a desire to never be dependent on anyone again. Daisy is a creative baker and dreams of opening her own bakery but obtaining a loan without assets and a good credit rating is almost impossible but accepting help from friends and family is something she's not prepared to do (she's stubborn to a fault). When a booking mixup finds her sharing a vacation house with Jack Harrison, a widower and the prospective new Governor of her State, along with his teenage daughter and the Press finds out about, all hell breaks loose. Jack's solution is a fake engagement - he won't look bad in the Press, their kids will be protected and he will co-sign her loan application in exchange for 5% of the profits. Jack quickly realizes that he wants the engagement to be real and because he loves her wants to smooth her path in life and remove some of the stress she is under. Daisy is harder to convince, particularly when he ignores her wishes about being independent. A lovely family romance with a HEA. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
I have been waiting for Daisy to get her happy ever after since she first appeared in the first book in this series, Her Backup Boyfriend. And I have to say that Jack was perfect for her. Daisy is fiercely independent and wants to be successful on her own. She refuses help from others and sees it as pity. You have to admire a strong woman like that. One who is trying to take care of herself and be the example for her kids. She was such a remarkable character for me. I loved her and her strength. Then there is Jack, who is utter perfection. He has a huge heart and wants to do right by his own daughter. He and Daisy had a sweet connection right from the start. And Jack had some of the best lines I have ever heard in a book. He was charming and so sincere. I absolutely loved him. And the scenes he was in with all the kids - major swooning. This book was beautiful and makes me want to have more of these characters and their families. It was great having Daisy's family as a big part of the story and get a little caught up with them too. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
A sweet fake-to-not romance story! Though Daisy and Jack's "relationship" started out a bit heavy on the side of insta-lust, once the two of them really started to get to know each other? the whole story became pretty magic. Each of them brought out the best in each other, and together with their kids/dog also managed to make their incomplete families whole again. Such a fun, satisfying read, and a great ending to the Sorenson family series :) Her Surprise Engagement could work as a standalone, if needed; if you've read the other books, though, you'll love the glimpses you get here into the HEAs of Daisy's two brothers and sister. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out to see what Ms. Mallory is going to bring us next :) Rating: 4 stars / B+ I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Daisy Sorenson gives the word stubborn a new meaning. Daisy and Jack, a winning combination!! There's a little something for everyone in this book and if you've been reading the series you get to catch up with the rest of the Sorensons. Daisy, single Mom with 3 kids, stubborn as they come, refuses to ask for help and badly burned by her ex. The story opens with them piled in a tow truck headed to Paytons family's summer house on Lake Tahoe with Aunt Glenda in tow as well. Oh and it's pouring rain. The kids are cute as heck, each with their own personality and they shine right through the pages. Confusion reigns supreme when after getting the kids settled,Daisy soaks in the tub and donning her snug fuzzy robe and ill matching fuzzy socks grabs a glass of wine and goes out to sit on the deck, when coming back in there's a man, a very good looking man standing in the kitchen. Daisy drops her glass, not wanting to scream to wake up the kids and this man looks suspiciously like the LT Governor of Utah. Because he is. He's brought his young daughter Lily, along with their pup Oliver ( cuteness overload). He'd called Paytons mother to ask about staying there, their families are long time friends, and here they are. The daughter Lily is still pouting about having to be there, Jack is facing being slotted into the Governors position because the Gov. has taken a Cabinet appt. and everyone is scrambling. Jack just wants time with Lily before all this hits the media. He's a widower. Daisy and Jack decide to get some sleep and make decisions in the morning. Morning comes and between Daisy's baking and the kids in love with Ollie. Doorbell rings and it's the press, the ensuing scene is hilarious and you have to read the book to appreciate out of the mouths of babes. Between Paul and Natalie... then we have the pouting duo of Jenna and Lily, meanwhile Jack and Daisy are juggling things and trying for some kind of balance. The spin they (his press secretary) puts on this whole family scene is they're engaged. With that Jack will help Daisy with her bank papers to get a loan to open her own bakery. Daisy doesn't like asking or taking and she's the most determined person on the planet. Jack oversteps a few times and Daisy sets him straight but it's lovely to see these two slowly fall for each other, despite all Daisy's fears. The story continues on after they arrive back home, there are some twists and turns. Benny is getting married to Henry so that's coming up soon. Jack promises to teach Paul how to tie his bowtie because his Dad said he would and never did. Jack is just struck at what a jerk her ex is. Her promises Paul he will teach him or be there on the day of the wedding to tie it for him. Well since one shoe already dropped when the second one did, I wasn't sure which way things were going to go. The emotion level was all over the place and a couple times a wanted to whack them both. This was a great ending to the series, I loved the book, loved it. Great story, the characters were perfection, right down to the children. I loved the dog. It's a great read. Best book of the series! Great story Ashlee!!! **arc from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for a fair review**
Rating 4.5/5* This is a delightful sweet romance, I loved it! After her ex husband unexpectedly cancelled the trip to Disneyland for their children, Daisy Sorensen has to come up with something quickly that won’t cost a fortune. She takes up a friend’s offer to use her family’s holiday home on Lake Tahoe. Nothing goes as planned, especially when she discovers a single man and his daughter also thought they’d got use of the home for their holiday, too. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t so attractive and the chemistry between them volatile. She realises he’s also a prominent political figure – the soon to be Governor, Jack Harrison, and when the paparazzi also turn up life is definitely going along a different route. He suggests she pretends to be his fiancée but when the feelings between them prove to be anything but fake, can they make their relationship real? This is a different take on a contemporary romance and a lovely story to escape into. The characters are complex and brought to life within the pages of the book. The story is well paced and has plenty of other surprises along the way to make it a brilliant, highly entertaining read that I have no hesitation in highly recommending. I’d really like to know if Payton and Emily were planning to be matchmakers all along . . . . if so, it worked! Many thanks to the publishers who gifted me a copy of this book via NetGalley. This is my honest opinion after choosing to read and review the book.
I have loved every single story about the Sorenson's and this book is no exception!! Daisy is a single mom whose ex-husband is a constant disappointment to her and her kids. When he, once again, fails to follow through, she takes her children to her sister-in-law's vacation home for a getaway. They are ready for a relaxing week until another houseguest shows up also expecting to use the house. Jack is close to being announced as the next governor so this is his last chance to get away with his daughter before their life will change. When the press shows up unexpectedly, they have to think fast on how to protect Jack's image and Daisy's family. Of course the only potential solution is to fake an engagement. After an amazing week, their connection and chemistry is off the charts but with Daisy's past and Jack's ambitions, it's not clear if they can move from fauxmance to real love. Daisy is amazingly strong after all of the things her ex put her through. She's a great mom, a fantastic baker, and fiercely independent. Jack is one of the most romantic characters I've ever read. He's a dedicated father and hopeless romantic. I loved how he just knew that Daisy was right for him and did whatever he could to move their relationship forward. I have been hoping that Daisy's story would make up for all of the hardship that she's experienced and it definitely did!! I will miss these characters but I can't wait to see what is next for this author! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
Ashlee Mallory produces another sweet and engaging Sorensen Family romance with a fiery Heroine and a dashing Hero. Daisy's a single mother of three children suffering from a deadbeat husband and dead-end job. She's independent and hates asking for help. However she asks her sister-in-law, to loan her the use of her family's vacation house. Coincidentally, Jack asks Mrs. Vaughn permission to use her vacation house as well. He's assured it's free for his and his daughter's quiet vacation. Jack's about to leap-frog from lieutenant-governor to governor. The current governor's waiting for approval for the cabinet position the President has appointed for him. Trouble begins the morning after the families arrive at the vacation house. Reporters come looking for the young widowed lieutenant-governor and his daughter but find a woman in her robe. This causes a potential scandal and there's only one simple and mutually beneficial solution. A surprise engagement. Ashlee Mallory creates so many likable children characters; that's pretty hard to do. The family vacation fun scenes are amusing and heartwarming. Romantic scenes between Daisy and Jack are almost platonic but there's a heat and chemistry that's palpable. Jack's enthusiasm for his attraction to Daisy's endearing and the story of his late wife's illness and death is heartbreaking. Daisy's ex-husband shows up briefly and allows Jack to show off an ability to be an understated Alpha. Very classy. Daisy's self-reliance may have gotten more stringent due to her ex-husband's unreliability but it may have existed all along. In "Her Surprise Engagement" Jack's a wonderful hero who's loyal, giving (to a fault), and passionate. I love how he's almost as dedicated to Daisy's kids as he is to her. All of the Sorenson Family and their love interests are in attendance. Unfortunately there's no brother-suitor bloodshed this time. To read the entire review please visit: http://wp.me/p4XqxF-1YA This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.
It's a sweet story, which I enjoyed reading a lot. Daisy is a single mom. She is trying her best to raise her kids and protect them from disappointments in life. Their father is not a very considerate man. When he cancels their trip to Disney, it is up to her to taker them on a vacation. She can't afford Disney but she can try to have a good time with them. The point is to have fun, relax, and be a family. Jack's wife died and left him with their daughter. He has tried his best to raise her right. He doesn't date. For him she is everything. He is going to take her on a vacation, somewhere secluded so that they can have time together in peace. Without limelight of media, he wants to give his daughter one last free-of-worries holiday. Because once he becomes Governor things will change for both of them. What he didn't expect is to cross paths with Daisy, a beautiful woman, and a wonderful mother, who makes him want things he hasn't wanted in a long time. But will she give him a chance? Will she accept his way of life or are they doomed from the very beginning? It's quite entertaining story, which is funny, romantic, and heartwarming all at the same time. I loved both Jack and Daisy. Especially Jack is my favorite character in this book. I'd definitely recommend this book if you like contemporary stories.
Her Surprise Engagement by Ashlee Mallory is Book 4 of The Sorensen Family Series and is a sweet, warm-hearted contemporary romance of the fake engagement troupe that just tugs at your heartstrings. Hands down, Ms. Mallory has a definite knack for putting together winning combos of characters and world building, chemistry, and irresistible storylines. Please note that an ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
5 Talk British to me Stars!!! What a fun sexy read by the fabulous Robin Bielman. I loved this fantastic story between Mateo and Teague, it kept me flipping pages. It is nice to read a lighthearted book when you have had a tough week. I highly recommend this book to escape reality for a couple hours. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book from publisher via NetGalley.
4.5 Stars! I typically prefer books that offer a little spice along with a well conceived romance. However, since the Bliss imprint from Entangled always offers a great story, I tend to overlook my need for more. Her Surprise Engagement by Ashlee Mallory, is a wonderful book, with well-developed characters and a plot that kept me engaged from start to finish. This is the fourth book from The Sorensen Family series, and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Daisy Sorensen is slowly getting her life together after her divorce from two years ago. Her ex-husband Leo continues to have very little interest in their three children, which leaves Daisy to parent alone and support her family. Daisy is a talented baker, and hopes to open her own bakery in the very near future. Unfortunately, her new and inflexible boss stifles Daisy's creativity, which has turned the job that Daisy once loved, into one that she now detests. After her ex cancels the kid's vacation to Disney at the very last minute, Daisy scrambles to find a reasonably priced vacation spot. Luckily, she is able to take her family to her sister-in-law's beach house, which happens to be unoccupied for the week. Jack Harrison is smart, good-looking and wealthy. He is also the next governor of Utah, if all the votes and logistics fall into place. He lost his beloved wife to cancer a while back and he finds raising his thirteen-year-old daughter to be quite challenging. Before the campaign becomes his life, he takes his daughter on vacation. Jack is surprised to find Daisy and her brood already vacationing at the beach house an old family friend assured him was free. Nevertheless, the huge home can accommodate them all and over a very short period of time, they all get along famously. When the press finds out that Jack is shacking up with a woman and her family, Jack and his publicist quickly come up with a story that will help Jack save face and hopefully help him win the governorship. To the world, Jack and Daisy are now engaged and looking forward to wonderful life together. In exchange for Daisy's cooperation, Jack agrees to cosign her business loan. Overtime, Daisy and Jack fall in love, and together with their kids form a family. They have a few obstacles to overcome before they can be each other's forever, and Ms. Mallory does a terrific job creating the conflicts that arise. Overall, this is an entertaining romance that I enjoyed very much. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
4 stars Her Surprise Engagement by Ashlee Mallory was a sweet and heartfelt read. I enjoyed the storyline, the characters Daisy and Jack were likeable, very relatable and I loved how they were able to bring their families together and find love and happiness. The Sorensen Family series has been a joy to read, each book has touched my heart and I've loved watching all the Sorensen's find their happily everafter. Each book can be read as a standalone and I highly recommend them all.
I absolutely loved this book and Ms Mallory , a new author for me, has a new fan. One of the main characters is Jack Harrison , a politician, currently LT .Governor and soon to be the governor of Utah. He’s a widower with a teenage daughter. The other one is Daisy Sorensen , a single mom of three adorable kids. Daisy and Jack end up accidentally sharing the same vacation home. Between the public image, the make believe engagement , a rambunctious dog, and 4 kids , the story is not only entertaining , but also very touching . From the moment they meet , sparks fly between Jack and Daisy. Both are cautious but life is full of surprises. Jack and Daisy are strong , likable characters. I loved that the author highlights the importance of family and how both seemed determined to be there for their kids. While Jack still feels guilty for not having been there for his dying wife, Daisy, is determined to be a strong independent woman, especially after her ex left her penniless with three kids . A story that will make you laugh, cry, and at times, want to shake the characters . But in the end , support, respect and love overcomes all obstacles. Thank you , Ms Mallory, for such a wonderful story. I was gifted this copy by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Loved this book! It's sweet and fun with lovable characters. Dixie is a single mom of three that was badly hurt by her ex-husband when he abruptly left her for a woman half his age. Dixie suddenly found herself without an education or skills and needing to support her children without dependable help from her ex-husband. So, she dug deep and started working hard to make it on her own - in the process developing a strong sense of pride and self sufficiency. However, she accepts use of a Tahoe vacation house from her sister-in-law. Jack is an attractive and wealthy single father whose wife died years ago. He still loves her and hasn't had a real relationship since her death. He's just learned that he is soon to become the next governor and decides to take a week with his daughter at the family's vacation home in Tahoe. With both of them vacationing in the same house, unbeknownst to each other, the stage is set for a delightful romance with some humor tucked in. This is a feel good romance that made me smile. I particularly liked how independent Dixie was and how she wasn't looking for a man to take care of her. Fans of the genre will want to read this one. I've added the author to my must read authors' list.
Loved this one!! These characters were so good you couldn't help but get involved with each of them. Daisy Sorensen is a single mom working hard to raise her kids and do something more than work for someone else. Jack Harrison is a widower raising his teen daughter on his own and soon to be named the next governor. Both are looking for a little down time and decide to take advantage of the mountain cabin their friends have offered. Much to their surprise they end up at the cabin at the same time. The mistake would have been cleared up the next day except the press is camped outside their door by then! How does the man soon to be governor explain staying at a cabin with the single mom?? Make up a fake engagement of course! This is a sweet fun read and one I think everyone will enjoy. I highly recommend it.
The kids are older. The parents are somewhat wiser and emotions run deeper. Her Surprise Engagement is about starting over when happily ever after doesn't work out as planned. The kids are precocious and the romance borders more on sweet than heat, but Ashlee Mallory uses that to her advantage. Not only do Daisy and Jack gain a second chance at love, but along the way they learn the true meaning of family.