Their Christmas Baby Contract
Author: Shannon Stacey
What I’m Talking About:
Reyna and Brady have been friends since childhood, both growing up in quaint Blackberry Bay, NH. After a horrible hookup four years ago, embarrassment kept them from talking, and they drifted apart. But when Brady helps Reyna escape after a failed public proposal by her now ex boyfriend, they start to reconnect, and Reyna realizes maybe Brady is the answer to her prayers: he’d make a wonderful father. Reyna wants a baby, but not the man; Brady wants to be a father and the whole package deal with Reyna.
The premise of the book – two friends coming together to have a baby but then parting ways before the baby is born – isn’t something I’d normally pick up off the shelf; but I do love Shannon Stacey, so I decided to give it a try. I like Reyna and Brady, and I breezed through the book quickly. I love that both characters stand up for the other with friends and family – they both have negative reputations with regards to the opposite sex, but neither really lets the rumors stand in their way.
Reyna and Brady do eventually make a great couple, but they suffer from extreme lack of communication issues which draws the whole conflict out. Brady has been in love with Reyna since something like 1st grade, but thinks he blew his one chance four years ago because he was “too excited” the night they hooked up, and so he never talks to her and tells her how he feels. Later in the story, when they are fake dating and Reyna feels something is off, she runs away from Brady rather than explore their complex feelings. Time after time, there are little examples of how if one or the other just opened up a little bit; stuck around to have the conversation, they would have been a lot happier. It isn’t until nearly the very end of the book that they finally open up, and even then, it’s only after some serious outside intervention.
There is also a slightly dark side story involving Brady’s mom. I’m not really certain why it’s part of the book other than to give the fairly one-dimensional primary plot some color. I’ve got mixed feelings over the whole situation, I think because I didn’t feel it was resolved, only because I didn’t necessarily like how it was resolved.
In the end, Brady and Reyna get their HEA. Their Christmas Baby Contract is sweet and easy, giving it a Hallmark Movie feel. But I was frustrated with their complete lack of communication and willingness to forego happiness out of fear.
My Rating: B/B-, Liked it but had a couple issues
About the Book:
Striking the deal was the easy part.
He’ll help her make a beautiful baby.
Brady Nash is handsome and anti marriage. And with IVF completely out of her financial reach, Reyna Bishop is running out of time to have the child she so very much wants. Theirs is a practical baby-making deal: no emotion, no expectation, no ever-after. They’ll even “date” through Christmas to silence their hometown gossips. It’s foolproof…till the time she spends with Brady and his warm, loving family leaves Reyna wanting more than a baby…
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Series: Blackberry Bay #2; Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (288 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)
Reviews in the Series:
More than Neighbors by Shannon Stacey (Blackberry Bay #1)