Review: The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca (Once a Marine #1)

Veterinarian Megan Young has had her heart broken twice by the same man--former Marine and now security expert Adam Waters. She would love nothing more than to turn her back on him but the injured dog he brings her is her priority. Adam's return to Raven's Cove brings with it complications Megan never thought she'd have to face. After all, he made it clear the last time they were together three years ago that he would never come back to their small town. Now, she has to deal with the feelings that are threatening to break through once again as well as deciding whether or not to tell Adam all about little Cole--their son.

Thoughts of Meg have kept Adam from sinking deep within the darkness that has lingered around him for years. He knows he hurt her when he abruptly left her, but as intense as his feelings have always been for her, he also knows that he can never give her the kind of committed relationship she deserves. She should be with someone who would make a good husband and attentive father to their children. When he learns that he and Meg have a young child, he's filled with anger, but when Meg's and Cole's lives are put in danger, it's clear that nothing will stand in his way of protecting the two people who make him want more.

The Baby Bargain is the first book in the Once a Marine series from Jennifer Apodaca and is a second chance love story with some mystery suspense thrown in. Megan Young and Adam Waters were together for a couple of years before he upped and left to join the Marines. His return to Raven's Cove to lay his parents to rest resulted in Meg becoming pregnant, a fact that Adam knew nothing about until he comes back for a work assignment three years later. There's a fair amount of angst in the story, what with Adam's family issues that have weighed heavily on him since he was a teenager and Megan's own feelings of abandonment stemming from her father's refusal to have any relationship with her while she was a child.

As with similar stories that have the mother keeping the existence of a child a secret from the father for an extended period of time, the truth comes out sooner or later. It usually comes down to whether the mother confesses or the unknowing father is told by someone else or discovers it on his own. Adding on to that bit of tension, someone's out to destroy Meg's reputation, personally and professionally. Figuring out who was behind it all and who the accomplice was was easy enough, though I liked how the threat against Meg forced the two to interact when keeping their distance was the most obvious alternative for them. Max and Ellie, aka the dogs who stole the show, made The Baby Bargain an even better read. Four stars! ♥

Date Read: 03 August 2015

Learn more about Jennifer Apodaca here.

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