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His Billion Dollar Baby
     

His Billion Dollar Baby

4.2 39
by Lea Nolan
 

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Burned by love and grieving over his brother's death, sexy billionaire CEO Carter Anderson wants nothing more than to protect his family. So when beautiful and unassuming physical therapist Gwen Radley shows up at the funeral, pregnant with his brother's baby, Carter's certain she wants an interest in the Anderson empire—and both his suspicion and attraction

Overview

Burned by love and grieving over his brother's death, sexy billionaire CEO Carter Anderson wants nothing more than to protect his family. So when beautiful and unassuming physical therapist Gwen Radley shows up at the funeral, pregnant with his brother's baby, Carter's certain she wants an interest in the Anderson empire—and both his suspicion and attraction grow when circumstances force Gwen to move into his family's mansion.

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.

Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

“A fun, fresh, witty romance full of warmth and surprises. Nolan makes your heart soar and cheeks hurt from smiling. A fabulous debut!” - Rachel Harris, author of A Tale of Two Centuries “Lea Nolan brings to life characters you'll root for and a touching story you won't want to put down.” - Robin Bielman, author of Worth the Risk “If ever two people deserved a happy ending, it's Carter Anderson and Gwen Radley from His Billion Dollar Baby. Once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down. Great characters, fun story!” - Susan Meier author, of Her Summer with the Marine “Tugs at the heartstrings from page one and never stops - heartfelt and tender!” - Christi Barth, author of Planning for Love

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622665853
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
05/19/2014
Series:
Entangled Indulgence
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
271
Sales rank:
77,111
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Gwen Radley sat in the front seat of her Honda Civic clutching Ben's obituary. She'd worried over it so much, the newsprint smudged her fingertips. Jenkins and Sons Funeral Home and Mortuary was just yards away, across the already full parking lot.

She could do this. All she had to do was open the door, force her legs to move toward the building, then slip in unnoticed. It should be easy enough. By now there had to be at least a hundred people inside, grieving the fallen soldier. She'd pay her respects, whisper her secret to Ben as she slipped the sonogram photo under his clasped hands, and sneak out, no one the wiser.

Seizing the door handle, she drew a deep breath as her heart thudded in her chest. This wasn't the way she was supposed to see Ben again. In her head, she'd planned to meet up a few months from now when he was home on leave, healthy and whole and not her former patient. She'd accidentally-on-purpose bump into him, give him a glimpse of her swollen belly and let the conversation go from there. Of course, she'd make it clear she had no expectations. How could she? They were friends, nothing more, save for their crazy one-night encounter the evening before he returned to Afghanistan. It wasn't as if they were in a relationship, or had planned to share their lives together. She'd expected to raise the baby on her own, but he deserved to know they'd created a life.

At least that's how it was supposed to happen.

Gwen squelched the sob rising in her throat. She'd never speak to Ben again, hear his ringing laughter, or chuckle at one of his off-color jokes. They were never in love but he was a good man and could have been a good parent. But now, he was gone too soon, cruelly taken by an IED on a dusty road in Kandahar Province.

For a moment, she considered backing out of her parking spot and returning to work, where this whole mess began. But then her conscience took hold, yanking her back to reality. 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.

After pulling the keys from the ignition, she tossed them into her purse next to the ultrasound images and threw open the door. Out of the car, she smoothed the skirt of her navy blue dress then straightened and strode across the parking lot. There was nothing to be embarrassed about. Lots of women got pregnant by almost-strangers who were their former physical therapy patients. In fact, it probably happened every day.

Who was she kidding? Gwen shook her head as a tiny wail escaped her lips.

At the funeral home door, she passed two steroid-infused security guards in dark black suits and mirrored sunglasses. She'd expected to see people in military uniforms, but these guys looked like private security. Since when did an army captain warrant such a detail?

Inside, she waded through a sea of mourners too immersed in their own despair to notice her presence. A visitor's book rested on a console in the main foyer. She thought about signing it, but then thought better of it, choosing instead to remain anonymous. On her way to the viewing room she spied the closed casket from the threshold. Damn. She wouldn't be able to give him the picture herself. Expecting this might be the case, she turned around to locate the funeral director.

A serious looking man in a dour suit stood in the lobby, surveying the crowd. He had to be her man.

"Excuse me," she said, lifting her loose purse strap on her shoulder. "Do you work here?"

He nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I'm Jack Jenkins, one of the funeral directors. May I help you?"

"Uh, yes, please." Gwen motioned for him to follow her into the vestibule beside Ben's viewing room, just out of earshot of another lurking security guard. "I have an important favor to ask," she said, her voice low. "It's probably the most crucial thing I've ever asked anyone and I know you might think it strange, but I'd really appreciate your help."

His smile was reassuring. "You'd be surprised what people ask us to do. And you know what? It's never that weird. Why don't you try me?"

She lifted the flap on her purse and pulled out the strip of three grainy black and white images. Ripping the first picture from the rest she whispered, "I need you to put this in Ben Anderson's casket, preferably in his hands." Tears swelled at the possibility that, after the explosion, that might be impossible. "Or in his breast pocket over his heart." She handed him the photo.

The funeral director's eyes softened as he glanced at the tiny bean-shaped fetus. "I understand. It's not a strange request. In fact, it's very sweet." He tucked the picture in his jacket. "It would be my honor to do this for you. And for Ben."

Gwen exhaled a grateful sigh as she dropped the remaining photos back in her purse. "Thanks so much, I really appreciate it."

"Of course, I'll have to speak to the family about it first." His expression was pained. "They've been very keen on keeping things as orderly as possible." He nodded toward the mirror-eyed behemoth in the hall.

"I understand." She nodded as she pried her lips into an innocent smile and tried to squelch her panic.

Another mourner caught Mr. Jenkins's attention. It was Gwen's cue to flee. She'd already scratched out her name on the photo so it would be untraceable, but she didn't want anyone to see her talking to Mr. Jenkins.

Turning to leave, Gwen nearly collided with a brutally good-looking man in a charcoal gray suit. Light brown hair and blue eyed, his chiseled nose and strong jaw reminded her of the Greek gods she'd read about as a kid. His aftershave hinted of sandalwood and lime.

He extended his hand. "Thank you so much for coming, Ms ..." He scanned her face, expecting her to fill in the blank.

"Gwen Radley." Heart racing, she grasped his palm and was struck by his firm grip. Who was this man, and how long had he been standing behind her? Had he heard her conversation with the funeral director? "You're welcome. I'm just glad I could come." Fumbling for something else to say, she blurted out the only thing that came to mind. "I'm sorry for your loss."

His face clouded with grief. "Yes, it's been tough. Though, after three tours, we always feared this could happen." He shook his head. "But how can you ever prepare for something like this?"

"I expect you can't." It seemed there were a lot of things you couldn't prepare for. Like, for instance, a surprise baby.

"Where are my manners? I'm Carter, by the way." He mustered a smile. "I don't believe we've met."

"No, I don't think we have." Of course they'd never crossed paths. She'd only known Ben a few weeks before he'd returned to duty.

"How did you know Ben?"

She decided to stick to the basics. He didn't need to know the rest. "We met while he was here for his rehabilitation a few months ago. I work at Walter Reed."

Carter nodded. "If only he'd been smart enough to stay home after that." His eyes glossed over and he looked away, toward the room that held Ben's polished wood casket. "He didn't have to go back, you know."

She couldn't help but chuckle. Despite only knowing Ben Anderson a short while, there was one thing she knew with absolute certainty. He was committed to being a soldier. The army was his calling, a part of his soul, and he never shied away from a fight. "There was no talking him out of it. He wanted to go back."

Carter laughed, easing his deep frown lines. "Yeah, he was a stubborn S.O.B. but he was a dedicated one." Even amid Carter's loss, his smile was beautiful.

Gwen's eyes widened in surprise from his language.

"Oh, sorry. I ... I'm not quite myself," he said. "You know, even though I always knew it could happen, and told myself a thousand times to expect it, I never actually thought it would. I figured the soldier boy routine would eventually get old and I'd get my brother back."

Wait. Did he say brother? She'd have never guessed. They looked nothing alike. Aside from having completely different features and coloring, their personalities seemed worlds apart. Ben was thick-necked and battle-worn, gruff but irrepressibly adorable, even with a stubby crew cut and coarse five-o'clock shadow. Carter, on the other hand was classically good looking, refined like tempered steel, and he resonated an air of dignified grace. And from the line of his tailored suit, an exceptionally fit and toned body lay beneath the exquisite wool fabric. There was no denying Carter reaped the lion's share of the family's gorgeous genes.

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.

Swallowing hard, she forced the thoughts away. "I don't think we can ever anticipate life's twists and turns. It's how we deal with them that matters."

He choked out a laugh, but it was bitter, ironic. "You've got that right." He turned his attention to an older woman who stepped out of the viewing room. Late-fifties with silver-streaked hair and dressed in a sharp, black Chanel suit, she seemed to be searching the crowd. "Over here, Mother," he called. Gwen had seen her earlier near Ben's casket beside an elderly man in a wheelchair who appeared to have suffered a stroke. When she approached, Carter made the introductions. "Mother, this is Gwen Radley."

"Thank you for coming." The woman extended a bejeweled hand. Besides the stunning sparkler on her left ring finger, her wrist dripped with diamond tennis bracelets.

"May I present the indomitable Judith Anderson." Her perfume smelled like orchids and reminded Gwen of the exotic and ultra expensive counter at Lord and Taylor.

Judith sighed. "Oh, I don't feel so indomitable today. Let's just say I'm resilient. It's a pleasure to meet you." She forced a smile but the red tint in her eyes proclaimed her grief.

"Gwen knew Ben from his time at Walter Reed," Carter added.

"Oh?" Judith asked. "It's kind of you to show your respects. I suspect you're quite accustomed to funerals. You've probably lost your fair share of patients."

"Actually this is the first I've ever attended," Gwen answered. With so many casualties who'd been forever damaged by the devastation of war, she'd learned early not to get too close to her patients. Professional distance protected her from the inevitable gut-wrenching loss. That was just one of the cruel lessons she'd learned as a former foster child. Far better to remain detached, treat her patients as best as she could, and then go home to the tiny basement apartment she rented from Mrs. Lemley. At least that's what she'd done until that night with Ben.

Carter tilted his head. "Really? Your first funeral?"

"Ben must have been special, then," Judith said.

"Special enough to ask the funeral director to put something in his casket." Carter's expression was open, inquisitive, and didn't betray a hint of accusation. Still, he looked as if he'd like an explanation. Judith tilted her head. Evidently she wanted one, too.

Gwen's pulse thundered. He'd overheard. Was he going to sic a security guard on her? A thousand words collided in her head. How could she possibly explain her relationship with Ben and what happened between them? Yes, he was special, but not in the way they might assume. And if she could find a way to describe their reckless, lust-filled, one-time encounter, what would they think of her? Or Ben?

She wouldn't even try. A funeral was not the place to tell them about their impending grandchild and nephew. Instead, she should make up something plausible and beat it out of there. The truth could wait until after the baby was born, or maybe she'd avoid it altogether and keep it to herself. Nothing required that she tell them. But would that be fair?

The room seemed to spin and soar to a thousand degrees.

"Are you all right?" Carter leaned close and gently grasped her arm.

"Uh, yeah. I'm fine." Disoriented, Gwen pressed a quaking hand to her forehead. Feeling woozy, she wobbled on her heels. Her purse strap slipped from her shoulder and crashed to the floor, spilling its contents. The ultrasound pictures fluttered out, face up.

Gwen, Carter, and Judith stared at them in silence.

Finally, Judith spoke. "I'm guessing you two were closer than I presumed."

CHAPTER 2

Gwen sank to the floor and quickly swept up her belongings, shoving them into her purse without a care for their order.

"Holy shit," Carter whispered as he rubbed his clean-shaven jaw.

Rising to her feet, she searched for the right words. "I ... I can explain," she stammered.

Carter stood frozen, a stunned statue of a Homeric god in an expensive business suit.

"Let's discuss this later, dear," Judith said, patting Gwen's wrist and mercifully putting her out of her misery. "Follow the procession to the house after the funeral. We'll talk there." Her face was calm, maybe even happy, but Gwen couldn't tell for sure. For all she knew, Judith was enraged and about to blow.

Nodding, Gwen shuffled through the hall, past a stone-faced guard into the viewing room and took a seat at the back. She hadn't planned to stay and attend the funeral. It would've been easier if they'd thrown her out in shock and anger.

Even without looking, she felt the weight of Carter's stare from across the room. It was as if he was boring a hole through her skull. Perhaps it was his relentless glare or her abject humiliation before the Andersons, but her stomach suddenly rumbled with queasy unease. Of course, it could also be the tiny baby flip-flopping in her womb.

Oh, God, please no. This wasn't the time for a morning sickness attack. They'd begun a little later than for most women, when Gwen was ten weeks pregnant. Her period had always been unpredictable, and frankly, sexual encounters occurred so infrequently she didn't notice she'd skipped a couple cycles. It wasn't until her stomach started acting up six weeks ago that she went to the doctor and got the shocking diagnosis. Now, at Ben's funeral, she was afraid she was on the verge of another epic bout. Breathing deep, in through her nose and out her mouth, Gwen willed away the sour sensation. Sneaking a small package of saltine crackers from her purse that she'd swiped earlier from the diner, she discretely nibbled on the corner. She had to settle her stomach. If it were remotely possible, she'd like to make less of a spectacle of herself.

*
After the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, Gwen steered her forest green Civic behind the long line of cars headed to the Anderson house. Since it was mid-morning, the bulk of the normal Washington, D.C., traffic was light and the drive to Potomac, Maryland, was relatively quick.

They made a series of turns, then headed down a long, tree-lined and slat-fenced drive. Two miles later they crossed under an iron gate inscribed with the words River View, and approached what had to be the Andersons' house. Holy mother of mansions, it looked more like a fancy English estate or hotel. Calling it a house was like saying Mount Everest was a hill. Had Ben really lived here? It didn't seem possible. He was the type of guy who seemed more comfortable in a barracks than an estate.

The head car, a Bentley limousine, pulled up the circular driveway and stopped in front of the vast double doors. At first, Gwen had assumed it was the funeral director's car, but now she suspected it was the Andersons'. Because, really, no one who lived in this house could ride in anything other than a Bentley.

Gwen nestled her comparatively tiny car into an empty spot and debated whether to go in. She watched as Judith stepped out first, followed by Carter, who helped lift his father into his wheelchair.

It wasn't too late to drive away and never contact them again. But they knew her name and where she worked. Hell, their security force had probably run her license plate, too. There was no escape. She was going to be a mom. And these people were her baby's relatives. She had to be strong and face this. Besides, it wasn't like she wanted anything more than to give them the details about the baby. What they did with that information was up to them. If they didn't want anything to do with Ben's child, that was their decision. But at least she'd give them the choice. It was the right thing to do.

That realization calmed her. She was the one in the driver's seat, not them. Actually, they should be the ones who were nervous. She didn't have to let them see her child.

Her confidence restored, Gwen climbed out of the car. She fell in line behind the other mourners and strode across the gravel, then climbed the wide stone steps to the mansion's double doors.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "His Billion Dollar Baby"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Lea Nolan.
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.

Meet the Author

Lea Nolan writes smart, witty contemporary stories filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. She also pens books for young adults featuring bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history.

With a master's degree in women's studies and public policy, and an undergraduate degree in history, she spent twenty years as a health policy analyst and researcher, writing hundreds of fascinating reports and articles tens of people enjoyed. Today, she teaches graduate courses in health policy, law, and financing, and takes on the occasional consulting gig.

Born and raised on Long Island, New York she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three brilliant children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance. Contact her via her website www.leanolan.com, on Facebook www.facebook.com/LeaNolanAuthor or on Twitter @Lea_Nolan

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His Billion Dollar Baby 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
** Copy provided by Netgalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for an honest review** A story where a man falls in love with a woman who had a one-night-stand with his recently departed brother. Learning that her baby's daddy died in Afghanistan Gwen goes to the funeral purely to give the dead man a scan photo of his child, then to walk away to get on with her life. A complication arrises when she ends up being taken in by the mother, but the brother is hostile due to a bad marriage. Past hurts and experiences shape both Gwen and Carter bring them both closer together and further apart. But Carter hurts Gwen and she runs, refusing to have anything to do with him until he proves his worth. A light-hearted fun read perfect for a lazy evening or two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Outstanding. I loved this story. It was filled with fun, compassion, heartbreak and happiness. The hero Carter was the obligatory jerk but redeemed himself in the end. And what a fabulous ending. After such a betrayal, some definite groveling was in order and yes we actually get it. NO INSTANT FORGIVENESS, yay! What really made this book special was the heroine. Thank you to the author for creating such an awesome character. She was absolutely amazing. Kind, caring, strong, smart and so very fun-loving. My favorite kind of heroine. I will read this again for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
213 pgs. This is a very good clean book and I enjoyed it. Its about trust..romance and money.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun read. Not that it was a humorous book, but rather it was a classic romance theme that I love to read.  Gwen is a PT at Walter Reed and has a "before I ship out" fling with Ben Anderson resulting in a baby. When Ben is killed overseas, Gwen goes to his funeral and meets his brother Carter. Cue the troubled alpha male who distrusts women because of a bad experience in the past. Gwen is a former foster child trying to keep her head above water, in other words the perfect gold digger situation according to Carter. After a series of disasters, Gwen ends up living in the family manse and helping the patriarch recover from a stroke in her spare time. I know it sounds familiar, but this story was perfect. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Sure enough, Carter behaves like a cad, tries to make amends and then screws up royally only to realize he can't live without Gwen in his life. Gwen makes him suffer before she gives in but it all works! Yes, we have read this before but it totally works in this book. I enjoyed every page, every kiss, every fight, the whole shebang! Sometimes you just have to read a romance book for the fun of it and this is the perfect one for that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This definitely a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually liked this book. I really enjoyed story. Trust is a very complicated issue in today's society. The romantic scene was lacking, but the story did it for me!
teetee1968 More than 1 year ago
"If only he could lean toward her and breathe in that peach-soaked scent, then turn his face to kiss her luscious pink lips." Loved it! This is my first time reading Lea Nolan and I will definitely be looking for more of her books! I have to admit, I felt kind of done with the "Billionaire" theme before I picked this book up, but this is NOTHING like the Billionaire books that have saturated the bookshelves of late. It's a great story! I want to say it's sweet, but that probably isn't an accurate description either. The characters are relatable and you really get to know them! I wouldn't mind seeing a follow book about Carter's friend Devon! (And maybe Emerson, too?) Great read!
Marie-NaughtyMoms More than 1 year ago
This was such a beautiful story. Filled with emotion and a warring chemistry between Gwen and Carter; both very strong characters with a strong attraction to each other. Lea Nolan give us a VERY well written love story. Written in a way that I felt their pain, their attraction, frustration and joy. I even cried at a pivotal moment in the story. Carter will frustrate you one moment, and make you fall in love with him the next. Gwen will make you proud. Each with a past that left a few scars, they see each other in a way they don't see themselves. A quick read; but in no way is anything left out of this great read. *A copy was obtained from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars: HIS BILLION DOLLAR BABY is the latest contemporary, adult, romance storyline from author Lea Nolan. The premise focuses on physical therapist Gwen Radley-four months into an unexpected and unplanned pregnancy- and the father has been killed in Kandahar Province without ever knowing Gwen was with child. As she attempts to slip (undetected) an sonogram image -into the casket -of the baby they have created, Carter Anderson (the deceased’s brother) will overhear Gwen tell his mother that she is carrying her dead son’s child. What ensues is a calamity of accidents that will find Gwen living with the Anderson family and at the top of Carter Anderson’s most mistrusted people. The storyline follows the building relationship between Gwen and the Anderson family, as well as, the relationship between Gwen and Carter.  Gwen is reluctantly welcomed into the billionaire family (and their successful sporting goods business) where the patriarch is need of physical care and the remaining son is in need of a paternity test to prove that Gwen is carrying the family heir. The relationship between our leading couple is fraught with suspicion, distrust, skepticism, and supposition. Carter Anderson believes Gwen is after the Anderson billions-that she is a gold digger and out for only one thing- and Gwen is trying to survive in a world where she does not belong. As Carter calculates all of the ways to protect the family business from Gwen, Gwen knows that to keep her sanity and her self respect, her only option it leave and never look back. Lea Nolan pulls the reader into an intensely emotional, passionate (but predictable) storyline where tears will fall for a woman who’s caught between two worlds-the uber rich and everyone else. We watch as Gwen slowly becomes part of a family only to be pushed aside by Carter when he believes that everything about her is a lie. Gwen is an honorable, beautiful and realistic woman who has found herself the target of a man whose past is mired in betrayal and mistrust. HIS BILLION DOLLAR BABY is a story of heartbreak and pain for a woman who wanted something better for her child than the life of which she knew. The pain of her own childhood has Gwen stepping back from what could have been and into a life where Carter Anderson will no longer be in control. 
ClaudiaS1 More than 1 year ago
Once I started this book I didn't want to stop. A great story of two strong people who've been scarred by life. All they needed was someone to love them. Carter Anderson is one sexy bullheaded alpha, but he's met his match in Gwen who won't let his bitterness and distrust diminish her take charge attitude. I'm not usually big on "baby" stories, but the pregnancy in this book became a beautiful link to Carter's brother. And the supporting characters are wonderful. Hope to read Devon's story next
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story ...really enjoyed it ...made me laugh , cry all goid stuff
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HIS MILLION DOLLAR BABY by Lea Nolan – I love this book!!! Immediately Lea Nolan begins by giving the reader a heart  wrenching reflection mixed with the present moment in the life of Gwen Radley, a physical therapist who has a life altering secret.  Gwen is stubborn and honest, has auburn hair, bright green eyes and freckles across her nose, shapely curves and Irish spirit.  Add drop dead gorgeous Carter Anderson, who Gwen thought reminded her of the Greek gods she had read about, a regal mother,  a father who had suffered a stroke and the revelation and acceptance of Gwen’s surprise, and you have a total package love  story. Observing how Carter and Gwen get to know one another and her acceptance into the family is a funny, emotional, feel  good, frustrating but touching and perfect romance.  This book is a definite keeper and read over again book.  from CWLCL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moves fast - has all the right stuff Enjoy
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Great read!!!!!
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I love it
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
This book has a lot going for it--the premise has promise, the characters have some depth, and did I mention the cover? Such lovely abs. :) The idea of falling for the brother of your deceased baby daddy--especially when your relationship with that brother starts off so totally wrong-footedly and you seem to have nothing whatsoever in common with him--soooo much potential for delicious drama! (I was actually glad that Gwen and Ben didn't have a closer relationship, because that that much drama would have put it over the top. Pregnancy hormones + survivor guilt + falling for someone new and moving on so soon after guilt = total overload. I think Ms. Nolan made the right choice here having her pregnancy be the result of a single uncharacteristic night for the two of them.) Gwen is a really strong character. She is a self-made woman, rising above her foster system background and making a solid life for herself. I loved how she is so devoted to helping others and that she really knows her job (physical therapy, with an emphasis on military wounded) well. She is determined to raise her baby herself, yet still manages to accept help when she really needs it with grace. I liked her a lot. Carter is a bit tougher to love at times--a disastrous first marriage has left him bitter, and he tends to see all women as variations of his ex. He is also naturally suspicious of anyone who might be out to take advantage of his family's wealth and good nature. His attitude is understandable, up to a point--but once he let his guard down and opened himself up to a real relationship with Gwen, it felt as if he was much too quick to do another 180 degree turn and once again see only self-serving motives behind all of her actions. In fact, the entire argument on which their relationship climax hinged had a forced feel to it. I found myself going back and re-reading their conversation more than once because their responses to each other's comments just didn't feel genuine--their reactions seemed so out of whack with what had actually been done and said that reading that scene gave me a "wait--what the heck just happened here?" feeling afterwards. I'll give Carter this, though--he does grovel with style. Tiny baby shoes will melt this particular heart every time. :) Overall, this novel made my two-hour wait at BWI a lot more enjoyable than it otherwise might have been. I'll definitely be interested to see more from this author in the future as she continues to develop her contemporary romance-writing muscles. Rating: 3 stars / C I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so great. The story line drew me in from the very begining. The chemistry between Carter & Gwen is off the charts but it takes them awhile to realize it. The progress that Gwen makes with Rocky is so heartwarming. Several times while reading this I cried like a baby it was very overwhelming. I recommend this book to everyone.
GraceDZ More than 1 year ago
Lea Nolan has created quite the situation for the lead characters in His Billion Dollar Baby. This story immediately starts with an overall sad tone. Gwen goes to the funeral of her baby's daddy with a specific purpose. She hadn't known Ben very well before he left for another tour of duty. She ends up meeting his older brother Carter at the funeral, and the plot gets pretty tense from there. Carter immediately doesn't trust Gwen at all. He thinks she's a gold digger when she's completely the opposite. There's a reason why Carter Anderson has a huge distrust in women. If Gwen's baby is truly an Anderson heir, he believes it would pretty much ruin all his plans. I adored Gwen! She's smart, witty, hardworking, and headstrong. She makes the most of what she has despite being handed the short end of the stick in life. I liked that the plot surprised me in such a pleasant way. This wasn't a story about a single mom-to-be asking for a handout. His Billion Dollar Baby turned out to be a feel-good, slow-building, sweet romance. I have a huge soft spot for stories like these! The secondary characters, especially Carter's parents, were just lively and well-written. I loved that Gwen's skills as a physical therapist was prominently used, too. This was my first time reading anything from Lea Nolan, and it won't be my last, especially if she continues with Devon's story...hint, hint!  *A copy of this book was gifted to me for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
When a novella manages to make you cry in the first chapter you know there's a good chance you'll have a winner on your hands. This entire story had me on an emotional roller coaster - very hard to do in under 200 pages. All the characters involved in the story were amazingly well written. I cheered for them to find a way through everything with every word. This was more than a book about two people falling in love - it was about the power one person has to change the course of an entire family - and to do it without even realizing it. Gwen's touch in the Anderson family it felt immediately and strongly. Some embrace it while others (notably Carter) think she's a gold digger willing to anything to get a piece of their fortune. She battles these opinions throughout the whole book. I loved how people's minds weren't instantly swayed. Her process of winning them over was gradual and it had many bumps along the way. The ending was perfect for me. It had just the right touch of a fairy tale while still somehow remaining firmly grounded in reality. I can't remember being so excited for two fictional characters in a long time. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*