Series: Red Dirt Royalty (Book 2)
She's back at his ranch…with baby in tow
When nurse Jolie Davis comes home, she knows it's only a matter of time before she runs into Cord Barron -- the Barrons own this town. In fact, it was their oil business rivalry with her father that caused her break up with Cord in the first place. But no amount of family meddling can deny the fact that she had his secret son. Now, four years later, as her ex is wheeled into the ER -- while she's on duty! -- it's time to come clean. Because it quickly becomes clear that Cord is determined to reclaim her…
Very good story of second chances. When Cord shows up in the ER while she's working, Jolie is reminded that she has unfinished business with him. After their relationship was broken up by his father, Jolie had been heartbroken and angry. Then, after one passionate night together, she walked away from him, pregnant with his son, and kept him secret for four years.
When Cord sees CJ with Jolie, he knows CJ is his son. He's furious that Jolie never told him and is determined to be a proper father to his son. He makes it clear to her that now that he knows, he will be involved in CJ's life. I really liked seeing how quickly he bonded with the little boy and how good they were together. Spending time with CJ and Jolie together makes him realize that he wants them both in his life permanently. He's never forgotten Jolie and regrets letting his father tear them apart. He just has to convince her that they belong together.
Jolie had never intended to tell Cord about CJ. Because of the way he had simply walked away from her before, she couldn't trust that he wouldn't do the same thing again. And as part of the powerful Barron family, she was also afraid of him taking CJ away from her. Once Cord finds out about CJ she feels guilty about not telling him and allows Cord to spend time with him. She's surprised by how good Cord is with him and spending time with Cord brings back her old feelings.
I liked seeing Cord and Jolie together. It's obvious their connection is still strong and it's not just physical. I loved the fact that Cord admitted to her early on that he regretted letting his father drive them apart. He is determined to win her back and make them into a real family. It was really sweet to see him trying to romance her. But as much as he admits he still loves her, there is part of him that is still angry about what she did and leads him to say some things that don't sit well with her. Jolie has become a more confident woman since she became a mother, but she still has deep seated fears about her relationship with Cord. Being with him again has renewed her love for him, but she's still afraid that he could walk away from her, and this time take CJ with him. It takes the need for them to unite against a common threat to break through their fears and bring them together.
The family dynamics are very interesting. Cyrus Barron, the father, is a really nasty piece of work. He makes demands and threats to Cord about CJ and Cord has to find a way to deal with him. I liked seeing the brothers together and how they all seemed to accept CJ as Cord's son. There is some extra tension with one of the brothers that comes out when when Cyrus pulls a dirty trick and Cord has to face him down. I loved seeing how Cord handled it. There's a bit of redemption with the brother at the end, but dear old dad continues to be a problem.