Just seconds after signing divorce papers, Marianna Landis fainted. Shocked, her now ex-husband Sebastian discovered Marianna was three-and-a-half months pregnant. The timing was perfectly in line with their last impetuous night together. Incensed that his "wife" would still be so intent on their separation, Sebastian vowed to do anything to win her back. Seduction had worked once before…he'd make damn sure it would work again. For Marianna was carrying a Landis baby, and a Landis man keeps what is his!
It’s been a long time since I’ve read and enjoyed a Silhouette Desire. But I admit to being a Catherine Mann fangirl. And although I generally dislike Desires, when I realized that this book had several things going for it right off the bat, I couldn’t resist. Namely, it’s loosely related to the Wingman Warriors series (HUGE plus), it’s got one of my favorite themes – already marrieds trying to find their way back together, and … well… it’s a Catherine Mann. Pretty much a no-brainer.
As the book opens, Sebastian and Marianna are finishing up dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on their divorce agreement. As they ride down the elevator together, they somehow end up in the car together and then celebrate the end of their relationship in the same manner in which they celebrated the beginning of their relationship – in the back seat of Sebastian’s car.
Fast forward a couple months, and they are in the courtroom completing the divorce. Marianna passes out after the divorce is finalized, and it comes out that she’s pregnant.
What I liked about this book, is that while it was obviously in Sebastian’s nature to play the alpha and carry her off in the Me Tarzan, You Jane way and force her to his will, and he desperately wanted to do so (and tried to many times), Mann didn’t take that stereotypical Harlequin route. Sebastian and Marianna were 3-dimensional characters with a boatload of loss behind them. She had suffered a miscarriage on their honeymoon (they married as teens due to her pregnancy). Then they suffered through years of infertility, and finally settled on adoption only to have the mother change her mind just before the adoption was finalized.
All this trauma was too much for their marriage to withstand, when they didn’t communicate well except in the bedroom. I liked that the characters took the time to really delve into what the problem was in their marriage – and that Mann gave them typical responses as well. Sebastian couldn’t talk about his grief about the loss of their adopted daughter. Marianna closed herself off after Sebastian started working excessive hours once their daughter was taken away. Their marriage didn’t crumble due to a lack of love, but due to a lack of communication.
They slowly had to build up their trust and lines of communication. It seemed they would take two steps forward and one step back. I enjoyed watching this marriage and friendship come back together. I liked seeing Sebastian do little things for Marianna – like bringing her special treats during her pregnancy. I liked It when they each came to the realization that their own behavior could have been misinterpreted – it wasn’t necessarily that they were wrong or that the other person was wrong. They each grew in their own right and grew to accept the other’s personality traits as a strength rather than a liability, and saw how their partner could see what they viewed as their own strengths as a potential weakness. Love it when characters grow and learn. I also liked watching some of the family interactions that surrounded them.
Having only read Mann’s military books before, this was a welcome departure, and I really enjoyed it. This is part of The Landis Brothers Series. I’ll go back and read book 1 as well.