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Black Ties and Lullabies - Jane Graves Playboy Jeremy Bridges lives the high life, running a multimillion-dollar company and entertaining a variety of beautiful women. Jeremy loves living on his own terms, and nothing his sarcastic bodyguard Bernadette has to say about his lifestyle or taste in women will change his mind.

Bernadette Hogan isn't Jeremy's type. Instead of beautiful and brainless, Bernie is tough, smart and irritated by his refusal to take her seriously. Their combative working relationship snowballs into a boiling-hot one-night stand, but leaves Bernie intent on walking out on Jeremy forever. However, her plan is derailed when she finds out she's having Jeremy's baby and that he plans on being the involved father he never had.

RITA Award finalist Jane Graves (Tall Tales and Wedding Veils) pens a clever tale of breaking boundaries and finding love. The repartee between strong, compassionate Bernie and emotionally unavailable Jeremy sparks and sparkles. He struggles to convince her she needs his help, while she shows him the joy of helping those in need. Bernie is at once admirable and intensely relatable as she stands up to overwhelming responsibility, eventually learning that accepting help is an act of trust, not weakness.*

Jeremy starts out as a shallow playboy, but as he learns how amazing Bernie is, he goes from controlling to supportive. Watching her school him in the art of kindness is both touching and hilarious as she befuddles and beguiles him into realizing his potential as a man, a mate and the father her child deserves.

*What I didn't say in the Shelf review, due to word count restrictions and not wanting to be too quibbly: It bugged me that Bernie started out as a bad ass bodyguard but underwent a transformation as the book continued that wasn't necessarily flattering. I think the author was trying to show that Bernie became more trusting and comfortable with her feminine side, but she does seem weaker and allows the hero to get his way when he's being way too controlling. But that's just my feminist interpretation of the situation.

***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***