Title: Forever His Baby
Author: Morgana Phoenix
Release Date: December 23rd 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Two brothers. One impossible choice.
From the moment her suspicions are confirmed, Lily knows she’s screwed. What the hell is a nineteen year old with no future going to do with a baby? She can barely take care of herself. She needs help.
In walks Sloan McClain, the only man Lily has ever truly wanted — and the brother of the boy whose baby she’s carrying. While Lily expects a great number of outcomes when she tells Sloan her news, him proposing marriage and asking her to keep the baby is not one of them, especially not when she has every intention of giving the baby a better future by giving it the home she can’t.
Having spent the majority of his life protecting his brother from the bone-breaking fists of their father, Sloan is no stranger to hardship, loss and abandonment. He has learned long ago never to rely on anyone to take care of what was his, and that baby is his. He isn’t about to let Lily give away his family, nor can he allow that child to destroy the future he has built for Cole. His only option: marry the mother and claim the baby as his.
But no secret ever stays hidden forever.
Cole and Lily have been best friends since childhood. They have spent days and nights in each other’s company but only ever platonically, until just before Cole leaves for college when they decide to lose their virginity to each other. This experience is quick and unfulfilling and neither thinks about the consequences until months later when Lily discovers she is pregnant.
Sloan is Cole’s elder brother; tattooed, sexy and brooding. Sloan has taken guardianship of Cole since their mother’s death, running a business and protecting him when their drunk father visits. The relationship between Sloan and Lily has always been filled with tension, partly because she is unsure of how to act around him, affected by her strong desire for him to claim her.
When Lily shows up at Sloan’s door begging that he take her to visit Cole he is concerned, especially when she reveals she is expecting Cole’s baby. Morgana Phoenix takes the interesting move of alternating the narrative so that we understand both Sloan and Lily’s intentions and thoughts. It quickly becomes apparent that Sloan is more uncomfortable with the situation because of the long-standing attraction he has towards Lily.
When both of them agree that telling Cole, who is settled at college and has a girlfriend, would be unfair, Sloan makes the unexpected move of claiming he is the father when the town begins to gossip.
Forever His Baby follows Sloan and Lily as they initially attempt to be friends and disguise their feelings from each other, then progressing to more. I loved the bus-stop scene in which Sloan overhears Lily’s declarations, forcing him to make his own.
When the couple started having sex I kind of lost interest in the story, skipping whole pages of what I thought became erotica, rather than contemporary romance. As I have said before fictional sex scenes can be exciting, but more so when they are part of the plot. Here I felt that Morgana Phoenix was using them to supplement what was already a good story, though I did enjoy the revenge scene at Georgie May’s house! On this note, I also felt that the epilogue was overdone. However, this is obviously only a personal preference and I know that these scenes of Forever His Baby will be enjoyed by many readers.
It is interesting how the story proper ends with Coles’s narrative, tying the threads together so that we can truly believe in this couple’s HEA. I know that this is Morgana Phoenix’s first NewAdult Contemporary Romance release and I would happily read any story written by her again.
(a 3.5 heart review)