Perfect Fling (Serendipity's Finest, #2) - Carly Phillips

Loved this good girl vs bad boy story. After her brother Mike's wedding, Erin was feeling pretty blue. It seemed like everyone was part of a couple except her, so she stopped in at Joe's Bar because she didn't want to go home yet. There she ran into Cole, the bad boy she had a crush on in high school. No one knows what Cole has been doing since he left town, but the bad boy still draws her attention. A few dances later the heat between them is sizzling and they decide to do something with it. 

 

Even though they had agreed that it was a one-night thing, neither one has been able to forget that night. But Cole doesn't do relationships at all. As an undercover detective his life has no room for other people. Plus, he's well aware that his past makes him totally unsuitable to be anywhere near a woman as good as Erin. Meanwhile, Erin really doesn't care what Cole's reputation is, she knows he's a good man. That is made abundantly obvious when she ends up pregnant from that one night and Cole immediately accepts his responsibility.

 

I loved the two of them together. Erin may be the town good girl, but she's no pushover. Though stunned by her pregnancy, she's ready to do the best she can. She's not quite sure how she's going to tell Cole, but that gets taken out of her hands when she gets shot and he overhears her talking to the doctor. Cole is stunned, her brothers are furious, and she appears to have a stalker. I loved watching her stand up to all of them over what is best to be done, and finally accepting Cole's protection. When Cole finds out about the pregnancy, he's stunned, but refuses to just walk away. With the added need to protect Erin, he moves in with her. He tries very hard to maintain his emotional distance, but being with Erin 24/7 leaves him vulnerable to the way she makes him feel.

 

Cole really fought hard against the feelings he was beginning to have for Erin. As the son of an emotionally abusive man, Cole had spent a lot of time creating trouble as a teen. Even after he moved away and straightened up his life, becoming a detective, his father still belittles him at every turn. Added to the things he's done in the course of his undercover work, Cole feels that he is nowhere good enough for Erin. He is determined that he will leave after the danger to her is gone. But Erin constantly chips away at the walls around his heart, and dreams of what it could be like make him wonder if it could happen. In spite of his assertions that he is not a good man, Cole is very good at taking care of Erin. I loved the way he cooked for her, made sure she rested, and started getting really involved in the idea of the baby. He started to understand that he was falling for her, but the idea scared him to death and he worked harder at pushing  her away, then admitting his unhappiness when he succeeded. He was stubborn about believing in his worthiness all the way to the end. 

 

Erin seems to be the only person who can see the good in Cole. Even that first night, she never would have slept with him if she hadn't believed in him. Though they had agreed on one night, no strings, she hadn't been able to forget him, and kept trying to connect with him. Finding out she was pregnant threw her into confusion. She wanted the baby, but how could she tell him about it? With him not wanting any relationship, she would be on her own. But once she did tell him, he surprised her with his determination to be involved. Having him constantly underfoot was playing havoc with her peace of mind. He claimed that he was no good for her, but she certainly felt cherished when he was around. She quickly realized she had fallen for him, but had no idea how she was going to get him to want to stay. I loved her method of simply showing him what life with her would be like. I loved watching her get to him, and ached for her when it looked like he just wasn't  going to believe. The ending was sweet, as Cole finally believed in what Erin saw.

 

The suspense was a good part of the story as it was the catalyst bringing Cole and Erin together. It wasn't super intense but still enough to keep me interested in seeing how it turned out. The identity of the stalker was no surprise, but there was a small twist about it. The final confrontation went quickly and Cole was able to protect Erin. I thought Erin's actions toward the stalker at the end were pretty classy. 

Source: http://susans2015readingblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/perfect-fling-carlyphillips-jove-aug.html