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Not Quite Married (The Bravos of Justice…

Not Quite Married (The Bravos of Justice Creek)

by Christine Rimmer

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  nancynova | Sep 12, 2015 |
Very good book. Clara is one of the Justice Creek Bravos, who we have met in previous books. She is best friends with Aurora "Rory" Bravo-Calabretti (A Bravo Christmas Wedding). Seven months earlier Clara had met Dalton Ames while they were both on vacation, where they had a two week holiday fling. By the end of the two weeks, Clara had fallen for Dalton, but when she suggested they continue to see each other he refused to consider it.

Brokenhearted, Clara went home only to discover that she was pregnant. She was going to tell Dalton, but after looking him up online she saw information that he was going to remarry his ex-wife, so she put it off. Weeks later there was no new information, so she took a chance to find him and tell him.

Dalton had broken things off with Clara because, after his divorce, he had decided that he was not a good candidate for marriage. It didn't take long for him to realize that he'd made a mistake, but when he sent a PI to find her, the info came back that she was engaged and pregnant, so he stepped back figuring he'd lost his chance. He's stunned to find out from Clara that the baby is his, and immediately tells her they should do the "right thing" and get married.

This pushes all the wrong buttons for Clara. After seeing her mother suffer through a marriage with a man who had an entire second family on the side, Clara won't settle for anything less than love and the full attention of her husband. She is determined to stand firm against Dalton's pressure. Dalton is equally determined to get a ring on her finger and give the baby the family he feels she needs, and he isn't going to let anything get in his way.

When complications force Clara into bedrest, Dalton takes it as a sign and proceeds to take over her life. What follows is an interesting power struggle as Clara tries desperately to keep from losing her heart again and Dalton tries to get what he wants without getting his heart involved.

I really enjoyed seeing Dalton try to convince Clara. He comes across at first as really controlling and emotionless, but it doesn't take too long to see that it's simply because of the way he was raised. The emotions are there, they are just buried beneath his longtime habit of control. He knows he wants Clara and the baby in his life, he just doesn't know how to make it happen. He is constantly confused by what she wants because he has no experience with that kind of love. It was also pretty amusing to see ultra confident Dalton suffering from insecurity because of her relationship with her friend Ryan. He is dreadfully jealous of how well Ryan knows her. and Ryan seems to take great pleasure in emphasizing it. It was fun to see how they finally got over their antagonism is such a typically guy way, and how it was Clara's turn to be confused. I loved how it was Ryan that helped Dalton see what he had to do to win Clara.

I loved seeing their relationship grow as Dalton makes a point of taking care of Clara. She slowly begins to accept that it is okay to lean on him a little. Both of them learn how to give and take a little. I loved seeing Dalton slowly begin to relax a little and develop the patience to wait for Clara to believe in him. I also enjoyed seeing how well he took to being a father and how that started Clara believing that maybe they could have it all. Clara had her own fears to overcome, and had to believe that Dalton was not like her father before she could see that even if he didn't say the words, his actions showed how much he really cared.

*copy received in exchange for honest review ( )
  scoutmomskf | May 7, 2015 |
Not Quite Married by Christine Rimmer is a 2015 Harlequin Special Edition publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this story which featured Clara Bravo, a character we have met in previous installments in this series.

Clara is pregnant, so as she enters the last trimester of pregnancy, she makes contact with the baby's father, Dalton Ames. The two had an intense affair while on vacation, but after a failed marriage, Dalton felt seeking a relationship with Clara was not a great idea, so they went their separate ways. Now, after being informed he is about to be a father, he virtually takes over Clara's life.

He wants to do the right thing by Clara and the child, which is admirable and responsible, but for Dalton that means getting married. But Clara doesn't think that is the best way to go. In the meantime, Dalton insist on helping Clara out during the last months of her pregnancy after she experiences a few complications, which means moving in with her until the baby is born.

I for one applaud Clara for her wise choice to avoid marrying Dalton because of her pregnancy. I am a firm believer in the “two wrongs don't make a right” adage. An unplanned pregnancy is not a good reason to get married, although many think it's the right thing to do. I understood why Clara was so reluctant. She wanted the whole show- to be in love, to have her husband reciprocate those feelings, to go into marriage for all the right reasons, and not because “it was the right thing to do”. But, is Dalton the right man for her? Does her love her or is he just there because of the child?

While this story is standard fair in many ways, with a conflict a couple must overcome in order to find their HEA, this story delves a little deeper by showing a couple grow individually and together, each giving and taking in order to make the relationship work. Dalton is hard to take sometimes, but he his character develops slowly until he finally sees he must love Clara the way she is and take what she is able to give. Love is patient, love is kind and Dalton had some adjustments to make in that area. As for Clara, her character developed nicely as well. I just thought she was person that didn't do so well under the kind of pressure Dalton was putting on her. She does learn to let go of her fears and can finally see she has all she ever wanted.

This is a mature contemporary romance, and obviously with a very pregnant character the heated romance/sex is little more muted, and the focus is more on the actual relationship development. In the end this was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to more Bravo family stories. 4 stars ( )
  gpangel | May 2, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373658834, Mass Market Paperback)


It was hard enough for Clara Bravo to face gorgeous Dalton Ames after he ended their idyllic fling. But confessing that she was pregnant took real guts! Oh, Clara didn't lack the fortitude to notify Dalton of his impending fatherhood. It was turning down the irresistible banker's proposal—just for their baby's sake—that she found difficult.  

Dalton pushed Clara away because he couldn't risk his heart again after his recent divorce—not because he didn't feel anything for the brunette beauty! When he discovered her pregnancy, Dalton was determined to create the picture-perfect home with the one woman he could never forget. Now, if only he could convince Clara that their family was forever…

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 05 Aug 2015 12:16:20 -0400)

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