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My Unexpected Surprise by Piper Rayne


My Unexpected Surprise

by Piper Rayne

Self-Published

Book 5 in The Greene Family series


I never thought of myself as dad material.

Until my one-night stand showed up in my small Alaskan town five months pregnant.


But I don’t shy away from responsibility. First, because I’m a Greene and not to boast but we’re kind of a big deal in Sunrise Bay. Second, I’m the Sheriff.


I couldn’t have predicted how protective I’d become for the safety of her and my unborn baby to the point of asking her to move in with me and be my roommate.


Just when I think I have the situation under control, another surprise knocks me over, but it only spurs me to double down.


I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t think it through. Somewhere between the dinners, the TV show binging, the doctor appointments, and me walking in on her naked, lines blurred.


In what feels like warp speed, my bachelor for life status is in jeopardy and I’m fighting for the most important thing of all—my family.

Genre:

 

Okay. I feel bad for saying this.

But I didn't like My Unexpected Surprise.

Actually, it's probably at the bottom of the list if I were rating them.

Which sucks, because I like Fisher.

I liked him in The Problem With Second Chances, when he caught Rylan and Calista making out in the car.

I really wanted to like his book.

There are several reasons why I didn't.

For one, I think after reading about Adam and Lucy's fertility struggles, Nikki and Logan's epilogue where she is pregnant, then Jed's surprise daughter, I needed Fisher and Allie's story to not be about pregnancy, or babies. I needed something fresh.

Second of all, there were a lot of characters that made me mad in this book. First, there was Allie, because she didn't tell Fisher she was pregnant. Yeah, he ignored her phone call ... but she stops at a phone call? Really? Just no. Then there was Ethel and Dory. And yes, I'm going after the precious grandmothers we Piper Rayne readers love. Because what right do they think they have to try to spy on Allie's doctor's appointment? To get details from that appointment somehow and tell people? They literally found out it was twins, and told everyone. That wasn't their news to share. They took that moment from Fisher and Allie, and how dare they? Considering Fisher is Ethel's grandmother, he should have stood up to her and said "that's not okay." I'm all for Ethel and Dory's antics when trying to nudge their grandchildren to fall in love, but this was just terrible.

It's been over a month since I've read this book, and I'm not going to lie, its making me angry all over again.

Then there was the nurses, and Stella Bailey pushing Allie for a c-section, and treating her like she was dumb for not wanting one.

Now, I'm not going to pretend that most twin pregnancies are brought into this world by c-section. Mine were. But never in my pregnancy, with my twins, or my singleton, was I ever pressured by medical professionals to have c-sections.

Did I know I would end up with one? I knew it was a huge possibility.

But that wasn't a decision that was going to be made until I was later in the pregnancy and had all the facts. Like the babies positions, blood pressure, gestation age when born, etc ...

The anger I felt for a fictional character having to deal with these people who are supposed to be supporting her was unreal.

There is advising a patient of their options, and the risks associated with those options, and then there is ... whatever happened in this book. It STILL makes me angry.

Giving birth is terrifying. Even more so for first time mothers. With twins. Maybe it's because I've been in Allie's shoes before, and it's not easy by any means. At 18, my body's prime, it was uncomfortable, and painful ... and I didn't even get into my third trimester when it gets the hardest. I was emotional, and scared. But I felt supported by my medical team for the most part.

How terrible I felt for Allie when her best friend, and the nurse giving her the tour of the labor and delivery unit made her feel like crap for wanting to attempt a normal birth. And listen, my twins, and my youngest, were c-section babies. With the twins, I ended up going into labor at 28 weeks, and it was too dangerous to attempt a normal birth. My youngest was a planned c-section. As someone who has had an emergency section, and a planned one, of course the planned one was much easier on my body, and calmer.

But.

Allie. Had. A. Right. To. Choose.

You know ... before the medical event that meant she needed the c-section.

Wow, this is long, and I haven't even got to the other thing I didn't like.


Which was the actual romance. I just didn't feel the chemistry between Fisher and Allie. At all. The whole book felt forced, and I didn't feel like Fisher would truly be with Allie if it wasn't for the pregnancy.

What I did love, was normalizing sex and pregnancy. I don't read a whole lot of sex scenes where the woman is in advanced pregnancy, and I got to say, Piper Rayne still made it hot. Despite the chemistry issues.

I also loved that Fisher decided to not play Ethel's game at the seniors home, and just went and kissed Allie. haha, love it.

I also liked the moments that reminded me of bringing my babies into the world.

Like Fisher sneaking Allie out of bed so she could meet her babies. My nurse refused to help me get into a wheelchair to go to the NICU, saying I had to stay in bed so soon after my section. Technically, true. But there was no way I was resting until I saw my babies were okay. My husband helped me out of bed, into a wheelchair, and took me to see my babies. It helped my mental state. To see they were alive and warm in their incubators. It didn't help my actual incision, because I ended up pulling my internal stitches and hurting my uterus. Seventeen years later, it still hurts if I move a certain way.

Another thing I was reminded of, was kangaroo time. Skin to skin. My twins were only 2 lbs each. I didn't get to hold them whenever I wanted. I didn't even get to touch them whenever I wanted. But for an hour everyday, my husband and I got kangaroo time with them. I cherished that time with them, and it really helped our babies, and us bond.


So there. I didn't really like this book. I liked the characters individually, but the romance didn't do it for me, and quite a few of the side characters put me in a rage. I'm bummed. I really wanted to like it.




I choke out a laugh as though Nikki’s in front of me and I’m in danger of catching her wrath if she sees me laughing.

Nikki: “Chip! My hormones still aren’t all back to normal.”

Chip: “What does that mean?”

Nikki: “It means I can strangle you to death and have an excuse.” Nikki: “I have to finish the show now,”

Nikki interrupts Grandma’s threat.

Ethel: “Okay, sweetie, good job on the news.”

Nikki: “Fisher might be mad,”

Nikki says, sounding concerned.

Ethel: “Then he should have kept it zipped up.”

I feel a rush of heat to my cheeks. My grandma, thinking about me having sex, sends a shiver down my spine. Nikki laughs.

Nikki: “Very true. Bye, ladies.” Nikki: "Believe me, folks, I know a lot of you feel as though our sheriff doesn’t have it in him, but I call bullshit. I bet Fisher is married before year’s end.”

The coffee sprays out of my mouth all over the inside of my windshield.

Fisher: “Damn it!”

Chip: “I’ll take the bet,”

Chip says, and now I want to strangle Chip again. Allie: “We need to lay down rules if this is gonna work.”

I set my hands on my hips.

Fisher: “I’m not a fan of rules.”

Allie: “You’re the sheriff,”

I shrug.

Fisher: “Let me clarify—I don’t like being told what to do.”

Allie: “You sure like giving the orders.”

I could be reading her wrong, but it feels as though innuendo laces her words. I have to wonder if she’s thinking of the night we were together.

Fisher: “Like you said, I’m the sheriff.” Fisher: “I already love them so much, and that feeling scares the shit out of me. I know what it’s like to lose someone you love that much.” Allie: “What are you doing?”

she screeches.

Fisher: “Remembering you in this moment. The babies will appreciate it when they’re older.”

I make the picture my wallpaper.

Allie: “I’m not cool with pictures of me looking like I ate a whale.”

Fisher: “Only a sea lion,”

I joke, and she narrows her eyes. Fisher: “Ready?”

Allie: “As ever.”

He smiles. I place my mouth over Fisher’s for a millisecond.

Allie: “Then you’d do the chest compressions.”

I put my hands together again and place them on Fisher’s chest.

Woman: “No. No. No. I need to see the mouth thing again. How are you breathing in? One long breath, a bunch of short ones?”

The woman with curlers in her hair continues to be a pain in the ass. Fisher looks at his grandma.

Fisher: “Is this what you want?”

He swings his legs to the side, places his hand on the back of my head, and smashes our lips together. Hank: “Something inside of you said to move her into your house, to start a relationship with her. Listen to that now when things are hard. You love her and you love them. That won’t change whether all three of them come out of this, one of them does, or none of them. No matter what happens, you’ll get through it. The same as you did when your mom passed.”

My gut lurches when he says the word none. I never even thought about that, but he’s right. I’ll be crushed any way this turns out, unless Stella comes out and tells me they’re all good.

Fisher: “I have no idea how you did it,”

Hank: “I didn’t watch my mom die when I was ten years old. I have no idea how you and your brothers and sister did it, but you did. Ironically, it’s the love I shared with your mother that spurred me to try again with Marla. I wanted that feeling in my life again. I love them in very different ways because I was in different stages of my life when I married each of them. They’re both in my heart though. But, Fish, being scared of feeling is no way to live. I think you already know that because the chip on your shoulder has disappeared over the past few months.” Sometimes things aren’t as perfect as you want them to be, but in the end, it doesn’t mean they aren’t your fairy tale

 

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