Review: Pregnant by the Playboy by Jackie Lau

Pregnant by the Playboy by Jackie Lau
Contemporary romance released by Jackie Lau Books on May 26, 2020

Pregnant by the Playboy by Jackie Lau book coverI’ve got a pretty great life, if I do say so myself. I made a fortune when I sold my tech start-up, and I’ve spent the years since partying, drinking, and inviting a parade of women into my bed.

I should be happy, but I feel an annoying lack of fulfillment, and there’s no way I’m going back to the work I did before.

At a friend’s party, I meet Marissa. We have hot sex against the door and agree to spend the weekend together. Just one weekend. I never expect to see her again.

Except now she’s pregnant with my baby…and I think this is the solution to all my problems. This is what will bring meaning to my life. I’m going to be a devoted father and husband.

Marissa—whose last name I still don’t know—wants me to be involved, though she rejects my marriage proposal. But before the baby arrives, I’m going to prove to her that I can be something other than a playboy.

And the rare times I set my mind to something, I don’t fail…

This was a fun read, and it didn’t feel like a rehashing of the surprise/secret baby trope I remember from my early days of romance reading. I enjoyed getting to know Marissa and Vince. This book reads well by itself, but it is part of a series, so some of the secondary character interactions will make a little more sense when you read the other books; don’t let that hold you back from starting with this book. Marissa is older than the women in Lau’s other books that I’ve read, so it was interesting to see how she dealt with her conflicts differently; Vince is younger than Marissa, but this is not a huge deal for either of them and it is not a big deal in the book. Marissa has to learn how to trust in others and herself, and Vince has to learn how to take a more balanced approach to life.

Marissa is not looking to fall in love at any point in this book. She slept with Vince purely to have sex; this happens two chapters into the book so it is not a spoiler. But then Marissa gets pregnant, and Vince is not interested in being a typical billionaire baby daddy. So, Marissa has to learn to trust that Vince will show up for her when he says he will, both actually and emotionally. Later in the book, Marissa realizes that she has to also learn to trust in her own feelings. Because even though life is never guaranteed, loving someone is not something dangerous in and of itself, to be avoided at all costs. I liked Marissa because while on the surface she is a very sensible woman–she picked her job because she was good at math, not because she really wanted to do that job since she was a toddler, and part of the reason she kept the baby was because with Vince’s support she could raise the child without financial issues. But she also really loves food and sex, and she isn’t intimidated by Vince’s wealth–she also isn’t attracted to it.

Vince is the youngest brother in a family of very driven people. But instead of learning from the mistakes of his older brothers, Vince is the kind of person that goes all in, even if that is a really unhealthy way to do things. He was committed to being a successful billionaire, and to then being a playboy (I’m not sure how you measure if you’re good at being a playboy). And when he decides that he wants to be a dad, he goes all in. However, he forgets that you can’t make other people want the same thing with the same fervency as you. So, Vince has to learn how to balance himself out. This doesn’t really happen until the end of the book, so I’m not going to tell you what that looks like.

I also really enjoyed the interactions Marissa and Vince had with their families and friends throughout the book. It’s comforting to me to see characters in a romance novel interact with people who are not the love interest, and especially to have interactions that are not about the love interest. So, Vince has funny conversations with his baby niece, and is teased relentlessly by his brothers. And Marissa’s close relationship with her mother and her friendships with other women are satisfyingly drawn.

I would have liked to see more of Vince’s self-growth in this book, because it either all happens at the end of the book, or has already happened. But I overall enjoyed this book. I note, so you prepare accordingly, that there are a lot of food descriptions in this book. And the characters are interacting with the world in pre-pandemic ways, so if that’s stressful for you to read about right now, keep that in mind.

Grade: B-

You can buy a copy here.

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