Series: Out of Uniform #3
Published by Brazen, Entangled, Macmillan on May 19th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Avery Yeung’s mother and sister were both twenty-eight when they were diagnosed with cancer. The actual cancer isn’t specified, but I assume it was cervical or ovarian. Her mother eventually died from the disease, while her sister, Alexis, had a complete hysterectomy and eventually recovered. Avery had a genetic test done and discovered she has the same gene that caused the cancer in both of them, so she’s decided that she’ll have a preventative hysterectomy herself when she’s twenty-eight or soon after. But before she does that, she wants to have a baby. Already twenty-seven, she doesn’t have much time, and there’s no man in her life. After considering all her options and talking to her doctors, she’s decided to go with an anonymous sperm donor. She’s going to adopt any babies/children she wants later in life, but she wants to have at least one while she can.
Her best friend Drew Flannery is not on board with this plan. At all. He’s been half in love with Avery for years, and the thought of her doing this with another man makes him realize that he needs to step up and tell her how he feels. To be fair, it’s not a he-man “My woman” impulse that makes him not want to go the anonymous donor route. Well, not completely, anyway. He also knows that being a single parent is tough. And he knows that with the way the anonymous donor system works, Avery will be on her own. That’s sort of the point of the anonymous donor. And if she needs financial help, or babysitting help, or just to sit down and cry for a minute, or five minutes to herself to take a shower, she won’t have anyone there to help her. She has family, but outside of her sister, they’re not close. And her sister is still reeling from her own hysterectomy and coming to terms with never being able to have her own babies, and her fiancee leaving her practically at the altar because of it, and isn’t in a position to help Avery out right now. Avery has friends, too. Really good friends, Drew included. But as important as that support system is, and as helpful as they would be, at the end of the day, Avery will be on her own. Drew had a really shitty childhood, and Avery was there for him without reservation from the moment they met as children. He wants to be there for her in this.
“Avery, shut up and listen to me. If we’re going to do this – and we are – we’re going to do this right.” And then he kissed her.
Avery takes a little convincing, but only a little. Their miscommunication of the process was really cute. Drew assumes they’re doing it the old-fashioned way, while Avery thinks he’s just volunteered to be the donor. They each realize their mistake when they’re already at the sperm bank. Most of the interaction between Drew and Avery was like that. Cute, easy, and not a lot of angst. Their sex, however, was not cute. Their sex was really hot. I’m not sure they ever did make it into a bed like Drew kept wanting to do. One scene involving her Jeep, his handcuffs, and the side of a deserted road stands out as one of the best I’ve read recently.
This book mostly plays out as a pretty typical, though fun and breezy, friends-to-lovers story. One thing that really stood out to me, though, was the cultural conflict between Avery, born and raised in the United States, half Chinese and half Caucasian, and her extremely conservative Chinese grandparents. Avery’s mother was white, and her grandparents have never forgiven her father for that, even after all these years, even after the woman’s death. Avery knows that they will absolutely not accept her decision. They, the grandfather specifically, are very open in their feelings that her sister Alexis is defective now that she can’t have children. They’re firmly on the side of her ex-fiance who left her because of it. And Avery knows that they will especially hate it when she tells them that the donor is not Chinese. And they certainly do.
Avery and Drew deal with their respective upcoming parental-role freakouts differently. Avery has a few moments here and there when she’s convinced she won’t be a good mom. She has a cry, leans on Drew’s shoulder, and moves on. Drew’s concerns are a little different. His mother died when he was very young, and his father fell apart. He became an alcoholic, was never again nice or attentive to Drew or his brother and died without ever getting over his wife’s death. Drew has a sudden realization that if anything were to happen to Avery, he would react the same way, and he can’t do that to his kid. View Spoiler »So he leaves her. This is one of the more convoluted reasons I’ve seen an author give a character for leaving their significant other and causing conflict. It didn’t really work for me. Drew feeling this way, that if something happened to Avery he’d fall apart, makes sense, but deciding that he should go ahead and leave her over it didn’t. If that’s how you feel, why get out of bed in the morning? He’s a cop, for crying out loud. “Today may be the day my job goes wrong and I end up shot. I should just quit.” Everyone who’s ever fallen in love knows that if their partner dies, there will be bad times ahead. People fall in love anyway « Hide Spoiler.
This book was a light, fun read, involving one of my favorite tropes. (the friends-to-lovers) I realized once I was in it that it was at least the second in a series, and I’ll probably go back and read the first one. I liked the couple in it, Drew’s brother and Avery’s best friend, and I’d like to see their story. If the rest of Katee Roberts are like this one, sweet, and easy to read, and super-hot, I can’t wait to read them.