Two besties and a baby make for an instafamily and a surprising romance in a delightful series by Melissa Foster, the New York Times bestselling author of the Sugar Lake novels.
Ben Dalton has always been honest, except where his heart is concerned. He’s been in love with his best friend—saucy, smart-mouthed Aurelia Stark—forever. But Ben’s a planner, and timing has never been on his side. When he finally decides to make his move, Aurelia beats him to the punch with a move of her own—to a different town.
Aurelia loves her new life in the charming town of Harmony Pointe. She has a great apartment and her very own bookstore, and best of all, the sinfully hot, commitment-phobic friend she’s crushed on for years is no longer just around the corner. Maybe she’ll finally be able to leave her unrequited love behind and move on.
But when a baby is left on Ben’s front porch—a baby that is presumably his—Aurelia is there for him. Neither one knows the first thing about babies, but how hard can it be? Ben and Aurelia are catapulted into a world of love, laughter, and tracking down the baby mama, and it might even add up to a very happily ever after… just not one either of them expects.
A twist on the trope of a handsome but slightly wild single man with a homely best friend ready to come to his rescue when a baby girl is left on his doorstep. It is always a baby girl, although baby boys are equally cute and loud when in need of feeding or a diaper change. Mostly the book follows the trope, although a few things are different…
First of all, I wouldn’t call Ben Dalton a playboy. Yes, he is a successful (read: rich and slightly overbearing) businessman, but it all came from a ridiculous amount of hard work and sound planning. I loved the way Ben’s father commented on his personality: “Oh, Ben. You’ve spent your entire life strategizing. You did it as a kid in every endeavour, from baseball to freaking Halloween. I remember you mapping out the streets, figuring out the quickest routes to cover the most houses and make sure you didn’t miss the ones that gave out the best candy.” An unplanned pregnancy just wasn’t something anybody could have predicted or expected from him.
Ben has been in love with his best friend Aurelia for years, fearing he has been friendzoned, secretly taking dancing lessons to impress her, hoping that when the right moment arrives, he’ll make his move. An old adage says: you are what you do with your free time. Aurelia spends all her free time with Ben, listening to him, wathcing movies, cooking for him, going to parties with him, spending nights on his sofa and the list goes on. Are you surprised their friends and relatives treat them as an old married couple? Eventually, it dawns on her that she needs to turn the new leaf and put some distance between herself and her unattainable bestie. Aurelia decides to buy a book store and move to a town nearby, and Ben is finally ready to profess his undying love, when Baby B makes her appearance in a basket in front of Ben’s luxurious bachelor pad.
The trope wants you to keep guessing if the baby is his or not his. The story isn’t usually about the baby, but about how the playboy in question becomes an adorably cute and clueless Dad which totally makes the girl swoon. Here you have two adorably clueless insta-parents, trying to cope with unexpected lifestyle changes as well as taking their relationship to the next level. Ben’s tirade on why there are never any changing tables in men’s bathrooms is hilarious and shows perfectly well how seriously he’s taken to the task of becoming the best father possible. What about Relsy.?…well. she, kind of, disappears from everybody’s focus, exhausted by midnight feedings and working on opening her new business. Luckily, Ben’s parents and sisters are only willing to give the brand-new parents a hand, while Ben is busy searching for the irresponsible mother.
This light-hearted, fun summer read is essentially family-focused (despite a few very hot and steamy romantic scenes). I might have enjoyed it more if it were slightly shorter. The ending was a bit melodramatic, but, ultimately, you do want a happy ever after for Baby Bea and this one brought everything to conclusion.
This was my first book by this author and now that I have met the Daltons brood (as well as my favourite character in this book- Flossie, Aurelia’s grandmother), I would like to read the previous books about Ben’s sisters as well as any future ones in the Harmony Pointe series. Am I right in guessing that one of them will be about a sexy single doctor? Only Melissa Foster and time can answer, but I’ll be looking forward to whatever she writes.
Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake romance for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
- How do you feel about the Friends-to-lovers and Baby-on-the-doorstep tropes? What are you favourite tropes?
- What kind of books do you enjoy reading in summer? Are they different from your usual reads?