A Bond Between Strangers by Scarlet Wilson
Series: The Most Precious Bundle of All #2
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: February 15th 2015
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Yesterday John Carter and Lily Grayson were strangers.
Now, following an IVF mix-up, their genes are bound together for ever – only someone else is carrying their child! John’s only thought is to get his baby back...until he realises that Lily is the person he truly needs to complete his life…
John Carter and his wife Tabitha were unable to have children. Because of this they created embryos for IVF with a donor egg. Unfortunately the IVF didn’t take and the whole situation put such pressure on their marriage that they ended up divorcing.
Now it’s two years later and Carter gets a letter from the fertility clinic telling him that there was a mix up and one of the embryos got implanted in another woman – who thought that she was getting an embryo that she and her deceased husband had created. Talk about a clusterfuck! Wow! Carter had always wanted to be a father and from the moment he finds out about the mix up he decides to fight for custody of the baby. His attorney says that it would be helpful to locate the egg donor to see if he can get her support in court. He tracks down Lily Grayson to do just that.
Lily is a woman who is a bit of an adrenaline junkie. When Carter finds her she’s getting ready for a parachute jump. He ends up taking someone’s place (as he’d jumped multiple times before) and talks to her in the plane. Once she finds out that he got her name from the fertility clinic she thinks he’s a psycho and tries hard to get away from him. Unfortunately all that did was distract her and she ends up with a broken leg for her trouble. Conveniently Carter is an orthopedic surgeon so he rushes her to the hospital and takes care of everything. He then moves her into his house so that he can take care of her for the next few weeks. She agrees because even though she thought he was crazy she couldn’t deny the spark of attraction that she felt from the first moment she saw him.
Lily and Carter become closer and fall in love but she’s not sure how she feels about the whole custody issue. She’s torn between wanting to do what will help the man she loves but she’s not sure she can take the baby from the only mother it’s known.
This book was an interesting one as it was a really tough conundrum for both Lily and Carter. He’s always wanted to be a father and here’s a baby that’s going to be his…but is it. Sure he provided the sperm but it was supposed to be for him and his wife – does he really have a claim on the baby? What about the woman who’s carrying the baby? Even though technically the child isn’t biologically hers doesn’t she have a strong emotional connection to this small life that she’s carried around for 9 months? Not an easy decision. I thought that the author did a good job of having both Lily and Carter consider all of these issues throughout the book, while still weaving in the romance. It also focused on Lily making a decision that was not in Carter’s favor would do to the relationship between the two MC’s.
Unfortunately I never felt a strong connection to Lily which put a damper on the book. She was obviously torn about what she should do but her though processes were so back and forth I couldn’t get a handle on her until almost the end of the book. Carter was a much easier character to like. He was obviously confused but I could still get the feel for who he was despite that.
The other thing that bothered me in this book, and this was strictly a personal preference, was the fact that the book was set in San Francisco but a lot of the terminology was European, as the author is from Scotland. I guess I felt that if a book is set in the US that it should sound like the people are from the US. We don’t call blankets rugs and we don’t call showers wet rooms or the OR in a hospital the theatre. There were a few others that stood out to me and they threw me out of the book whenever I came upon them. I liked the SF setting but it could have easily been set in Scotland or England and been just as good. Like I said, personal preference.
I had a few issues with the book but in the end it was a good read.
Rating: 3 out of 5