STAKING HIS CLAIM – Tessa Radley
Billionaires and Babies Series
Harlequin Desire #2199
Auckland, New Zealand – Present Day
Attorney Ella McLeod agreed to be the surrogate for her sister and brother-in-law's baby, but after she gives birth, they change their mind and instead leave her literally holding the baby. Ella's busy work schedule wasn't planned to care for an infant, let alone raise the little baby girl, whom she finally names Holly, so she makes plans to find the perfect adoptive parents. But the baby's uncle, billionaire Yevgeny Volkovoy, demands that she instead allow him to adopt Holly. A perfect solution, right? Not in Ella's book, as she vigorously opposes the idea.
Yevgeny can't bear to see his niece handed over to strangers and can't understand why Ella won't keep her and let him to continue to pay the child visits. He's secretly dubbed Ella the icicle sister, and her cold attitude toward a defenseless infant hasn't made him change his mind. Yevgeny embarks on a campaign to convince Ella to let him adopt Holly, but the more they're around each other, the more it begins to seem as though they're a family. Why does Yevgeny want Holly so badly? Is it because she's his niece, or is there another reason?
Ella's sister Keira is unable to have children, so when she decided she wanted one with her husband, Ella agreed to be the surrogate. Things were going along fine until the night of the birth when Keira informed Ella that she and her husband were going to Africa…without the baby. How can someone treat a baby like a throwaway doll and just discard her because they changed their mind? Ella has no experience in how to care for babies and doesn't plan to start now, but when Yevgeny stakes his claim on Holly, she fights back. Why should she care?
Yevgeny and his brother were the products of a conniving mother with no maternal instincts, and he wants his flesh and blood to never want for anything—including his love. He hadn't expected to suddenly be battling Ella for control of Holly, but she has the upper hand since she's the birth mother. Yet he can't understand why she doesn't even want to try to act motherly toward the infant. How can any woman not feel love for an innocent little girl? As Yevgeny prepares to convince Ella to agree to the adoption, they grow closer.
Both Ella and Yevgeny have let their respective siblings get away with a lot of things in life, but practically abandoning a child is the last straw in STAKING HIS CLAIM. Ella knows very little about babies and needs to hire a nanny, yet instinct soon kicks in and she begins to care for the child. She tries to push the idea away, but to no avail. Yevgeny shouldn't feel attracted to a woman who not only just gave birth, but also thinks he's a ruthless playboy. But he has an even bigger secret that will rock how Ella thinks about him.
STAKING HIS CLAIM is a highly emotional and riveting read, one that readers will soon not forget and one I recommend you pick up.