What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. I devoured Misconceptions, and I just had to know more about Braxton Earwood. He left a bad taste in my mouth in the first book, because he treated his girlfriend (?)/babies’ mother so horrifically while she was pregnant. I came into this book expecting him to have had a “come to Jesus” moment after the birth of the quadruplets and be good for once.
That’s not quite what happens here.
The book starts with Braxton basically forcing Alex to marry him. His outward excuse is that if they aren’t legally married, the costs of her healthcare will bankrupt the family. She reluctantly agrees, and Braxton feigns that he’ll be a devoted-ish husband. I found it difficult to ascertain, in the beginning at least, whether Braxton was capable of viewing their marriage as more than a legal contract. It was clear that although Alex was a reluctant bride, she was also willing to throw herself 100% into their partnership beyond just a legal level.
If it was possible, this book made me dislike Braxton even more. His outlook on life and interactions with friends, family, and business associates show how self-centered and self-serving he is. To his credit, he’s a generally devoted father, but it’s clear that his mindset hasn’t changed in that he still looks out for what he wants and what satisfies him. His biggest character flaw is that he wants to have his cake and eat it too. He knows he’s the object of desire for many women, and doesn’t make any attempts to combat that. Even if he isn’t outright cheating or having sex with other women, he’s definitely not fully committed to Alex. He was dishonest and hypocritical, but worse than that is that he was still not honest with Alex of all people. I think it’s a testament to the author, Blu Daniels, that I vehemently hate Braxton. She’s crafted him so realistically — it’s like she took the worst in people you actually know and dropped them into one person who has the poorest decision making skills known to man.
What I can say about the rest of the book is that there’s a good amount of other action that keeps the story going beyond Braxton’s struggles with fidelity. It’s fun to see the quads grow and thrive. Despite how difficult they are to manage, their antics are pretty entertaining. It’s also interesting to see Braxton navigate his return to work. There’s some subtle commentary on what it means to be a working parent and the nuances of doing so as a father. It’s unquestionable that he’s devoted to his career, but his motivations shift over time and that definitely impacts how he views his role.
Overall, this is a compelling book, even if it was just to see how unbelievable Braxton could get. Daniels is a strong writer who is able to capture the emotion and frustration her characters experience fairly well. She introduced several new characters or provided more context to existing characters, and I think they have stories that need to be told. I’m hoping to see more from her in the future.