Knocked Up by Stacey Lynn
Released: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Keyrsten
First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage. Just not necessarily in that order....
Braxton: I should probably be dead or in jail right now. Instead, thanks to some tough love, I worked my ass off and now I own a string of tattoo parlors throughout the Pacific Northwest. And yet the one thing I’ve always wanted—a family—still seems out of reach. When my best friend gets married, I’m just hoping to blow off some steam with the super-hot maid of honor. But after Cara Thompson tracks me down to tell me she’s pregnant, she’s more surprised than I am when I tell her I’m all in.
Cara: For the first time in my life, I’m living for myself—not for my parents and their ridiculous expectations. I gave up on my MBA, dropped out of the Ivy League, and moved to Portland to pursue my dream of becoming an artist. And what’s the first thing I do? Get knocked up. For a tatted-up sex god, Braxton Henley seems way too eager to “be there for me.” Is this guy serious? Maybe. He sure is patient. Because he won’t back down until I admit what I know in my heart: that our one night stand might’ve led me to the one.
Cara has survived the majority of her 24 years in the shadow of her brother, never perfect enough for her pretentious parents. Tragedy strikes turning her world upside down. In the aftermath Cara decides its time to start living for herself and experiencing all of what life has to offer her. A rite of passage for most 20-somethings is to experience the wonders of what a one night stand can bring you ... in Cara's case it brought her a positive pregnancy test. She's left attempting to face the sexier than sin father after her awkward and disastrous exit from a weekend she can't get out of her mind. She's fought for every ounce of her independence in the last year, but can she manage to keep any semblance of it between her frigid parents and her the father she can't help but fall for?
Braxten is unabashedly honest and suffers from the occasional domineering tendency. Two months ago he was swept away and enamored by everything that is Cara, but misunderstandings lead him to have a sour taste in his mouth when the weekend came to an end. Now that same woman is in front of him saying she's carrying his baby and his world has been flip turned upside down. Now that their misunderstanding has been resolved, Braxten is left craving Cara and the family she holds for them in her womb.
First off I have to admit I am someone that is terrified of confrontation, so when Cara goes to reveal her pregnancy to Braxten I was on edge the entire time. The tension between them was so thick it could have been cut with a knife and I wasn't sure how they were going to overcome their issues. It was so refreshing to read a love story that wasn't all rainbows and sunshine shooting out of their asses. Sometimes with books involving a surprise pregnancy the author tends to be afraid to have the main characters really clash for fear it could affect the pretty little bow they want to tie on the new family at the end of the book. Stacey Lynn is NOT one of these authors. Cara and Braxten are two people emotionally damaged from their pasts and they are trying to find their way with each other, but the do the beautiful thing of not skirting around their problems. Braxten is sometimes too honest, quick tempered, and refuses to back down from a confrontation. This sometimes clashes with Cara's stubbornness, avoidance of confrontation, and desire to please everyone at the expense of herself. They argue. They fight. They cry. At the end of the day they are two people who seem too different for each other, but fit together perfectly.
The book may have started out with a surprise pregnancy, but overall this one is a slow burner ... but one that burns oh so good. Their passion and hunger for each other is so damn sexy. It's raunchy, yet tender. Passionate, yet soft. Most of all it's all consuming.
I would have liked more of is more interaction with Jenna and Dan. Their wedding is what started this whole romance and I wanted more of them. The few interactions we get between all four of them are so good, and I wished there would have been more. The whole Stella thing didn't seem as well rounded as I would have liked. We get so little of her and then bam this big moment happens and I don't feel like I get enough of her throughout to really feel the impact of her and Braxten's moment. Lastly I would have liked a little more hints of who Graham was to Cara and her brother, before he was thrust upon me in one of the most pivotal moments. I couldn't really feel his and Cara's connection as much as I wanted to, and I think it's because I didn't even know how he fit into Cara's story for the majority of the book.
At the end of the day Braxten and Cara make my heart melt. I want to be Cara's best friend. I secretly, but not so secretly, want to get knocked up by Braxten (I mean if only he existed cause girl I'm only an hour from Portland and I'd move in with him in a heartbeat). They may have started off with the baby carriage before they fell in love, but damn their love is perfectly imperfect.
Rating: 4 stars
Give me an alpha male with a woman who aces all forms of sarcasm and I'm putty in you hands -- bonus points if a Reverse Harem is involved. Supernatural esque romance and power plays tend to make my heart go pitter patter. I haven't met a book I wasn't willing to try, so if you've got recommendations email them my way. I'm a foul mouthed makeup addicted with slight wino tendencies.