The Millionaire Meets His Match

Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise
by Kate Carlisle
(Silh. Desire #2058, $4.75, PG-13) ISBN 978-0373-73071-1
Despite a rather silly title, Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise is a well written and engaging tale that I read in one sitting.

This is the second in a series about the Duke brothers, men who were in foster care and adopted by Sally Duke when they were all eight years old. Each had problems they had to overcome, but Sallyís love and their newfound sense of family helped them grow into men who are caring, kind and good businessmen. They run Duke Development. This is Cameronís story.

Cameron had two parents who supposedly loved each other. But his fatherís idea of showing love was to beat his mother, all the while telling her that he was hitting her because he loved her. At just seven years old, all Cameron understood is that love is not a good thing. When his father killed his mother and then himself one night, Cameron ended up with Sally.

Cameron is just returning from a business trip and gets to the suite he keeps in one of their resorts when he discovers someone is in his space. There is a piece of lingerie and some high heels. He also hears the shower going. He enters, finding a lovely woman he remembers from a few months ago, eighteen months to be exact, who is in his shower. This is a woman who shared four torrid days of lovemaking with him and then he cut her off. One of Cameronís rules is to never go back and never regret. But he has to admit in his own mind that he never completely forgot Julia Parrish.

Julia is a chef, primarily of desserts and pastries, who he met when his mother discovered her bakery and got an exclusive contract with her for Duke Properties. Julia is the child of two wealthy philanthropists who died in a plane crash when she was just ten. She grew up to love baking, and she helps run the Parrish Trust, which her parents had established. Julia grew up yearning for love and a family but has built her life. When she met up with Cameron she was amazed at the intensity of her feelings and truly enjoyed her time with him. Now she is at the hotel for a conference and was told by his mother to stay in his suite since Cameron was out of town. She and Sally had met when she arrived. Sally also met her baby, Jake, who clearly resembles Cameron.

A few weeks after their wonderful weekend, Julia had tried to get in touch with Cameron, but he ignored her emails without reading them, thinking she was trying to break his rules. What she was really doing was trying to notify him of the results of their lovemaking. Now Jake is about ten months old and she brought him to the conference to show him off with her friends. Jake is both amazed and chagrined to discover this child, but is more amazed and chagrined at the depth of his feelings for the childís mother. One things leads to another and Cameron convinces Julia to marry him with no promise of love in their future. <> The story is so well done that even this obvious plot line works and works well. Cameron is a loving man and while he refuses to name his feelings, he does feel them and shows Julia with all his being that he loves both her and Jake. Julia is thrilled to have a chance at the family she always wanted and convinces herself that it is enough. By the time they both realize they need each other, they are able to explore those feelings. Of course, the other brothers and Sally have to get involved with some pushing to make the HEA come true. Julia and Cameron have enough depth to their characters that their actions are believable and their romance is heartwarming.

Donít hesitate to pick up Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise. I enjoyed Adamís story previously and I will be looking for Brandonís story in the future too.

--Shirley Lyons

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