Tinseltown's notorious but immensely talented and sinfully gorgeous bad boy Brad Sinclair has to clean up his act when he learns that he has a daughter of five. Nicole is the result of a fling six years ago, one he has completely forgotten about. Now he needs a reliable nanny, one who knows her field of work but doesn't interfere too much. There is one who left a lasting impression, not only because she could stop his daughter from crying.
“I don’t know if you know this, Miss, but I don’t take no for an answer. That one in the bathroom is the one I want. She’s the only one who’s been able to stop that little girl from crying since she landed in my hands a week ago.”
Enter Cara DuMont. She is one of the best, her reputation is untainted and there is a reason for it. She does not take clients who are celebrities, actors or other socialites who could land her on the cover of a magazine. She didn't count on Brad's tenacity. She agrees to stay for a very limited time, after that he would have to find another caretaker for his daughter.
Cara fights her attraction to Brad with tooth and nails. She has seen how getting involved with your boss can destroy your reputation if the paparazzi smell a juicy story. Cara tries to keep her relationship with both Nicole and Brad strictly professional. Unfortunately she is in the habit to fall in love with the kids she takes care of.
Cara is an endearing heroine and while all that glitz and glamour of Hollywood is fake she comes across as real, down-to-earth. She has a no-nonsense attitude and calls it as she sees it, and that includes Brad.
She made me comfortable, which was uncomfortable. She had a soft, seductive voice that never tried to seduce me. Around her, I wanted to make a go of the daddy thing.
Brad is a big child at first. He parties, he is known to f*ck around and he's selfish. Being a single daddy all of a sudden totally cramps his style. Yet, despite all that he is also charismatic, cheeky, and listens to what Cara has to say.
He was likeable for a hundred reasons he got paid good money for. But there was more to him. He was genuine. He listened. He was open to change yet stalwart in his beliefs. He spent his money on things that pleased him or minimized inconvenience, not status objects. He never pretended to be more than he was but didn’t suffer from insecurity or false humility. He was who he was. Utterly and authentically.
Sometimes you see glimpses of his southern upbringing. It's incredibly charming and makes him irresistible. When he hires Cara Brad gets more than he bargained for. He didn't expect the nanny to point out his deficiencies in parenting. But all hope is not lost - from the moment Brad falls in love with his daughter you can see some major growth.
"You turned this bombshell from six years ago into a family. You’re a magician. Do you know? I wasn’t ready for that little girl, and now I am. I can still be me and have a family."
Both of them struggle with their attraction and growing feelings. There is a lot of mutual respect despite their conflicts and based on that and their love for Brad's daughter they develop a friendship. It's a slow burn until they take their relationship to the next level but once they do it's an inferno. Yes, there are secrets and dishonesty but I could forgive those because they never came from a bad place.
From this author's Song of Submission series I know that she writes some super-steamy scenes. These are strictly vanilla but not any less hot.
CD Reiss's writing is humorous with a good dose of snark, but there is also a lot of feeling. Some things only become clear later. I laughed about a piece of dialogue only to realize a couple of pages later how sad and literal the words actually were. I loved both characters, they both had their flavor of charm and together they made a delightful mix. I also adored their relationship with Nicole who almost stole the show.
“I love you, and I’m always here for you. Please always remember that.”
She put her hands on my cheeks. “Okay,” she whispered close to my face. She poked the inner corner of my eye. “Why are you crying?”
“I’m afraid you’ll forget.”
“I won’t.” She put her fingertips to my lips then twisted them. “I’ll take it, lock it.” Her fingertips went to the breast pocket that wasn’t there. “Put it in my pocket.”
I laid my hand over the place where she’d put my love. “Keep it forever.”
“I will. It’s pink. I don’t throw away pink things.”
In order to retain credibility because of my on-going streak of 5 stars I was looking for flaws in this book. I really tried. I didn't find any. I loved this story so much I can't give it any less than 5 stars. Good thing that I realized today that this is going to be a series too. I am definitely going to read the next installment!