Review: Sweet Dreams, Baby by CJ Carmichael


May Contain Spoilers

Secret baby books are not my favorite romance trope, but I have read and enjoyed this author’s books in the past, so I decided to give this a shot.  I’m glad I did. Sweet Dreams, Baby is a very sweet romance examining trust, self-recrimination, and forgiveness. This is a quick, enjoyable read.

Portia abruptly left her boyfriend of three years when he left on the rodeo circuit. Afraid that he would cheat on her and leave her like her father did to her mother, Portia decides to break things off before Austin breaks her heart. After settling in Marietta, Montana with her family, she discovers that she’s pregnant. Determined to raise her child by herself, she frets about keeping this secret from Austin. Finally, three months after she gives birth to Zavy, she sends a letter to Austin letting him know that she’s ready to talk to him.

Austin, after discovering that Portia kept his child from him, is justifiably pissed. Until they come to some kind of an agreement regarding Zavy, he’s determined to stay in  Marietta.  Feeling betrayed and hurt, Austin struggles to come to terms with his feelings for Portia. He still loves her, but he’s reluctant to trust her again. And Portia still thinks that their relationship won’t work out, and that he will leave her, so she’s not interested in starting over again.

I admit that I was frustrated with some of Portia’s decisions. Yes, what her father did to her mother was inexcusable.  But reflecting his behavior on to Austin wasn’t fair. Austin never came across as anything other than loyal, loving, and dedicated to making Portia happy. When she started suffering from panic attacks, she packed up her bags and left him, instead of communicating with him and letting him know she was having doubts about their relationship.

This is the first Love at the Chocolate Shop story that I read, and I never felt lost or confused by all of the characters. I have read many other Tule books set in Marietta, and it’s fun to see how everyone interconnects with each other. I found the details regarding the chocolate shop interesting, and loved how the series wrapped up. After Austin and Portia took the time to really listen to each other and set their hurt aside, I was convinced with their HEA.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Three weeks ago, Portia Bishop mailed a letter to the father of her baby, Saddle Bronc rider Austin Bradshaw. It’s a letter she should have written a long time ago—like when she first found out she was pregnant, shortly after she ended things with Austin, dropped out of college, and went running to her family in Marietta, Montana.

Austin has loved Portia since he first laid his eyes on her in college. A year ago, he convinced her to do something impulsive and very romantic. Now, as he opens her letter, Austin has two reasons to return to Marietta–win back the heart of the woman he still loves and convince her he’s a good bet for a forever man and father.