The Theme: Series Catch-Up
The Book: His Ex’s Well-Kept Secret by Joss Wood
Why it was in my TBR pile: I probably scooped this book up during a sale. It was released in April so it hasn’t been in my TBR pile for long but it’s still nice to knock a book off! 🙂
Down-on-her-luck heiress Piper Mills will do anything to help her baby—even strike a deal with the devil who impregnated her! Due to a car accident, Jaeger Ballantyne has no memory of the passionate night he and Piper shared…or that he’s Ty’s father. Purchasing Piper’s heirloom sapphires is the only thing on his agenda…until seducing the green-eyed temptress takes over.
Piper’s falling for the stubborn tycoon, even as she continues to guard her secret. Can a man with no memory of their past find a way to forgive her so they can create a future?
Clearly, I did not follow the instructions for this month’s TBR Challenge. This book is the start of a series, rather than one in the middle, but the blurb sounded so interesting I couldn’t resist. Thank goodness the themes are optional!
Now, it’s time for some difficult truths. I’m not a big fan of the secret baby trope. Or *gasp* billionaires. Down-on-her-luck heiresses…well, I couldn’t give a fig. (Get a job, girlfriend!) I know, I know. You’re wondering why in the heck I picked up this book then. There’s a man of means. A secret baby. I mean look at the cover, for heavens sake! It’s practically dripping with money. Well, my fellow readers, it was the amnesia. Specifically that the hero was suffering from amnesia. I’m a sucker for a tough guy who can’t remember periods of his life. There’s something immediately vulnerable about it. Just my kind of catnip.
With all of that being said, I wasn’t expecting to like the heroine, Piper. She’s a down-on-her luck heiress with a fistful of sapphires to sell. *rolls eyes* That’s a serious issue. Except…you guys, I liked her. Seriously liked her. She’s not a spoiled crybaby. Not this heiress. Piper is tough and smart. She and Jaeger (good Lord, his name!) have a one night stand neither expects to turn into anything more while on vacation. Jaeger’s a playboy and uninterested in settling down or having a family (for reasons). He’s used the media to make his feelings on the subject well known. So, you know, Piper isn’t going into the one night stand blind. She knows what this is and is perfectly fine with walking away.
But…there’s a small snag. (Isn’t there always?) When Piper discovers she’s pregnant, she tries to contact Jaeger in every way except carrier pigeon. She calls. Sends emails. Shows up at his place of business – only to be turned away by security when she insists on seeing him and is put on the kooks and crazies list. (Because strange women showing up to talk to a billionaire playboy are all too common, apparently!) Frustrated and with intimate knowledge of the damage an absent and neglectful father can do to a child, Piper resolves to raise the baby on her own. She’s doing pretty well too. But life throws a new curve ball at her. Her no good father – the one that had nothing to do with her – is dead but even from the grave he’s managed to wreck her life. The house Piper inherited from her mother, the home she was raised in and loved, apparently never actually belonged to her mother. It’s owned by her father who gave Piper’s mother the right to live in it until her death. Now, creditors are knocking on Piper’s door and, in order to save her home, she has to come up with some serious cash fast. The only thing she has of value? You guessed it. Those sapphires.
Enter Jaeger. This particular billionaire is self made. He and his siblings run a jewelry business, which happens to be exactly what Piper needs. She makes an appointment (through trickery) forcing Jaeger to meet with her. He doesn’t remember her. At all. Right after his amazing one night stand with Piper, he was involved in a serious and nearly fatal car accident. As a result, he has some amnesia regarding the year and a half before the accident. His siblings worked hard to keep this news out of the media and the fact that it happened while he was on vacation helped. While the sapphires interest Jaeger, he’s far more intrigued by Piper – specifically, her anger towards him. After she leaves, he does a little research and figures out Piper was the woman he was with right before the car accident. Curiosity and a determination to fill in some of his missing memory drives him to Piper’s doorstep. One thing leads to another and the romance kicks off.
Everything about this book was fun. It’s short, sweet and interesting. I really loved the characters and bought into the circumstances surrounding the complexity of their relationship. Despite my prejudices regarding the tropes, the author won me over. I closed this book with a smile on my face. Now if that isn’t a solid recommendation, I don’t know what is! Fellow category romance fans, I can’t recommend this one enough.