Series:Due South #2
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 291
Published:Icon Publishing, June 8, 2014
Big, sexy men who don’t relate well to kids need not apply…
Kezia Murphy plays her widow card well. When you don’t trust people not to let you down, it’s easier to not get involved—and getting involved with a man who makes her skin sizzle just by looking at him would be una pazzia—crazy! Four years ago while Kezia’s daughter, Zoe, battled leukaemia, a tragic accident stole her husband’s life. Starting over in the little town of Oban where she’s adopted into the close knit community on Stewart Island, Kezia and her daughter are all the family the other needs. Except Zoe yearns for more.
New Zealand’s worst candidate for instant fatherhood…
Ben doesn’t do gooey emotional stuff. He doesn’t do cosy home and family. And he sure isn’t the big teddy-bear Kezia Murphy, the woman he secretly fantasises about, thinks he is. So when Jade, his surprise eight-year-old daughter arrives on his doorstep, he’s a D-minus student struggling to pass a crash-course in parenting.
They’ll either melt or raze their lives to the ground…
When the sparks of attraction between Kezia and Ben fan into an inferno, Ben doesn’t know how much longer the layers of resistance around his heart can resist melting into the gooey mess he fears. The more he fights it the harder it is to make the choice that will destroy the family he now longs to claim.
Have you ever had a one night stand with a tourist passing by the small town you live in, moved on with your life, and just when you’re doing okay have her knock on your door to drop the child you didn’t know you had in your hands and leave? No? Well, can’t say the same for Ben Harland, Due South resident brooding ‘teddy bear’ of a guy.
Having already met Ben in the previous book, we already knew he’s got the hots for teacher Kezia Murphy, she of the single mom. I might’ve mentioned this a few hundred times or so, but stories involving children, they’re an instant case of smitten for me. So I was very excited to start this book and see how Ben, what with him being a man of a few words and a grouchy manner, would cope with a surprise the size of a nuclear explosion. Well, nuclear family variety anyway. Not only has he got to deal with his feelings for Kezia and her daughter, but he has to deal with responsibilities of taking care of a child too. A child that he had no idea he fathered, a child that he already missed a lot with, not to mention the fact that Ben lives the life of a single man, not single dad.
I was already halfway loving these characters by the time I started reading this, so it wasn’t so hard to be invested in Ben and Kezia’s romance. With his clueless ways about raising a child, Ben was endearing. He may have started out as close as one could come to screwing things up beyond repair, but with the help of Kezia and his own family, he was able to right it all up in no time and form a steady and loving relationship with his daughter. I just wished the transaction from their awkwardness to their father/daughter dynamic would’ve been smoother and more detailed. It felt as if one minute they were shy and reserved around each other and the next, all the big steps were taken and the only thing that remained to me was smoothing the rough edges. But this may be because I just love children in romance so maybe I was looking forward to spending more bonding time with Ben and his daughter.
Kezia on the other hand, was the complete opposite of Ben in a lot of ways. She was damn good with children for one thing. She has a daughter herself, and together they’ve been through some hard times so she’s got a steady and tightly knit relationship with her. I couldn’t help but think she was pretty close to perfect, but instead of this potentially annoying me, I realized I didn’t mind characters being close to perfect sometimes. Well, you know what they say about opposites attracting and all that. Without realizing, they completed each other in such a way-I salute you, Jerry Macguire- that it was impossible to look at the four of them and not see a family right away.
I’m warming up to this New Zealand town and its residents more and more with each book and looking forward to the next one. In this summer heat it’s a nice cooling air that makes me smile, reading these books.
I’m adding three spoonfuls of this lovely story into my hodgepodge.
Due South series by Tracey Alvarez:
- In Too Deep
- Melting Into You