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The Baby Bombshell
A Shadow Creek, Montana Novel
By Victoria James, Alethea Spiridon
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Victoria James
All rights reserved.
Seven Days Later
Lily Cookson stumbled out of her ex-almost-in-law's house on New Year's Eve, barely making it to her car before crying like a baby.
Worst. New Year's Eve. Ever.
Her feet were now soaked because she hadn't planned on the one foot of snow that had fallen during the party, and she had worn strappy three-inch heels. Why would a perfectly sensible woman who'd lived in Montana her entire life pick strappy three-inch heels in January? Oh, right, because she knew her ex-fiancé would be there and she'd wanted to remind him of everything he'd walked out on five years ago, that's why.
She groaned out loud and leaned her head forward onto the door of her car. She didn't even feel the cold because she was hot from the alcohol and flushed from her run-in with Jack Bailey, ex-fiancé extraordinaire, a few minutes earlier. It had been five years. Five years since she'd seen him, since tragedy had torn them apart. Five years and she'd thought she'd changed so much, but there had been one part of her that hadn't changed. She'd discovered tonight the part of her that was still in love with the man who had destroyed her world.
"Lily, you look beautiful." His voice was still the same — deep, gruff, filled with emotion, filled with everything that still made her pulse race.
"Well, we can't really say the same about you can we, Jack?" That's what she'd said; the hurt side of her had said that. It was the side of her that was so angry with herself for being so happy to see him. The truth was that Jack looked beautiful, except for the beard. So maybe it wasn't exactly that the beard was bad. It was that ... she missed his face. She wanted to see the face she'd loved above all others. But his eyes were the same, and his hands. She'd watched them as he held his glass of champagne. Strong tanned hands that had always known exactly what to do with her.
She banged her head gently on her icy car door and groaned at her stupidity. She was way too drunk to drive home and didn't have a plan B. She could not go back inside because, well, after he'd told her she looked beautiful, he'd then said he hoped she'd moved on and found someone while he was gone.
That was when she'd lost it. Because A) no, she hadn't. She loved him too much. And B) she wanted him to say that he loved her and had made the biggest mistake of his life, leaving after ... the accident. But he hadn't done any of that. He'd just stood there looking polite, sympathetic, and with so little of the emotion she knew he had. So after a few seconds of complete shock and hurt, she'd decided to flood the man's champagne glass with olives and maraschino cherries, and then she'd taken a bottle of champagne and had poured it into his glass, and kept pouring, while telling him she was never going to speak to him again, until the bottle was empty, and he was standing in a pool of champagne. She had basically made a spectacle of herself, something straight out of the movies.
Lily stopped breathing at the sound of Jack's voice. What was he doing out here? She turned her head to see him jogging out to her. She would have thought that the champagne she'd slowly and purposely spilled on him would have sent the man the message she wanted nothing to do with him. Ever. Again.
"You can't drive home. Give me your keys and I'll drive you."
She really needed to stop drinking, because it made her emotional. Yes, clearly it was the wine and champagne that was making her eyes tear up. Or the wind. It was cold and windy. It had nothing to do with the fact that she had missed this man so much, and now he was back and he was showing concern for her. He held out his hand, standing in front of her now. He was wearing a checked shirt that hugged what she already knew was an incredible body, and dark jeans that emphasized how fit and lean he still was. She turned away from the appealing picture he made.
"I was going to walk home," she said, lying.
He frowned. "You can't walk ten miles at night, with snow, and in heels."
She shrugged. "I'll ask Gwen for a ride."
"My sister is tanked."
"I'll ask Chase and Julia."
"Those two couldn't keep their hands off each other. They left ten minutes ago and I can guarantee neither will pick up their phones."
She needed new friends. "I'll call a cab."
"On New Year's. In rural Montana. Good luck. Give me the keys," he said, holding out his hand. Jack had a way of barking out orders in a very calm, rational way. It was an admirable quality, one she'd never been able to master. What was she going to do? She searched his brown eyes reluctantly. She'd avoided making eye contact with him because it was too painful. She wanted to hate Jack so much. She wanted to be mean to him. She wanted to hurt him as much as he'd hurt her. But the only reason she wanted any of those things was because she was still in love with him, and standing so close to him, having him show concern for her, made it all so much worse.
"I still think walking is a viable option." Unfortunately for her, a large gust of wind blew the snow that had accumulated on the roof of her car all over her. She yelped and swiped at it, forgetting to look calm and collected.
He tried to help brush some of the snow off her, but she swatted at him and, judging by the twitch at the corner of his mouth, was fighting a smile.
When another gust of snow blew around them, she surrendered her keys with a huff and then scrambled to the other side of the car in a clumsy display. Jack had already settled himself inside and leaned over and opened the door for her. She collapsed into the seat beside him and fumbled a few times with getting the seatbelt to latch. Way too much alcohol tonight.
"Ready to go?" he asked after turning on the heat and windshield wipers, having the decency to not point out her ... lack of coordination.
He had no idea where she lived now. "Head down to Main Street. I'm renting an apartment above Jack and Jill's Toy Store."
He nodded, his eyes on the road, hands firmly gripping the steering wheel. "How is your father?"
"Fine. In a home. He had a stroke four years ago. So I guess, not fine. Not the way you remember him."
He winced. "I know, sweetheart. I'm sorry."
She stared at his profile and tried not to be affected by the genuine regret she heard in his voice. But Jack had always had the ability to empathize. It was one of his best traits. He felt things deeply, despite his big, tough appearance. He knew about her father ... "Oh, I guess Gwen told you?"
He gave a terse nod but didn't say anything else, but even that hadn't been enough to bring him home or make him reach out to her. She needed to stop expecting more from him. He was a guy who took off for five years and now he was back, not for her, but his family. She was going to just be happy for his family. They had been through a lot, and they needed their son home with them. She was going to be happy for Gwen who also happened to be her best friend. It was a miracle, really, that they'd managed to not let Jack come between them.
She decided to look out the window and not at Jack's strong profile anymore. As angry as she was, it was sad to be sitting here beside him, worse than strangers. The roads were slippery and visibility was limited, but Jack handled her car with ease. It took a little longer than normal to get into town, or that could have also been because the silence made it feel even longer.
He pulled up right in front of her building twenty minutes later, the town deserted at this time of night, especially since New Year's had come and gone. She stumbled out of the car, but Jack was by her side in an instant, holding on to her elbow before she did a face-plant into a snow hill. Her feet at this point were numb and she followed him over to the door. She needed to go inside, put on some flannel pjs, make a long list of New Year's resolutions, and eat lots of bad food while making the list.
She avoided Jack's intense stare. She was going to make Avoid Jack Bailey the first item on her list. She tried to shove him away from the door but didn't succeed, because he just stood there like a statue. A tall, dark, hot statue. "So thanks for the ride. See you ... sometime. That is, if you're back in Shadow Creek for good. Or maybe you're passing through."
"I'm here for good."
She nodded, pretending like this meant nothing to her, and grabbed her keys from his hands.
"I'll walk you up."
Oh, no. No way was that happening. "I'm fine," she said, and then proceeded to miss the keyhole repeatedly in her drunken stupor. Do not get drunk in front of Jack Bailey was going to be her second New Year's resolution.
Jack had the good manners to not point out the difficulty she was having with the door as he gently but firmly took the key from her hand, unlocked and held the door open for her. She marched up the steps and down the hallway to the one of two apartments. She concentrated, determined to open her own door, and with a grateful sigh did so with ease. See, she wasn't that drunk. She pushed open the door, walked in, and immediately took off her shoes, cursing them. Dumb purchase. Never buy things to impress a man was going to be her third resolution.
Her head snapped in Jack's direction. Right. She'd almost forgotten about him. He stood in the doorway, his hands braced on either side of the opening, his gaze making her nervous.
"Of course, why wouldn't I be?"
"Because you were talking to yourself."
She crossed her arms in front of her. "I was making a memo to myself. I'm a very busy person. I have lots going on."
He nodded, as if he was trying to be polite but might actually be questioning her sanity. "Nice place," he said as she flicked on her hall light.
She hung up her coat and quickly crossed her arms in front of her as Jack's gaze traveled the length of her body. That look. That look hadn't changed. Frank male appreciation. Coming from Jack, that look made her knees weak. She never should have let him in.
"Can we talk?"
She shook her head. There was no way this man was coming into her apartment. He had destroyed her and now he was back ... looking all wounded and sexy and ...
He stepped inside and shut her door.
Her mouth dropped open. "Are you kidding me? I just said no we couldn't talk."
"Actually you didn't say anything. Give me five minutes. You can't start a new year off angry. It's bad luck. It'll set the tone for the entire year."
She narrowed her eyes. She knew he didn't believe in that kind of thing, but he knew she believed in that. "Fine." She glanced at her purse. "Wait," she said, holding up her hand and digging her phone out of her purse. "I'm setting the timer."
She expected him to be annoyed, but the corners of his perfectly gorgeous mouth turned up slightly and his eyes warmed so that they were now the color of the creamiest, smoothest, milk chocolate she'd ever made. Oh God, this was bad. Do not look directly at Jack Bailey's smile was going to be her third resolution ... or fourth ... She had lost track.
He cleared his throat. "May I start?"
She gave a nod and then held up her hand. "Wait." She then proceeded to turn on every light in her apartment. There. All mood lighting was gone.
His slight smile turned into a Jack-wattage smile that lit up all parts of her that she'd forgotten. "It's like Vegas in here."
She ignored that and looked down at her phone to set the timer. "Go!"
His smile fell and he didn't use the first few seconds talking. Everything changed with the silence. The air felt thick, heavy with emotion, with energy that had always existed between them. Her heart beat with a heaviness, an achiness, which made her want to run from whatever it was he had to tell her. He slowly walked forward, her heart beating faster as he neared.
"I'm sorry, Lily. I'm sorry, so damn sorry for leaving you five years ago. I'm sorry I wasn't man enough to get through Michael's and Matthew's deaths in Shadow Creek, by your side. I'm sorry I wasn't here for you when your father had his stroke."
Lily blinked back tears at the gruffness in his tone, at the emotion in his voice, at the honesty. She hadn't prepared herself for that. God, he'd barely spoken thirty seconds and she was feeling so sorry for him. She knew his twin brother had been everything to him. And his little nephew ... it was such a horrific tragedy, and she'd known at the time, even before Jack had taken off, that she'd lost him. Not to another woman, but to the emptiness inside him without his brother.
"Jack," she whispered, holding up her hand to stop him. He walked toward her with that same purpose, that same look of intensity he'd always had; it was the look he'd given her when he wanted her. He could find her from across the room, anywhere, and maybe that's what had hurt the most — she'd always believed she was enough for him, enough to get him through everything. He hadn't stuck around to give her a chance to help him heal.
He didn't stop walking until he was a foot or so from her. He was close enough that she could make out the tiny flecks of amber in his eyes and the faint lines framing them. Close enough to see his strong pulse at the base of his throat. Close enough to know this man still had the power to make her heart race and her knees weak just by his proximity.
"I'm not finished. I still have three minutes left on the clock." He raised his arms, placed his hands on either side of her head, and she just stood there mesmerized by the look in his eyes, helpless by the nearness of the only man she'd ever wanted with all her soul. "I went away because I knew that if I stayed here I'd drag everyone into my own hell as I mourned Michael and Matthew. Everyone was better off without me. But know that every single day I was gone you were with me. I missed you so damn much, Lily."
It was when his voice broke and his eyes sheened with emotion that she knew she was caving. When he lowered his head to an inch from hers, his lips brushing against her temple, her knees weakened and she leaned against the wall. "I never stopped loving you."
Do not let Jack Bailey tell you he loves you needed to be bumped up to the top of the list.
She held his gaze and lifted her chin, finding her self-respect and channeling every ounce of hurt. "You clearly think I'm this naïve, pathetic loser who would actually believe her ex-fiancé who skipped town for five years with no contact is now back and professing his undying love for her?"
His jaw clenched, but his gaze was unwavering, intense, keeping her knees in their weakened state and her heart beating way too fast to be normal. "I believe you're still the most beautiful, loving woman I've ever met. Leaving you was the hardest decision I ever made. I know I've got a helluva lot to do to earn your forgiveness, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I've been faithful to you. Five years, Lil. I've been faithful to the memory of what we had and what we could be. There has been no one. I never stopped loving you."
She didn't breathe as the reality of what he was saying made her want to weep. She searched for the right words. "I know I'll never understand what it would be like to lose someone that close to me, Jack. I don't want to stand here and judge you. But there are things ... that have happened to me that have changed me, too. I'm not the same woman you left behind. I'll never go back to being her."
"So let me get to know who you are now. I'm still in love with you. I know you're still the only woman for me."
She squeezed her eyes shut and he took that opportunity to close the distance between them, gently folding her up in his arms until all she could breathe was him. She stood there, not hugging him back, but not pushing him away. His chest was hard against the side of her face. His hands were in her hair and she knew all she had to do was lean back slowly and his mouth would be on hers. But she wasn't ready for that, because she knew all her control would be gone at that point. Instead, she breathed in the scent that was him. It was like she was home. All at once, her past and her present, her pain and her joy was all here, wrapped up in the one man she needed more than anyone. God did she want to believe in him. Her arms wrapped around his waist, and she felt him shudder before his strong arms held her tightly.
"Lily, there's been no one."
She wanted to push him, but instead ended up clutching two fistfuls of his shirt. "I can't ever get back together with you. It doesn't matter that you claim you still love me, that you never stopped loving me. It doesn't matter that it's New Year's Eve and you, the love of my life, are back in town and looking so good that all I want to do is jump you," she said, blabbing an embarrassing mile a minute, hating that she had no filter when she was drunk and that she had a tendency for theatrical, dramatic jabbering. "It doesn't matter that we're here. Alone. Two adults with a past but no hope for a future."
Excerpted from The Baby Bombshell by Victoria James, Alethea Spiridon. Copyright © 2017 Victoria James. 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
Emotional Jack finally returns home after having to bury his twin and nephew 5 years ago. When he left he thought he was doing what was best for everyone. But was it, or was running away only best for him? Will Lily ever forgive him? Lily lost everything after the tragedy that made Jack leave town. She still loves him, but could she ever trust that he’d stay at the first sight of trouble, or will he turn trail and run again? You’ll have to read THE BABY BOMBSHELL (Shadow Creek, Montana #2) to find out how things workout with Lily and Jack, but it’ll be worth your time, just remember to have some tissues handy. Another amazing love story by Victoria James. Her stories are always so emotionally charged that you can’t help but turn another page to see what happens next. This story deals with the loss of family and yourself, believing and having faith, coming home, as well as learning to come out of it all a better person. I laughed, smiled so much my cheeks hurt as well as bawled my eyes out—sad as well as happy tears. I cannot wait for another Victoria James story! I thoroughly loved reading it. What a heartbreaking but love filled HEA story! I received an ARC via IndieSagePr and Entangled Publishing through NetGalley for an honest blog tour review. Favorite Passages ~ ~You’ve mourned enough; you’ve got to reclaim your life now. No more hiding,” ~ “You can’t look back. You can’t change the past. It’s done.” ~ “I’m back. A different version of me, but I’m here and I can tell you, it was all worth it. I’ve been blessed in new ways, ways I’d never imagined for myself.”
Jake left town 5 years ago after his twin brother Michael and his nephew Matthew died in a car crash. He was engaged to Lilly and left her too. Now he is back and hopes to have a second chance. Well written story with strong and believable characters. joy943
This is my first read from this author, but not my last. I just purchased all the books in this series and looking forward to reading them.
I enjoyed this series
Emotional 2ND CHANCE AT LOVE Romance Read Victoria James wrote a good romance story that I really enjoyed. This is a really good story that is full of complex emotions. This is the second book in the Shadow Creek, Montana series and the main couple in this book is Jack Bailey & Lily Cookson. They were lovers years before but he up and left her 5 years before. Now Jack has returned , ready to mend fences with his family and with the one he loved and left behind—Lily. Only she wants nothing to do with him and could care less what happens to him because of what he did to her all the years ago. I want to really speak more to all the layers, all the twists and turns this story took but it would give spoilers away. What I can say this is more than a 2nd chance love story, it’s a deeply emotional lovers to heartbreak to 2nd chance love story with a complex twist. You will get hooked on the past and on the characters all involved . Get your tissues ready –because this is one of those stories that will have you on the edge of your seat, with the will she or wont she forgive him question. My rating: 4.5 stars **** "I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
I liked the sound of this book and I do like this author's writing, but this book just didn't work for me. I had a hard time with Lily and Jack. They have history and they had falling out, but I couldn't feel a connection between them. I've read books where the couple has to find their way on a second chance, but there is most always a contention I could feel deep down. I felt this book just didn't gel well for me.
I believe in Victoria James, always a must read for me. A second chance romance that will pull at your heartstrings and not let go.Jack left five years ago after a family tragedy and now returns to make amends with his family and the love of his life, Lily. After one night Lily vows to never let it happen again but she soon learns she is pregnant. Will it be enough to keep them together this time? When you get ready to read this book, plan on not getting up until done. An amazing story of second chance romance, must have kleenex close by, you will shed happy and sad tears. My heart went out to Jack, such a burden he held onto. I highly recommend this story.
This was a really cute and sweet story of second chances, loss, forgiveness and knowing the one person is the "one" for you! I read this nonstop and I may have lost some sleep because I read straight through but it was well worth it! I love the family connections here! My heart went out to Jake because his twin brother died and he couldn't bear to look at himself in the mirror seeing his twin instead of himself. So he left for 5 years and then came back to his family and ex-fiance to seek forgiveness because his head was on a little better now! What I really liked was the part in the synopsis about his secret because when you think, ok this is it and it's nothing! Well when it comes out; well -yeah, I was floored! Jake was determined to win Lily over again and help her trust him again. I swooned! If you love wolves, faith, second chances, family, secrets, babies, overcoming loss, and snow then this might be for you!
This is a beautiful story of second chance of love, healing, forgiveness, hope, and family. my heart ached for both Jack and Lily, as well as the rest of their family. But to see Jack heal and pursue his love, Lily, was so heartwarming. She fought his advances as best she could and had her own heartbreak to heal. There was not a time in their story when I did not like both characters. And little Maggie from the first book was even more precious now. That child is hysterical. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
This is a very moving story exploring different reactions to tragic events. In this case Jack Bailey couldn’t cope with so he ran, leaving behind his family and his girlfriend, Lily Cookson. Five years later, he’s returned. He’s never kept touch with Lily but he’s determined to win her back and to prove he’s now man enough to stay to face the good times and the bad together . . . This is a delicious, well paced, second chance romance with great characters, plenty of drama and trauma and, I’m pleased to say, Lily really does make him work to make amends. This author has written several books that I’ve read and reviewed and I love her style. As usual all her characters are complex, including many of the secondary ones as well as the main ones. The plot has plenty of twists and turns and is a real emotional roller coaster ride. There are many threads to the interactions within the story which are woven together to create a superb tapestry of people, places and events to keep the reader turning pages and wondering how it can all work out well in the end. This is a delightful story that I have no hesitation in highly recommending – and I also recommend checking out other stories by this author, too! I requested and was given a copy of this book via NetGalley. This is my honest opinion after reading the story.
The Baby Bombshell took me for an emotional roll-a-coaster ride, every moment of the story filled with big feelings and intense ambiance. I ended up inhaling the tale at one sitting with a box of tissues next to me, while completely lost in the world of the characters, feeling everything from the pain of the past hurt to the joy of the present jubilee, as the tale was forever so fluently flowing off the pages. Jack Bailey demonstrated remarkable character development throughout the story. He had to leave his home to be able to deal with and accept the deep sorrow for the loss of his brother and nephew, yet he used that time away to grow as a man, and make it possible to return home and make a future there. His struggles were deep felt, he had no ill intentions with his withdrawal from his loved ones. I admired how he used his time away, and his loyalty to Lily even though they were apart for so many years. His struggle to have faith, in himself and in the future, were touching. He had made some tough decisions in his past, some of them maybe hard to understand, yet each of them proved to be wise moves when looking at the bigger picture. Lily Cookson was on the edge for fulfilling her career dreams when her life went all haywire with Jack's return. She hadn't had it easy, financially or with personal matters. I felt for Lily, her struggles broke my heart, but she had managed despite everything she had had to face on her own. She was a strong, capable, smart woman, easy to like and cheer for her success. The connection between Lily and Jack was palpable, the energy between them was tangible every time they were in the same room. The love, adoration, the passion they had for each other was obviously meant to be. The road they had to take, the past mistakes and hurt they had to face, it was heartfelt, yet there was hope in the air, they just had to learn to have faith in the future, and learn to trust again without fear. This story with its high emotions, upheavals, and ardor was an experience I enjoyed, the perfect romance story that touches your heart and stays in your mind long after the end. A story of loss and pain, faith and trust, hope and love, a splendid tale, indeed! ~ Five Spoons!
4.5 Stars! The Baby Bombshell by Victoria James, is an engaging, emotional novella. I cheered, smiled many times, and shed quite a few tears throughout this well-written story. Ms. James is one of my go to authors, because her effortless writing style brings happiness into my life. This is the second book from her Shadow Creek Montana series and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Five years ago, Lily Cookson and Jack Bailey were madly in love and engaged to be married. Then tragedy struck, and Jack felt compelled to leave town. He left everything he ever loved, because he was a complete emotional mess. Lily was devastated as well, so when her life completely spiraled out of control soon after, she could only rely on herself. Now Jack has returned, trying to earn back the trust and love that he temporarily lost from his family, friends, and most importantly Lily, the love of his life. Lily slowly lets Jack back into her life, because she never stopped loving him. I loved this emotional and passionate novella. The story is so good and well written, I could not put it down. Ms. James nicely combines the inquisitiveness of small-town-living, love, and angst to create a seductive and meaningful book. Don't pass up the opportunity to read The Baby Bombshell. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
What a wonderful heartwarming read that really pulls you and makes you smile. I do love second chances so many of us to not get them. When someone does it just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. Lily is a very lovable character that is strong she has to be to deal with and handle all that life as thrown her way. She once had love and she lost it now years later the only man she has ever loved comes back into her life. I just can’t blame her for dealing with him the way she did, who in the world would open their arms and say welcome home baby I missed you. My heart really ached for her for so many reasons. When you really truly love someone it is hard to turn them away when you want more than anything to hold them close. Lily stood her ground stayed strong but listened and had compassion but didn’t give in right away. Major points for her. With Jack your heart has to go out to him with all that he lost but he did run away from life. You have to give him points for turning his life around and coming home to the women he has always love. I think he thought it was going to be easier than it was and really goes all out to win Lily back. It is hard to stay true to one person for five long years. I wonder if Jack did that would really be the true test for me. I think it is easier for a woman than a man to stay faithful after so many years…I guess you will have to read and find out if one or both of them did. Jack was a very likable character it did take a little time for him to gain my trust but I felt he proved his self in a short time. When the things got tough he got tougher and never gave up. Major points! I really liked the buildup of the characters and the romance. It was just a sweet heart warming read with no drama and a love that really last. They just have to find their way and learn to trust each other again. I thought this was well written really pulling the reader in giving a wonderful plot that the author really put time and thought into. From the first page the author grabs your attention with a wonderful prologue and keeps it all the way to the end. The author gives you a delightful story of healing and finding forgiveness with a second chance to have the one you love. It was just a lovely read from start to finish.
The Baby Bombshell by Victoria James is Book 2 of the Shadow Creek, Montana Series. While part of a series, this story can be read as a standalone. The Baby Bombshell is a baby surprise and second chance at love all wrapped up in one sweet and heart-tugging romance. I absolutely loved the characters who were so engaging and really helped to bring this storyline to life. Ms. James brought it hands down with this addition to her series. Looking forward to the next in the series. WTG Ms. James! Please note that an ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
Victoria James slays me with her writing. Every. Single. Time. The Baby Bombshell is no different. This is a second chance love story where tissues are required. Five years ago, Jack Bailey lost his identical twin brother and young nephew in a horrible accident. Unable to even look at himself in the mirror, he didn't think anyone else could stand to see him either. Not being able to handle his grief, Jack unexpectedly leaves his life in Shadow Creek behind. That life included his parents, younger sister, best friend, and his fiancée. While he was gone, a lot of things changed. But one thing remained the same, his love for Lily Cookson. Five years of taking life’s bumps and bruises on her own has taken a toll on Lily Cookson. Finally, something is going right in her life. She’s about to open a chocolate shop with her best friend, Gwen Bailey. What she doesn't expect or need is for a Christmas miracle in the form of Jack Bailey returning to his family and knocking her world on its axis. Jack knows he has a lot of making up to do, not only with his family but with Lily. In the five years since he's been gone, he has never contacted her once. But that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been following her life. He's now ready to be the man he should have been 5 years ago, both with his family, friends, and especially Lily. “Give me tonight. One night to prove to you that we still belong together.” The Baby Bombshell is a second chance love story full of secrets and regrets. But this is also a story full of love, perseverance, and determination. “I still love you and I’m not going to throw in the towel. I will fight for you.” Victoria James takes readers on an incredible journey. While Jack and Lily’s road to a happy-ever-after isn’t smooth, Victoria does show that love is a powerful thing and worth fighting for. Prepare to lose yourself in this wonderful story that will have your heart breaking, only to be put back together again. **Received a copy of the book courtesy of Entangled Publishing and voluntarily reviewed. Also will be purchasing the paperback edition.**
After reading and reviewing a dozen books by an author, it's hard to come up with something I haven't already said. Victoria James has been a firm favourite of mine since I picked up her first book back in 2013 when I fell completely in love with her writing style and her ability to create emotional stories with wonderful couples set in the most gorgeous of surroundings. And the second in her Shadow Creek, Montana series brings us exactly all of that. "Five years, Lil. I’ve been faithful to the memory of what we had and what we could be. There has been no one. I never stopped loving you." Once again she had me reaching for the tissues by the end of the first chapter. And at several points throughout the story. For readers who have read the first book, Christmas With the Sheriff you be familiar with the reason Jack Bailey left Shadow Creek five years previously, but if you haven't don't let that deter you as this is very much a standalone and whilst I was expecting emotion, I didn't realise how much Jack's pain and determination to redeem himself would put me through the ringer. He's nothing but honest from start to finish and if I fell in love with him, the true love of his life, Lily Cookson, doesn't stand a chance. "You’ve mourned enough; you’ve got to reclaim your life now. No more hiding." The cover and the title do give away a major part of what happens between Jack and Lily, but this actually only forms a small part of what is a real journey back to one another for both of these characters. I just wish it had been a little bit longer, but I am a bit greedy when it comes to Victoria's stories: there's a reason she's one of my favourite authors, for me she is the queen of the closed-door romance and The Baby Bombshell is a worthy addition to any romance lover's library.
5 Heartfelt Stars The Baby Bombshell was a beautiful, heartwarming read. The storyline was emotional, touching and brought out all the feels. Jack and Lily were both likable, endearing characters that totally captured my heart. Watching their relationship unfold after what happened five years ago had me crying one minute, laughing and swooning the next. Walking away from his family and Lily, his fiance was the hardest thing Jack's ever had to do. When his twin brother and nephew died he needed time on his own to grieve and find peace with the loss. He hated himself for the pain he caused by leaving but at the time his grief/depression made him think it was his only option. My heart broke for Lily, she had been through so much in the last five years and having the man who walked away with her heart come back declaring he was back and he never stopped loving her, was not easy for her. How do you get past the hurt, how do you trust the man who walked away to grieve on his own instead of sharing his pain with you? I'm a huge fan of author Victoria James writing, she's a talented writer who has a special knack of making her readers connect with her characters while taking us on an emotional ride to their HEA. The Shadow Creek Montana series has been such a joy to read. I've loved each couple, all their stories have been emotional, entertaining and guaranteed to bring out all the feels. Each book can be read as a standalone and I highly recommend them all.
5 - "I came back for you..." Stars! Victoria James for me is an author that manages to take the ever present tropes for romantic fiction and make them into something special. The second book in the Shadow Creek, Montana series again took an old and well-loved second-chance story-line and gave it a new deeply emotional and tear-stained twist. He’d almost broken her once… He’d left her alone and vulnerable, now he was back and vowing to make things right… but he couldn’t. Five years is a long time, but that is how long it has taken Jack Bailey to work through his issues, and decide to return back to Shadow Creek, having left everything and everyone he loved pretty much behind after burying his twin brother and nephew, Jack has returned with more than a few bridges to build. Mainly with his family and Lily Cookson, the love of his life, and also the woman that now wants absolutely nothing to do with him, because of his desertion all those years ago. "It’s my job to win your trust back. If it takes me a year or another five, I’ll do it." There are a lot of layers to this story, and what initially seems as a couple trying to reconnect after a long time apart actually turns into a whole other secondary story as it develops. There is a lot going on with this couple as individuals as well as together, and with each new revelation, the author pushed me to use more tissues. This is a book that grabs your heart very early on, and if you are a bit of a softy like myself, it just keeps getting squeezed and squeezed as things progress. "He’s the guy you want to hate but just can’t." I really didn’t though, I just wanted to hug Jack, and shake Lily, and I think it’s because of the dual POV, you are in both characters heads, and it makes everything all the more emotive. There are a lot of secrets, hurts and crossed-wires that this couple have to work through, and it was a rollercoaster of a journey for them both. Another winner from this author, and I hope that Gwen Bailey gets her book next, she figured a little in this one, and the little teasers towards the end for her potential man have left me itching to see how many tissues I am going to need for sniffling into when Victoria gives her, her story.
Lily Cookson has spent the last five years trying to get over her ex-fiance, but so far that has been easier said then done, no matter how hard she tries to move on, there is always something there to remind her of him and what they had. When he left town unannounced and walked out on their relationship she was completely beside herself, they had plans for their future in place and when he left he completely wrecked everything. But little by little she has rebuilt her life, found a new future, unfortunately for her though her past is about to make an reappearance and could possibly change the course of her new life... Leaving Lily behind was the hardest decision that Jack Bailey has ever made, and one that he is certain will haunt him for the rest of his life. She is the love of his life, but he was a wounded soul, and no amount of love from her could have fixed the broken parts inside of him, he needed space to heal, away from all of the constant reminders, so he packed his bags and walked away. But now he is back home and ready to fix what he broke five years ago when he walked away, question is will Lily be willing to let him back in again...or has she already moved on? This heartwarming tale is about rebounding after an unspeakable loss, rebuilding the relationships that were lost along the way, and re-discovering a lost love. These two well crafted characters lost so much, not only one another, but also family members, and it took a huge toll on both of them. But, little by little they found their way back to one another, and also a way to mend what was broken, and I have to say it was a beautiful thing to witness. It has been a while since I have settled down with a book by this author, but it didn't take me long to remember her writing style, she has a special way of creating these touching story lines that are so easy to just fall right into, immediately start to stir your emotions, and have you forgetting all about the world around you. If you are looking for a read that will tug on your heartstrings, and lift your spirits, then I highly suggest you pick this one up, it is sure to do the trick! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this title.
LOVED this one!! It's a fantastic second chance story. Lily and Jack had it all going until tragedy strikes Jack's family and he can't handle things. He leaves town leaving Lily heartbroken. It took him 5 long years to get himself together but he's back now and determined to prove to Lily he's the man she needs and deserves. Lily's not so sure about that though! How far will get go to get her back?? Don't miss this very well done story. Not a ton of angst, nice small town romance that just plucks at the heartstrings. I highly recommend this one.
Loved this book! This is a tale of love lost.....Lily lost the love of her life, Jack, when he left after a family tragedy. Lily couldn't reach him and had no idea where he was, which forced her to handle everything alone, including the miscarriage of their baby. Then, five years later, he walks back into her life and wants to pick back up again - insisting that he still loves her and has been faithful to her. This one tugged at my heartstrings, even making me cry near the end - a true tearjerker. It's a very emotional story that made me feel as though I was part of it and invested in the outcome. Kudos to the author for creating such a heartfelt book that reached out and touched me. Romance fans will love this book. There is a lot of story packed into its pages and it should not be missed. Put this one at the top of your TBR. Additional note, while this is part of a series, it is a stand alone novel. I haven't read book one and don't think it detracted from the story, however, I enjoyed this one so much that I've added the first book to my TBR.