THE BAD GIRL AND THE BABY (Cutting Loose #3) by Nina Croft
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 4, 2017
Captain Matt Peterson prides himself on being able to handle anything…until he winds up as the guardian of his baby niece, Lulu. Two years and six nannies later, his well-ordered existence is in chaos. Still, he’s all Lulu has. Except, well…there is an aunt…
Darcy Butler has spent the last three years in prison for beating up her abusive brother-in-law. Her only regret is that she didn’t hurt him worse and stop him from killing her sister in a drunken car crash six months later. But now, Darcy just wants to rebuild her life. Starting with finding her sister’s child.
But Matt doesn’t want an ex-con with a record for violence anywhere near Lulu. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to keep away from Darcy, himself. Despite their differences, their chemistry is combustible…and the sex is incredible! Still, it can’t possibly last. Can it?
REVIEW: THE BAD GIRL AND THE BABY is the third and final instalment in Nina Croft’s contemporary, adult CUTTING LOOSE erotic, romance series focusing on three friends-Summer, Regan and Darcy – three women who met in prison while serving sentences for crimes of passion. This is gym owner and MMA fighter Darcy Butler, and SAS Captain Matt Peterson’s story line. THE BAD GIRL AND THE BABY can be read as a stand alone without any difficult. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion between the three former inmates who became the best of friends.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Darcy and Matt) THE BAD GIRL AND THE BABY follows Darcy Butler as she struggles to gain access to the little girl her sister left behind. Three years earlier Darcy was sent to prison for beating up her sister’s husband Steven-a man who routinely abused and battered Darcy’s older sister; and the man who would eventually destroy all of their lives. Fast forward to present day wherein Darcy has yet to meet her two-year old niece, now in the care of her former brother in law’s brother. Enter Captain Matt Peterson, the man with whom Darcy will fall in love. What ensues is the building relationship between Matt, Darcy and their niece Lulu, and the potential fall out when Lulu’s paternal grandparents, back in Australia, offer a permanent home to the child with whom Darcy has fallen in love.
Darcy Butler is a tattooed fighter; a woman who isn’t afraid of physical confrontation but a woman who battles between her head and her heart. Falling in love with Matt Peterson meant he had the ability to break her heart, a heart Darcy believes was hardened upon the death of her estranged but beloved sister. Matt Peterson knew only one thing and that was the woman who claims to be his niece’s aunt is the same woman he believes to be psychotic stranger. Matt’s attraction to Darcy is tempered by the prior knowledge of Darcy’s assault against the brother he barely knew, and her physical appearance that would not be accepted as an army captain’s wife.
The relationship between Darcy and Matt is strained by Matt’s preconceived notions about his brother’s former sister in law-a woman he believes to be a drug, addled fighter who routinely goes around beating up people she doesn’t know. As the story line progresses Matt begins to see the ‘real’ Darcy Butler, a woman whose heart had been broken too many times in the past; a vulnerability that was slowly breaking down the barriers around our heroine’s heart. The $ex scenes are seductive and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
We are re-introduced to the previous story line couples including Nathan Carter and Regan Malloy (Falling for the Bad Girl #1), and Nik Masterson and Summer Delaney (Blackmailing the Bad Girl #2), as well as Darcy and Matt’s two year old niece Lulu; Darcy’s friend and fellow fighter Sam: attorney Elinor Saunders; nanny Diana Prescott; Matt’s meddling friends Angie and Gary; Matt’s parents Jolene and Gareth Peterson, and his younger sister Hannah.
THE BAD GIRL AND THE BABY is a story of opposites attract / enemies to lovers but struggles with a spate of preconceived notions from a number of the story line characters including our leading couple. Through a series of lies told by his brother Steve, Matt believes Darcy to be a danger to Lulu and everyone he loves; and Darcy is a woman who sacrificed everything to protect a woman, who in the end, died at the hands of the man she claimed to love. A lack of communication, and the fear of rejection and loss keep our couple at arm’s lengths but none more so than Darcy Butler who fears losing the man and the young child she had grown to love. The premise is dramatic and heartbreaking; the characters are energetic and spirited; the romance is emotional and intense.
Copy supplied for review
Reviewed by Sandy