You can’t thaw a heart that was never frozen.
Retired at thirty-five, billionaire Matt Coolidge should be enjoying the fruits of his workaholic years. Instead, he’s got migraines from butting heads with his mother. If Matt doesn’t get a matrimonial move-on, she’s threatening to will the family farm to his brother, who’ll turn it into a strip mall.
Then Matt’s childhood best friend rolls back into town, bringing a complication that’s not entirely unexpected—or unwelcome.
Years ago, with Matt’s help, Dara Marley froze several embryos before cancer treatment stole her fertility—and before a stupid argument tore their friendship apart. Now alone, she’s taking the most logical step to ensure the child she’s carrying has a father. Returning to Matt—and hoping bygones will be bygones.
Baby and all, Matt’s on board. And when Dara finds out Matt’s career kept him too busy for a relationship—even sex—she’s more than happy to bring him up to speed.
But a decades-old grudge between their families means keeping quiet about their good news—and the feelings they never knew went far deeper than friendship.
Warning: Contains a virgin who’s been waiting a long time for this and a woman who’s happy to show him the way. And they’ve both had it up to here with narrow-minded gossips and small-town grudges.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
All right, I confess, I read this book purely because of that title. It’s so ridiculously over the top, yet also twisting the traditional Billionaire trope on its head, by making the hero the virgin for a change. That was what got me started on this book, but Matt is why I stayed.
What a sweetheart he is. Shy and introverted, he’s never been good with women – apart from his sister and his best friend, Dara. Being smart and hardworking, it was easy enough to let his success draw him away from any sort of social life, but health issues have put an end to that and now that his life is quiet, Matt can’t help seeing how empty it is. Until Dara shows up again and he realises how important she’s always been to him, and how easily she fits all those gaps inside him.
As I said, the man’s adorable. He’ll do – and has done – near anything for Dara. Considering the poor man has such terrible reactions to stress, I loved how quickly he stepped up when Dara needed his help, regardless of how stressful it would prove. And wow, does it ever. His mother is a truly terrible person. The way she tries to manipulate Matt and his sister, and the way she treats Dara is beyond awful. Actually quite a lot about their small town is pretty bad, making me wonder why Matt and his sister were trying so hard to save the place.
Not that this book is just about Matt, there’s Dara to consider too. I liked her, mostly, especially the way she knows what Matt needs from her – even so simple as a nudge in a social situation to let him know he has an escape route. I really liked how she stood up for herself against her own mother’s disapproval, and refused to bow to the pressure to get back with her waste-of-space ex. She’s not quite as instantly likeable as Matt, but I liked her strength and determination and the way she protected and cared for him whenever she could.
There’s not a lot of cowboy action going on, though, so if that’s the bit of the title that grabbed you, you may be disappointed. Matt’s not much of an alpha billionaire either, but that made him all the more special for me. There is definitely a secret baby and Matt is a virgin at the start too, so the title doesn’t lie. But this book is about more than a silly title, for all that it has plenty of fun moments. It’s also about a deep and abiding friendship and the fact that blood really isn’t always thicker than water, or worth the effort.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. If you like the look of the title and are happy with fun and family drama, along with an adorable beta hero and a woman understanding enough to take him up, with their relationship bringing out the strengths and softness in both of them, then give this a go. I certainly didn’t regret it, and I really hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of Matt’s sister.
The Virgin Cowboy Billionaire’s Secret Baby is out October 6th!
Visit Lauren Gallagher for more details.