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Monday, February 8, 2016

His Pretend Baby by Theodora Taylor

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Character diversity: Yes (bw/wm)
Published: February 07, 2016
Purchase: @ Amazon
*Copy provided by author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

When I first started reading His Pretend Baby, I wasn't sure what to expect. Plus, the lumberjack in a suit cover wasn't quite doing it for me. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded and this turned out to be a really great read that supports my previous comments about this author. She just keeps getting better! Theodora Taylor stepped out of the box on this one and not only wrote a billionaire book that wasn't cookie cutter, but also wrote characters with a unique spin. Yay!

What it's About
Nyla's ex-boyfriend has very recently died in a car accident, leaving her behind with a very unplanned pregnancy. She's faced with the task of telling his grieving parents. Before she can do that, his brother Rodrigo (Go) offers to be the baby's pretend father to avoid further upsetting his parents or the woman who was his brother's current girlfriend. The problem is Nyla doesn't like Go and believes Go doesn't like her either. Yet they soon discover that they are better suited than they realize.

What I Liked
The characters in His Pretend Baby aren't something that you see often in African-American or interracial romance. Too often characters seem to represent one version of what it means to be a black woman (or black man, depending on the book). Nyla is a tattooed, heavy metal loving, African-American woman with more than just a few piercings on her face. How often are women like Nyla represented in books or on film?
Go also breaks the mold when it comes to billionaires. Truthfully, I'm kind of through with rinse and repeat billionaires. It takes something different for me to get into books that feature them as the "hero." Well Go was different. He's a bearded billionaire nerd who made his fortune in robotics. Go also has sensory issues and may or may not have Asperger's Syndrome. Things need to make sense to Go and more than anything he cherishes having a plan for absolutely everything. While this might not sound overly sexy, the author manages to work it out and I kind of adore him.
I also loved the fact that these two talked. No assumptions or allowing hurt feelings to simmer unspoken. Of course that doesn't mean there weren't problems...

What I Didn't Like as Much
The climax of the story felt a little déjà vu to me. I don't want to give away spoilers, but if you've read her other books (again I won't say which one) you'll know what I mean. On the plus side, it definitely improved and expanded on this very similar conflict so I'll give her that.
As much as I liked the story, their feelings for one another seemed a bit rushed. Especially on Nyla's part. Her love for Go just seemed to suddenly manifest out of the blue. I can't help but feel they are mistaking lust for love. Fortunately, I do believe that love between Go and Nyla could and would develop with time.

My Final Thoughts
I just really enjoyed this book and appreciate the willingness to create characters like Nyla and Go. I hope more authors explore adding a little unexpected variety because it will definitely make reading more interesting. As far as His Pretend Baby goes, I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

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