The Bad Boy's Baby

The Bad Boy's Baby

by Cindi Madsen

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Overview

The Bad Boy's Baby by Cindi Madsen

There are certain words that have always described Cam Brantley: Town bad boy. Soldier. Protector. But never, ever dad. Until he returns home from his latest military tour to discover the girl he had one smoking-hot night with is now mom to the adorable two-year-old Zoey. Who has his eyes.

Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town's golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town—and starts working on the very same property she's in charge of—she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed.

Cam's doing his best to learn all that daddy duty entails, but with every family outing, each day on the job together, and all the stolen kisses, he falls harder for Emma. He's determined to get over his past and be the man both girls need…now if only he can get Emma to believe it, too.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682811894
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: 05/16/2016
Pages: 260
Sales rank: 1,245,920
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.59(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Bad Boy's Baby

A Hope Springs Novel


By Cindi Madsen, Stacy Abrams

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Cindi Madsen
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-638-0


CHAPTER 1

Ever notice that the world-changing days usually start like every other day, never letting on that they're about to grab onto the edge of your life, tip it totally upside down, and change every single thing?

This Monday had started much like any other, with bartering over the acceptable amount of time to wear a pink tutu, especially over pajamas, and trying to convince a two-year-old that the boring brown bits of Lucky Charms were just as delicious as the multicolored marshmallow shapes. Add in an outfit thrown together that might or might not match but definitely had a few drops of spilled coffee and a rainbow marshmallow smear and a mad dash out the door, and it was a typical Monday.

At least it was the usual for Emma Walker, and besides constantly feeling like she was forgetting something — and she most likely was — she'd been happier than she'd been in years, if sometimes a tad overwhelmed and more than a little desperate for adult conversation.

That was what happened when you were a single mother of the cutest, most energetic two-year-old this side of the Mississippi, which was the bigger side of the country, for the record.

So when she pulled up to the transforming Mountain Ridge property, she downed the last of her now-cold coffee, took a deep breath, and then opened the door of the giant work truck that announced her exit with a loud, metal-on-metal screech. The door weighed about a hundred pounds and hated to be closed, so she shoved it hard and slammed her hip into it, telling it to stay.

Still, the beast of a truck was nicer than her car, which was classic in the uncool way that meant out-of-date, rusted, and often temperamental. It didn't handle the road to Mountain Ridge very well — she'd learned that the hard way, on day one of trying to prove she could take point on a job, only to end up high centered and stuck. It'd been mortifying, as well as a test in humility.

Nothing like telling your boss to go ahead and have his back surgery because you could definitely handle the job yourself, only to call and tell him you hadn't quite made it to the work site on account of being stuck. Luckily he'd taken pity, sent the crew to free her car, and then lent her the work truck for trips to and from the property. On top of taking on the bumpy road better than her car, the beast hauled more supplies.

Emma pulled out her trusty clipboard, the to-do list for the day already printed and color coded by priority, then stopped for a moment to bask in the fresh air and beautiful mountain backdrop, her thoughts on a sparkling lake a few hours' hike from here. She missed the days when she could so easily escape the world for a while, when all camping required was a small tent and a backpack full of food and essentials.

Days when she could go anywhere without three bags packed to the brim were gone, but she was planning on taking a camping trip once the weather grew a bit warmer. It was about time to introduce her daughter to one of her favorite activities. Although, for the first trip, she'd probably need to choose a different spot than Hope Springs Reservoir, because Zoey would definitely make a beeline toward the water, and two arms weren't nearly enough to hold that girl back.

As much as Emma wanted to head into the mountains for a day or two, the thought also exhausted her. The Mountain Ridge job involved a lot of planning and problem solving, as well as the construction of the cabins, and lately she'd been so busy — not to mention completely mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day — that other things were falling through the cracks. She hadn't been to visit Grandma Bev in way too long, and she hoped that her grandmother was still taking her medications and eating healthy in Emma's absence, although she knew that was a long shot.

I've just got to get through this job, and then life will slow down a bit. Plus, I'll be able to use it for my portfolio, hopefully get a stellar reference or two, and land bigger jobs — the kind that'll help me better take care of Zoey, me, and Grandma Bev.

Moving to Laramie or Cheyenne for career opportunities was a double-edged sword. Jobs paid more, and there were definitely better opportunities to land positions where she'd get to focus more on the architecture part she'd gone to college for, but cost of living was higher.

Emma's blood pressure rose, the way it always did when she started trying to figure out how she was going to do it all, so she pushed her worries away to focus on the job here and now. God willing, it'd be the door the opportunities came knocking on, and then she'd decide which one to answer.

She walked up to what used to be the Mountain Ridge Bed and Breakfast but was becoming the Mountain Ridge Lodge, tucked her clipboard under her arm, and knocked on the bright yellow door. Every time she stood on this porch, she admired the new entryway and fresh lumber. Heath Brantley and his fiancée, Quinn Sakata, had been working hard to transform the once run-down property, and they were quickly becoming her favorite clients, even though she still experienced a pang of guilt every time she looked at Heath.

Quinn was even becoming a friend, too, along with her best friend, Sadie. They'd been inviting Emma along for their girls' nights. Dressing up in clothes that didn't have coffee, marshmallow smears, or paint on them, and getting away from her parental duties for a few hours every Friday had been helping her life feel more well-rounded and a little less lonely. The girls were also trying to set her up, but they hadn't found the right candidate yet, and in this tiny town where she'd known most everyone since forever, Emma doubted they ever would. She'd accepted that a relationship might not be in the cards for her — for at least a few more years, anyway.

That was okay. She had Zoey. That little girl gave the kind of unconditional love Emma had always wanted, and the love she had for her ... well, it filled her up and was the reason she got out of bed every morning.

Just as Emma lifted her arm to knock again, the door swung open. She stepped back to avoid being in the way and opened her mouth to say hello, but then she noticed it wasn't Heath that'd come to the door.

Emma took another large step back, every cell in her body screaming at once as she stared up at the familiar face, hoping and praying her eyes were playing tricks on her.

She'd misjudged the edge of the porch, though, and her foot slipped, her center of gravity thrown. She flung out her arms, searching in vain for the rail, but before she could recover, Cam was right there, grabbing onto her wrist and tugging her closer to him.

Way, way too close. The rugged features that she'd admired so many times were still in full force, defined by a scruffy beard. His body had filled out even more since that night all those years ago, though, and back then the sight of him shirtless had been enough for her to completely lose her mind.

"Sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to ..." He tipped his head to the side, his eyes narrowing as they roamed over her face. Her throat went dry as her flight response kicked in. Only his gaze and his grip on her wrist held her in place.

Maybe he won't remember me.

Wait. That'd be worse. I think. Oh, jeez, I don't know anymore.

Logically she'd known that she might see the father of her child again someday. But logic and seeing him were two different things, and the latter made her completely lose hold of the former.

One night. One night ever that she'd thrown caution to the wind and enjoyed a reckless night with a guy she'd crushed on from afar for years, and she'd managed to make the worst mess. Mostly because she'd been dumped the month before, her ex-boyfriend citing she was too boring — both in life and in the bedroom — and she'd been trying to prove she could be sexy and fun and the opposite of herself.

So she'd flirted with Cameron freaking Brantley, had way too much to drink, and ended up having a one-night stand with the town's bad boy hours before he'd deployed.

But she'd gotten an angelic little girl in return, and she'd never regret that.

"Hey," Cam said, his voice warmer now. "Emma, right?"

Her heart took off, beat after beat, although the fast pace made it hard to tell one from the other. It'd been torturous enough having to see Cam's brother on a regular basis now that he was back in Hope Springs for good, but it wasn't like she knew Heath, not really. Honestly, it wasn't like she knew Cameron Brantley, either, although thanks to their one-night stand three years ago, she knew all about the amazing things he could do with his tongue, and the memory threatened to make her overheat, despite the cool spring breeze.

Pull it together, Emma. She spotted her dropped clipboard on the edge of the porch and scooped it up, clinging to it like a lifeline.

"I didn't know you were ..." She swallowed, waiting for him to fill in the blank. Was he back, back? Or just on leave? Why hadn't she heard about it?

"Just got back day before yesterday," he said.

"The army, right?"

He nodded. "I'm officially out, though, actually. Honorably discharged, so I could run the lodge with Heath and Quinn."

While she was happy for him, her stomach still clenched at the news. That meant she couldn't avoid him. It meant so much more, too, things she'd pushed so far to the background that she'd pretended she'd never have to deal with them. Heck, it'd been so long that she was pretty sure even the town had stopped making bets on who Zoey's father was. No one had guessed Cam, because none of them would ever think a girl like her could land a guy like him, even for a night.

The only reason she had involved him leaving on a long deployment, a lot of alcohol, and trying to prove she wasn't as boring as her ex claimed.

Cam's eyes lit on hers again, and she couldn't help but notice the irises that were somewhere between green and blue, to the point that she never knew which color to call them. Zoey had those same eyes, and they changed color depending on everything from what she wore to how tired she was. In fact, she saw so much of Cam in Zoey now that she stood face-to-face with him again, it surprised her no one had ever made the connection, especially his own family. With him back in town, people probably would notice.

Fear crawled through her at that thought, robbing her of oxygen. So many complications. Such a big chance of future hurt — she could take it, she was a grown-up, and it was her failed attempts to contact Cam that'd landed her in her current messy situation. But her daughter ... all the reasons she'd freaked out when she'd first found out she was going to have a baby with someone who'd made it clear he didn't want one came rushing back to her.

Before she could even think of what to say — or how much to say — Quinn and Heath came to the door. "Hey, Emma," Quinn said, bounding out and hugging her. "Sorry to keep you waiting. Things have been crazy around here. Cam came home a few days early." She slung her arm around him, and with the height difference, it might've been comical if Emma were in a laughing mood. Which she most certainly wouldn't be for a very, very long time.

Employing the shoving-away-to-be-worried-over-later skills she'd already used once today, she pushed everything else to the background. Later she'd analyze for hours and weigh pros and cons, but right now she needed to focus on the matter at hand so she wouldn't ruin all of the hard work she'd put into this job. "The guys should be here any minute, and then we'll get right to it."

Emma swept her gaze toward the road, hoping the guys would make a timely appearance, although her crew, while hard workers, was hardly ever what she'd call timely. They didn't take her as seriously as they should, either, despite the fact that she'd learned to state things instead of present them like an option, and she was working on raising her voice and becoming the kind of person who could stand in front of a room and take charge.

She glanced down and discreetly scratched at the dried multicolored marshmallow smear on her shirt, which probably didn't help the serious boss–type image she was going for. Boring and serious, yet not stern enough to be a boss — what a combo.

The cabins taking shape along the right side of the property proved that despite the bumpy start to calling the shots, she and the crew certainly got stuff done. They're slowly getting used to my being in charge of a project after being the pushover administrative assistant/bookkeeper who answered the phone and gave them extra time to turn in their paperwork. I just have to keep proving myself.

Those were her designs out there, too, even if her boss insisted on adding Pete, an architect from Salt Lake City, to the crew to approve her blueprints and check in on the progress from time to time.

Often it struck her as funny that she'd ended up working at a construction company. "Site manager" was such a broad term, though, and in her case, it meant she was good at dealing with vendors and keeping a tight budget and schedule, and that she was picky about how her blueprints were carried out. She didn't do a whole lot of constructing — not that she couldn't when needed — and this job was a good stepping-stone for her future architecture career.

And hopefully once she proved herself here, her boss would let her run more projects alone. The main problem she worried about after this job ended was demand. There weren't a whole lot of new buildings, industrial or residential, that went up in Hope Springs, and she had a family to take care of.

"Why don't we grab coffee while we wait," Quinn said, taking Emma's hand and tugging her inside instead of waiting for her to agree. Probably because she rarely said no to a cup of coffee. Lack of sleep combined with long days on the site required large amounts of caffeine.

Their footsteps echoed across the hardwood floor of the main room they'd put in to keep the bed-and-breakfast feel. They'd added a few rustic decorations, going for more of a country rustic than backwoods look. Emma was especially proud of the blend of styles, as Quinn and Heath had pretty much the opposite taste on every single thing. Architect and interior decorator were hardly the same thing, but in a town this small, you multitasked and faked it until you made it. When Quinn had asked if she could help decorate, she'd said she'd figure it out. Together, with a lot of help from magazines and online shopping, they had.

Quinn wound her dark hair into a bun and secured it on the top of her head. Her Japanese heritage and rock star style gave her a unique look that made her stand out from the crowd, especially in their town, and the girl definitely knew how to kick back and have fun. She was still learning how to deal with mountain critters and the inevitable renovation hiccups, but she'd kept her optimism high, which made her an easy client to work for.

She poured four mugs of coffee, her steady stream of conversation filling the air. When she bragged up Emma and all she'd done for the property, Cam looked her way again. Heat crept across Emma's cheeks, the attention making her squirm, and she ducked her head and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

"I've got a great crew, which makes it easy," she said, waving off the skills she'd just been feeling proud of. She knew she needed to stop downplaying what she did in order to give off the air of confidence it took for people to take her more seriously, but it was hard to change old habits.

The rumble of truck engines started low but grew, and Emma set down her mug. "Thanks for the coffee. I'd better go get to work so we can keep to our schedule."

With a quick nod, she rushed outside.

At least once she had her long to-do list and a crew to focus on, she could stop wondering what in the world she was going to do about the fact that everything in her life just got a hundred times more complicated.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Bad Boy's Baby by Cindi Madsen, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2016 Cindi Madsen. 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.

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The Bad Boy's Baby 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good light romance. Ex serviceman who still has anger issues meets up with his HS one night stand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet story .
BananaTricky More than 1 year ago
Three and a half stars. Emma Walker was the good girl, the avid student, the girl who wanted to become an architect in a big city until one night, fuelled by a mean ex-boyfriend and a lot of tequila Emma stepped out of her comfort zone and had a one-night stand with the town's bad boy Cam Brantley just before he shipped out overseas with the army. Just one night of passion but three years later Emma is a single mom to cute-as-a-button Zoey and trying to realise her dreams working for a construction company where she has helped to design the latest project, extending the local B&B into a lodge with the addition of several new luxurious cabins for Cam's brother and his fiancee. However, imagine her surprise when she goes to the B&B one day and Cam opens the door. He has no idea that he has a daughter. Cam has a messed up family, his father was abusive and Cam had to bring up his baby brother and protect him from their dad. As a result he never wanted to get married or have a family - but when he finally finds out he is a father he is entranced with Zoey. What Emma doesn't know is whether Cam wants her as a woman or just as the mother of his daughter. Is she too boring for one of the most handsome men she has ever seen? And can Cam overcome his family history and his own demons? This was a lovely, sweet second-chance romance complete with cute moppets, dogs and picnic basket auctions. A bit different to Cindi's more recent novels but still good fun. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Jess_at_From_Me_to_You More than 1 year ago
3.5 out of 5 stars! Around two years ago feeling a bit sorry for herself, Emma dolled up, went for drinks at the local bar, and “picked up” her longtime crush the local “bad boy” Cameron (Cam) only a few hours before he was being sent out to deploy again. During their evening together, Emma ended up pregnant and because of a few different circumstances, she never informed Cam about him becoming a father. Now Cam is back in town for good, with plans to bring his brother and his dream of the Mountain Ridge to life. Though he is unprepared for both Emma and his little daughter coming into his life, Cam soon falls for them both. However, as they both deal with their new circumstances and grow closer as a family their pasts and future plans come between them. Can they be able to compromise for the sake of each other or will everything fall apart? While not quite what I expected, I was happy to escape back into Hope Springs to catch up on old and new characters. This contemporary romance has a cleverness that charmed me. Along with a spunkiness in the form of Quinn (from “Crazy for the Competition”) that made me laugh a LOT in this novel. Nevertheless, though I loved the characters (Cam, Emma, Zoey, and all the previous main characters especially) by 80% of the way through for this novel I started giving up on it as once the “big drama” hit the pace seemed to slow down giving me trouble keeping my interest. While I’m happy I pushed myself to stick with this novel, as the ending is quite sweet and I liked Cam with Emma, it was hard to do so at times. As a family Cam, Emma, and Zoey were as cute as can be. Minus his darker attitude towards himself (at times), Cam is one hot dreamboat. I liked Emma because I could see myself in her, a natural introvert desperately trying to “break out of her shell.” Overtime Cam and Emma find they have more in common than they ever expected, from their childhood upbringings to how they like to escape into the wilderness as much as possible. They work well together and seeing their relationship grow delighted me. It was easy to root for them. I hope to hear more about them if this series progresses. Overall, I recommend this novel and series to those who are fans of Ms. Madsen. Also, to those looking for a sweet contemporary romance! Review By: From Me to You ... Book Reviews -- read more of this review and OVER THREE TEASERS on my blog: frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com --
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice romance story that was good if looking for a light, quick read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in
Linda_RochesterNY More than 1 year ago
Having recently left the military, Cam is trying to adjust to civilian life. Deserted by his mother as a child and raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, he can't envision ever getting married or having a child. When he runs into Emma, with whom he had a one night stand a few years ago, his interest is sparked. Emma is a hard working single mom who never had anyone to lean on except her grandmother. She's not eager to break the news to her long time crush, Cam, that the result of their night together three years ago, is a two year old named Zoey. Surprisingly, Cam realizes he wants to be part of his daughter's life, and her mother's as well, if he can just get over his trust issues and self-doubt. This is a well-written, sweet romance that kept me turning the pages because I really connected with the characters. I enjoyed this book a lot. It has a good storyline, great characters, and some sweet moments between a father and his adorable little girl. I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review.
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
Adorable story about second chances, about finding your home, your place in the world, learning to see all the possibilities we have within ourselves, and not to judge ourselves, or another by our history. Because history in the small town of Hope Springs Cam and his family had. History, that he, and the other members of his family, would rather leave behind, but also history, that made Cam to swear, he would never enter into a serious relationship, and never father a child. Emma's parents gave up their dreams of a better and brighter future, to get married and raise her, and stay in the small town they grew up in. Until they couldn't any longer, and Emma's grandmother took care of her. Now some were afraid, history was repeating itself. What I loved about the story, was that even though it handles some big issues like abuse and anger issues, and huge emotions like being a parent and falling in love, as well as future plans, it had a very real, kind of raw feeling to it. Cam is still recovering mentally from his discharge from the military. He is trying to build the new business with his brother, and deal with his dad, and now daughter, and Emma... It all is just overwhelming, and so much, and still he handles it well, not perfectly, but well. And they get to know each other, take the time they need in this new situation, and try to fit as well as possible into each other's worlds. The feelings between Emma and Cam come later, but are powerful, intense, and real. The attraction is filled with passion, and it shows, yet the author doesn't need detailed sex scenes to show this. I loved the tone, the flow, and the rhythm of the story, all making it easy to take in and digest. Charming, attractive characters, in the midst of a small town living, where there's the perfect balance of meddling and gossip in between taking care of each other when the need arise. Cute as a button little princess, that captures everyone's hearts, and a family of a heart and blood, that finds a way to live with each other, and support each other, on the path they each choose. An entertaining story filled with friends, family, love and laughter, and one very important basket auction ~ Four Spoons
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and Sweet 2nd Chance Romance This was a sweet and emotionally telling story that will grab at the heart strings. Cam Brantley & Emma Walker had spent one night together before he shipped out for his last tour in the military. Now Cam is home from his latest tour and out of the military. He is shocked to see that Emma is still around in their home town, especially after how things were left between them before. Emma cant believe Cam is home after all this time like nothing didn’t happen between them. This is the man who rode off into the sunset and left her behind like she meant nothing and when he left with no words, he left behind a significant part of himself in her. Now she has to make a determination whether to tell Cam or not. This is a beautiful 2nd chance romance about forgiveness, family, 2nd chances and most of all, LOVE. You do not want to pass them gem of a romance up. My rating: 4.5 stars **** **I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
What a lovely second chance romance that really reaches your heart. Emma has always had a crush on Cam who is the bad boy in town. What is there not to want he is so sexy, a true hunk add the bad boy and he could rock my world any day. They have one night of hot passion before Cam goes off to start his tour of duty. It wasn’t long before Emma new that hot night would be a night to remember in more than one way. When her baby girl is born she refused to give the name of the father. When Cam returns home it puts another light on the picture it just isn’t right not to tell the man he has a daughter. So many questions going through her mind with her working close with Cam and his brother she wonders how to tell Cam. What will he do, what will his actions be, will he want to get to know his daughter or will he say it isn’t his and how will she fight this attraction she still has for him? This is a wonderful sweet second chance read full of turmoil as they face the unknown to bring a family together. When kids act out there is usually more to the story as in Cam case he had a bad family life he was dealing with. It is always easier to point the finger at the boy who is always in trouble so you do not have to look closer to the issue. Emma life hasn’t be roses since their night which changed her life. You know how small towns are they have their nose in everything as they do in this small town. The author gives a wonderful spellbound story full of so much emotion with wonderful characters that take your breath away. The supporting characters are great you are going to fall in love with Emma’s grandmother as she makes you smile again and again. This story might not be anything new in the writing world but it was a very touching lovely story full of romance that will keep you smiling and take you way to a place where life ends with a HAE. If you are looking for a story which you do not have to give close attention to every detail just one that you can relax with and feels like you have come home this is the story for you.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 "why" stars The Bad Boy's Baby was such a wonderful read, loved it! Cam and Emma shared one night of passion before he was deployed overseas. When he comes back 3 yrs later he's surprised to learn the woman that invaded his dreams is now a mother, and that little girl has his eyes... The one thing Cam never wanted was to be a father and now this smart, feisty little girl was his. Cam was so adamant that love & happy families was not going to be in his future. After growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father and abandoned by his mother, he was bitter and didn't think he was capable of loving someone unconditionally. After the initial shock wore away Cam steps up and wants to be the father he never had. I enjoyed watching Cam slowly open up to Emma and their little girl Zoey. They were adorable together, I loved the one on one time Cam spent with Zoey, for a man who had no idea about children he quickly caught on and he was surprised how much he enjoyed fatherhood. And Zoey? that little girl made me laugh with her cuteness and her non stop "why" lol Overtime Cam found himself craving more and more to be with Emma and Zoey, and the one thing he was afraid of happened without him even noticing, he fell in love. This was such a sweet, fun and heartfelt read, thank you Cindi Madsen for writing and sharing your words with us. The Bad Boy's baby is the third book in this Hope Springs series. Each book can stand alone and having them all, I highly recommend them :)
Crystal_Yawn More than 1 year ago
I love this story! The town is a perfect small town feel where everyone knows your business. I don't think I've read others, but I'd love to learn more about the other characters, and the old ladies are to die for. Cam and Emma each have their own personal bad role model images to overcome before the two can be happy. You really get a sense of what childhood issues cause in adults. Very well written. Love both characters. And who wouldn't love Zoey who brings happiness and sunshine to everyone. This is a great series and I can't wait for more :)
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Cindi Madsen is one of my favorite authors. She has this ability to make readers or at least me, fall for a hero within ten seconds of him showing up on the page. Cam Brantley was no different. While The Bad Boy’s Baby is a standalone read, Cam’s name was mentioned in Crazy for the Competition, his brother Heath’s story. I couldn’t wait to meet the man who served his country and had a brother at home waiting on him to make a combined childhood dream come true. I will be the first to admit the secret baby storyline wasn’t one I expected for Cam’s story. But surprisingly, it worked for me with only minor hiccups. After being abandoned by his mother and raised by his abusive drunk father, Cam left Hope Springs to join the Army. There, he found a family with his brothers in arms and the structure he was looking for. However, his time in the military has left him with emotional battle scars. Knowing she was unwanted by her parents, Emma Stone has spent her life trying to go unnoticed and under the radar. Raised by her grandmother, she’s smart, thoughtful, and cautious. Her dream has been to move to the big city and become an architect. But her dreams have always been pushed back for whatever various reasons. Wanting to prove to herself she wasn’t boring, she had one alcohol fueled night with Cam before he left for yet another tour of duty. Her one night of misadventure resulted in her becoming pregnant and keeping the child’s father a mystery. It’s been three years since Cam was in his hometown of Hope Springs. Now out of the military, he’s ready to live an easy, carefree life and fulfill his childhood dream of running a tour company with his brother. The last thing Emma expected was to show up for work and find Cam on the other side of the door. Now she has to figure out how to tell him about the child he doesn’t know about. One she’s sure he doesn’t want. What I loved about The Bad Boy’s Baby was Cam’s response to finding out he was a father to a two-year-old little girl and the time he spends with her. I loved the easiness of Emma and Cam’s relationship. Their personalities go well together and complement each other. What I didn’t like was the constant self-doubt they seemed to have with each other and themselves in almost every chapter. The story is pretty straightforward, predictable, and doesn’t hold any surprises. But, it will make you smile in the end. **Received a copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Series favorite, definitely! I loved that Cam was a plain ol' Army guy--not a SEAL, not Special Ops, not a Marine--just Army. Nothing wrong with that--go Army! :) Finally getting together with your high school crush, when done well, is one of my favorite storylines, and this one did not disappoint! It's even better when the object of the crush was totally clueless back then, and is so freaking adorable when he finds out about it :) The playful back-and-forth between him and Emma (especially their trash talking competitions--building furniture, fishing--that they participated in) was a whole lot of fun to read. And watching Zoey whip him into shape as a dad? Priceless. This book practically had me smiling from start to finish. Seeing Quinn / Heath and Sadie (and a little bit of Royce, but not as much as the others) was fun too--though if you haven't read their stories yet ( Second Chance Ranch and Crazy for the Competition ), no worries--this one works fine as a standalone. Now we just need to find someone for Jay Torres, Cam's old Army buddy. Fingers crossed that he gets the next book! Can I move to Hope Springs? Surely Emma can design me a snug little cabin too... Rating: 4 stars / A- I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nicolerko More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read. I will say that I had to warm up to Cam. He rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning, but as the book went he won me over. I loved the interaction between Zoey and him. I loved his first time watching her on his own. I chuckled a lot during that scene. Emma is trying to create a better future for Zoey and her, but her plans soon upended when Cam comes back to Hope's Springs. Cam just wants to hide in the mountains to get away from the voices in his head. His life is forever changed once he meets his little girl. I loved the small town feel in this book. Overall good story line that leaves you satisfied at the end.
BOOKSOMEREADS More than 1 year ago
The Bad Boy's Baby is a fun and easy contemporary romance read that is a perfect addition to anyone's spring or summer reading pile. I enjoyed the pacing of the story and I read this in just a couple of sittings. When it comes to contemporary romances, I am not a fan of complicated plots and storylines that take forever to unfold, so this did not disappoint. Despite being described as the town's golden child, Emma is pretty tough and independent, and she has the most adorable two-year old. Her romantic interest, Cam, is the resident bad boy, who is dealing with a troubled past and some anger issues. I picked this book up hoping for more mentions of Cam dealing with PTSD post his military tour, but while there isn't much focus on that, I found myself really enjoying every single interaction between Cam and his daughter. They just about stole my heart. I really liked the chemistry between Emma and Cam. Despite their personality differences, they seem to fit together very well and I was seriously rooting for them to work out. The relationship between Emma and her grandmother, and Cam and his younger brother, Heath, is something I absolutely adore too. There is a good amount of focus placed on family and friendships in The Bad Boy's Baby, so it helped to give the story and characters some depth. My most favorite bit about this book is the setting. Cindi Madsen did a wonderful job describing life in a small town. I'm a city girl through and through, but reading about Hope Springs and the Mountain Ridge, is making me want to pack up and move to this fictional town! I have yet to read anything else written by the author, but I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her work as I thoroughly enjoyed this. The Bad Boy's Baby is part of the Hope Springs series of novels, but it can be read as a standalone. Memorable Quote "Ever notice that the world changing days usually start like every other day, never letting on that they're about to grab onto the edge of your life, tip it totally upside down, and change every single thing?" RATING Characters - ★★★☆☆ Setting - ★★★★☆ Writing - ★★★☆☆ Plot - ★★★☆☆ Overall - ★★★☆☆ ________________________ Received an ARC of this in e-book format in exchange for an honest review. ________________________ Review posted at BOOKSOMEREADS.com.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars--THE BAD BOY’S BABY is the third installment in Cindi Madsen’s contemporary, adult HOPE SPRINGS romance series focusing on the people of Hope Springs . This is retired soldier Cam Brantley, and single mother/designer Emma Walker’s story line. THE BAD BOY’S BABY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Cam is Heath’s brother whom we met in book two-Crazy for the Competition. Told from dual third person perspectives (Cam and Emma) THE BAD BOY’S BABY is a story of second chances for our leading couple. Following a one night stand with Emma three years earlier, Cam was deployed to the Middle East and never knew that the town to which he would return held a few more surprises than when he had left. Emma was the high school nerd; the smart girl who had a crush on the town bad boy Cam Brantley-a young man who barely knew that Emma ever existed. A planned seduction of the man of her dreams results in an unplanned pregnancy and the destruction of her future dreams. When Cam returns to Hope Springs Emma knows it is time to reveal the truth about her daughter’s parentage considering she (Emma) and Cam would be working together. The story line follows the building relationship between Cam and Emma, as well as between Cam and the daughter he never knew. There is someone else vying for Emma’s affection which sets off a series of events that throw Cam into a meltdown. THE BAD BOY’S BABY is a sweet, romantic read about two people thrown together by a one-night stand. There are no graphic sexual situations; all $ex is implied and fades to black. Due to his dysfunctional family at home Cam never wanted to have children but meeting Zoey, the little girl with blonde curls and her father’s eyes, finds our hero falling in love with both mother and daughter. Most of the previous story line couples and characters play secondary and supporting roles. Cam and Heath’s father is trying his best to make up for the sins of his past but sometimes the memories are too hard to overcome.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
The Bad Boy's Baby,  Cindi Madsen Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre:  Romance,   I thought I’d like this, it had an appeal to me, bad boys come home stuff but thought it was a good read it wasn’t a great one for me. Its kind of Fluffy, feel good and I needed more drama. Even when inevitably something does go wrong it didn’t feel to me as though it could be irreparable, that they couldn’t get past the block. I liked Cam but expected him to be a bit more rough round the edges, with the town Bad Boy rep but he didn’t seem to deserve that label now and even in his past I couldn’t see anything other than an odd bit of temper that fitted the description. Then there’s Emma, who’s a sweet girl, but had to put her ambitions on hold when her one night of rebellion had unexpected consequences. All the ingredients that I need from  the characters were there but needed to be – for me – a bit More, a bit stronger. Instead they felt a bit one dimensional, a little bland. As ever though that's what many readers want and they’re not like that to them but perfect. Its back to the readers all want different thing,s and thought this book was just an OK read for me it could be perfect for you. Stars: Three, a sweet read but definitely a one off for me.. ARC supplied by publishers and Netgalley 
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
I’ve read quite a few of Madsen’s books and loved every one of them – I’m not sure how I missed this series, but this is the first I’ve read (not that it caused me any issues). Although I do kinda wish I’d read Heath’s story because I think it would have helped with understanding some of Cam’s history with his dad, but otherwise this one stands alone really well. Because of the way that Cam grew up, readers totally understand why he is anti-relationship … and why he reacts so strongly to the idea of having a daughter but not being involved with her. Watching him get a crash course in fatherhood is super sweet and helps ease him into the idea of a family. He’s still got concerns and fears but spending time with Emma & Zoe makes it super hard to resist them. And for us to resist him :) Because a strong, Alpha, ex-military man falling in love with his precocious little girl? Absolutely darling! (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
I have not read the other books in this series but I had no problem reading this one and following right along. I do want to go back and read the first two books now though! This is a sweet, second chance romance that has you rooting for the bad boy. Emma is a young lady that is doing everything she can to hold everything together. Being a mom to two year old Zoey, helping her crazy grandmother and working to provide for Zoey is wearing Emma out and she is struggling to make ends meet at times. Emma got pregnant with Zoey when she and Cam had a one night stand a few years back. Emma does not really want to tell Cam about their baby and has kept it from him so far because he is known as a bad boy around town. Even though Cam joined the military, she is not sure how he will react to being a father. When Cam is back in town for awhile and he and Emma run into each other again, things begin to ignite between them again. Cam has no idea that Emma is a mom now, let alone that little Zoey is his. Will Cam be mad at Emma for keeping their daughter a secret from him? You have to read this sweet story to find out. I loved how Cam was persistent and was willing to prove himself to Emma, even if she didn't want to believe him. This was a great quick read that kept you turning the pages as quickly as you could. I read it in one sitting and really enjoyed it. The characters were well developed and both brought a lot to the story. I would love to see more in this series from Cindi Madsen. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
How can you not love a story where the big tough military man falls in love the second his eyes land on his baby girl?!?!?! Cam was so broken and so lost that my heart went out to him, but when he first saw Zoey and lost some of his anger, my heart melted. He was not a bad guy to begin with, but that was just beautiful and so honest. I liked the way the truth of Zoey came out, no drama or hidden agendas. Emma is a very responsible mom who put her daughter's needs first. Then the chemistry and sweetness between Emma and Cam was golden. I loved their interactions, both not wanting to push the other and both wanting to know more of other too. Theirs was a really interesting story with a teary happy ending. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
There are certain words that have always described Cam Brantley: Town bad boy. Soldier. Protector. But never, ever dad. Until he returns home from his latest military tour to discover the girl he had one smoking-hot night with is now mom to the adorable two-year-old Zoey. Who has his eyes. Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town’s golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town, she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed. Cam and Emma are both shocked to discover he truly wants Zoey in his life. But Cam’s not sure he’s ready to be a dad, and Emma can’t gamble her daughter on maybes. As the long-simmering heat between Cam and Emma reaches a boiling point, he’ll have to work past his demons in order to be the man both girls need. Daddy duty might be his toughest mission yet… Review: This is a heart-warming, fun and sexy read by this new-to-me Author. It is sometimes hard to make tried and true tropes seem new and interesting, but Ms. Madsen's writing and her voice made it fresh for me. Told from dual points of view, we get a better idea of where both are coming from, especially the rocky parts. I really liked Cam and Emma together and as individuals, both are hardworking and have good heads on their shoulders, very likable. That spark that got them in trouble 3 years ago is still there even after the truth of Zoey comes out. I liked that they start with what is best for Zoey and build from there. The secondary characters are engaging and endearing to read also. I have not read the other books in the series (this is the third book in the series), but can totally be a stand alone title. Perfect summer light read. 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Blsfan68 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Ms. Madsen does a fabulous job creating a fun, sweet, touching story that I could not put down and had me in tears. The characters are easy to relate to and written with very realistic, heartfelt emotions. Cam is swoon worthy. I loved seeing the characters from the previous two books in this story as well. I highly recommend this one! ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
Loved this story of second chance romance, but not really sure if it was romance to both sides on the one night of fun between Cam and Emma. Emma has kept a secret for the last two years of who the daddy is of her precious daughter, Zoey. Upon return from the military, Cam took one look at Zoey's eyes and new it was his daughter. I really enjoyed this story, Cam will have you laughing out loud as he learns to become a daddy. I am swooning over Cam still. Loved how they put their faults aside to become a couple, and find their true love. Great chemistry between Cam and Emma. You to, will fall in love with this couple along with Zoey!!
jkmeaux More than 1 year ago
I love "Bad Boy" books, but I was in for a surprise with this one. Emma Walker is working on a resort project with Heath Brantley and his fiancee', Quinn. Unbeknownst to her, Cameron Brantley has returned from the army to become a partner. When Emma sees him, she knows she's in trouble. Three years ago they had one wild night that resulted in her beautiful, mischievous two year old daughter, Zoey. After a couple of failed attempts to notify Cameron, she gave up. Emma never revealed the name of Zoey's father, not even to her precious grandmother who raised her after her parents divorced. When Emma told Cameron about Zoey, she made it clear that she didn't want any financial help, only that she wanted to give him the opportunity to be a part of his daughter's life. When Cameron met Zoey the resemblance was so strong he knew without a doubt she was his. This is a sweet story that reveals the strength of a struggling single mom and a man that feels unworthy of being a father. It also displays how important family and close friends are when you feel like you've hit rock bottom and have no place to go. BTW, Grandma Bev is a hoot, and adds lots of laughter to the story. I was gifted an arc of this book by the publisher through NetGalley.