Not Quite Married - Christine Rimmer

Series: Bravos of Justice Creek (Book 1)
           Bravo Family Ties (Book 43)



It was hard enough for Clara Bravo to face gorgeous Dalton Ames after he ended their idyllic fling. But confessing that she was pregnant took real guts! Oh, Clara didn't lack the fortitude to notify Dalton of his impending fatherhood. It was turning down the irresistible banker's proposal -- just for their baby's sake -- that she found difficult.


Dalton pushed Clara away because he couldn't risk his heart again after his recent divorce -- not because he didn't feel anything for the brunette beauty! When he discovered her pregnancy, Dalton was determined to create the picture-perfect home with the one woman he could never forget. Now, if only he could convince Clara that their family was forever…


Very good book. Clara is one of the Justice Creek Bravos, who we have met in previous books. She is best friends with Aurora "Rory" Bravo-Calabretti (A Bravo Christmas Wedding). Seven months earlier Clara had met Dalton Ames while they were both on vacation, where they had a two week holiday fling. By the end of the two weeks, Clara had fallen for Dalton, but when she suggested they continue to see each other he refused to consider it. 


Brokenhearted, Clara went home only to discover that she was pregnant. She was going to tell Dalton, but after looking him up online she saw information that he was going to remarry his ex-wife, so she put it off. Weeks later there was no new information, so she took a chance to find him and tell him. 


Dalton had broken things off with Clara because, after his divorce, he had decided that he was not a good candidate for marriage. It didn't take long for him to realize that he'd made a mistake, but when he sent a PI to find her, the info came back that she was engaged and pregnant, so he stepped back figuring he'd lost his chance. He's stunned to find out from Clara that the baby is his, and immediately tells her they should do the "right thing" and get married.


This pushes all the wrong buttons for Clara. After seeing her mother suffer through a marriage with a man who had an entire second family on the side, Clara won't settle for anything less than love and the full attention of her husband. She is determined to stand firm against Dalton's pressure. Dalton is equally determined to get a ring on her finger and give the baby the family he feels she needs, and he isn't going to let anything get in his way.


When complications force Clara into bedrest, Dalton takes it as a sign and proceeds to take over her life. What follows is an interesting power struggle as Clara tries desperately to keep from losing her heart again and Dalton tries to get what he wants without getting his heart involved. 


I really enjoyed seeing Dalton try to convince Clara. He comes across at first as really controlling and emotionless, but it doesn't take too long to see that it's simply because of the way he was raised. The emotions are there, they are just buried beneath his longtime habit of control. He knows he wants Clara and the baby in his life, he just doesn't know how to make it happen. He is constantly confused by what she wants because he has no experience with that kind of love. It was also pretty amusing to see ultra confident Dalton suffering from insecurity because of her relationship with her friend Ryan. He is dreadfully jealous of how well Ryan knows her. and Ryan seems to take great pleasure in emphasizing it. It was fun to see how they finally got over their antagonism is such a typically guy way, and how it was Clara's turn to be confused. I loved how it was Ryan that helped Dalton see what he had to do to win Clara.


I loved seeing their relationship grow as Dalton makes a point of taking care of Clara. She slowly begins to accept that it is okay to lean on him a little. Both of them learn how to give and take a little. I loved seeing Dalton slowly begin to relax a little and develop the patience to wait for Clara to believe in him. I also enjoyed seeing how well he took to being a father and how that started Clara believing that maybe they could have it all. Clara had her own fears to overcome, and had to believe that Dalton was not like her father before she could see that even if he didn't say the words, his actions showed how much he really cared. 


*copy received in exchange for honest review