REVIEW: Sweet Dreams, Baby by CJ Carmichael
Three weeks ago, Portia Bishop mailed a letter to the father of her baby, Saddle Bronc rider Austin Bradshaw. It’s a letter she should have written a long time ago—like when she first found out she was pregnant, shortly after she ended things with Austin, dropped out of college, and went running to her family in Marietta, Montana.
Austin has loved Portia since he first laid his eyes on her in college. A year ago, he convinced her to do something impulsive and very romantic. Now, as he opens her letter, Austin has two reasons to return to Marietta–win back the heart of the woman he still loves and convince her he’s a good bet for a forever man and father.
Dear CJ Carmichael,
I haven’t read all books in series so I’m not sure if this info was mentioned or hinted at earlier but from the books I had read, I wanted to know who was the father of Portia’s baby. It was kind of like a long running soap opera mystery – not quite who shot JR but you get the idea.
Since this is the last book in this series, I have to admit that though it’s nice to see some past characters, I got very tired of thumbnail sketches each time one appeared. And even though the series is called Love at the Chocolate Shop, even chocoholic me wanted some more scenes outside Sage’s shop and eatables other than chocolate. I could feel my blood sugar rising and my hips starting to expand.
Up til now, Portia’s obviously got a lot on her mind beyond being pregnant and then dealing with infant care as a single mother. Finally she decides to rip the Band-Aid off and do what she should have done already. Yep, she knows it too which helps me not to be so mad at her for what she’s done to the baby’s father. She’s also young, stressed and was prone to anxiety attacks – though later on she tells the father that these have abated since Xavier’s birth. Hopefully this is just a lessening of the stress rather than a “baby solving her mental health issues.”
“Baby dad who didn’t know he was a dad” Austin shows up in town with a big surprise waiting for him. Understandably he’s more than a little upset when he figures out what has happened. He’s one of the good ones who wants to be involved in his son’s life and with each reminder of what he missed – Zavy’s birth and the first three months of his life – Austin gets a bit more upset. But Austin is also hurt that the woman he loved and still loves despite all this didn’t turn to him when she needed help.
Portia does have a few more excuses – or I would really have been mad at her for Austin’s sake. Her own parents’ marriage collapsed for various reasons and she’s afraid her own relationship might have been headed the same way. So without talking much to Austin about it – really, did they talk much at all? – she skedaddles home and takes 13 months to contact Austin despite all his efforts. Sometimes it’s hard to like Portia in this book.
Can these two work past their pain and anger and fear or is it already too late? Frankly at times I wondered. Each has good reasons and some lamer ones – more on Portia’s side, IMO. Even her family thinks so. Still the confusion she went through comes through loud and clear. Who hasn’t made a mistake – I’m not raising my hand here either – and when has one not gotten easier to admit to the longer we avoid dealing with it? Guilty of that too. Portia does have the courage and insight to pull back when Austin initially reverses his stand – also due to good reasons – and wants to try again.
Once they’re finally talking, thinking and ready, I feel they’re on the same page, talking the same language and good to go. Brava on including some conflicts that require more than the proverbial 5 minute conversation and not making things too easy to solve though. B-