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The Lawyer’s Secret Baby

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Just when you think things are finally looking up…

Harley Brand, social worker and single mother, has come through some dark times, but feels ready to start anew, including renewing her relationship with the man of her dreams. Without warning, one pretty Perth spring morning, the worst nightmare of her life begins. Due to unintentional circumstances it looks as if her future may be cruelly snatched away from her. Broken hearted and terrified of what the future holds, she turns to her best friend, Jessamy Lushpin, PI, who promises to fix things for her.

Arian has returned to Australia to continue his law practice and find the woman who got away, the love of his life–Harley Brand. He’s older, more mature and not the same man Harley ran from years ago. This time there will be consequences for her naughty behavior.

Can they find the love they lost and begin again? Will Harley’s closely guarded secret destroy them or make them stronger? Will Arian be able to break through her walls and ensure their happily-ever-after?

Publisher’s Note: this contemporary romance is intended for adults only and contains elements of mystery, suspense, danger and power exchange. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

Published February 5, 2020

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Polly Carter

9 books36 followers

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5 stars
19 (44%)
4 stars
10 (23%)
3 stars
9 (20%)
2 stars
4 (9%)
1 star
1 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Tammy.
8,862 reviews34 followers
February 7, 2020
Arian is an attorney and he and Harley were together before he went to work in the U.S. Harley begged him to come back but wouldn’t, so she moved on. Now Harley is in trouble, can Arian save her from jail? Fast-paced read with plenty of drama, suspense and steam. A good read.
Profile Image for Kathy Heare Watts.
5,720 reviews176 followers
February 9, 2020

I enjoyed the story, which is part mystery, suspense, a touch of danger, involving an over-trusting girl, a devious criminal, and then there is the second chance romance. Throw in a few secrets, a dominant man who refuses to give up on a long term relationship, and a woman who has been hurt, and afraid to trust freely. I love the chemistry between Arian and Harley and glad to see them get the elusive happy ending. BUT, I hope Ms. Polly Carter plans a story for two secondary characters in this story, Zain and Jessamy.

The story will have Harley, being a good person, helping out those less fortunate, and one scumbag taking advantage of her generosity that leads to her arrest and impending conviction with serious jail time. It will have flashbacks to her younger days, of how and when she met Arian and their relationship until he leaves and moves to the United States and stays longer than he promised. But then, this is the rest of the story, he is back, he refuses to take no for an answer, and he is determined to rekindle the love they had.

When they met, she wasn’t paying attention and hit his car, but she will get caught by him, and he makes her a deal---she will submit to discipline in the form of a spanking, and he will cover the cost to the car. This is the beginning of their relationship.

“I’ll cover the cost of fixing my car. And while Dad does have insurance, if he makes a claim, he’ll lose his ‘no claim bonus,’ so I’ll have to pay for the repairs out of my own pocket. I don’t want you to cook or clean for me, but if you decide you want to make amends, I will give you the option of putting yourself across my knee for the bare-bottom spanking you deserve.”

Fast forward to the present, Harley has gone to town hoping the charges against her could be dropped, but that wasn’t the news she received. Calming down with a cup of coffee, and ready to start crying, she leaves the coffee shop and runs into a man—but not just a man—into Arian. She is as shocked to see him as he is her, but now that he has found her again, he is determined to make things work. She doesn’t tell him her problems or her secrets---and that will be a huge part of this story.

With her best friend, Jessamy, who wants to be a private detective, they make plans on how to try and find the true culprit, since it seems law enforcement isn’t doing anything along those lines. It will be a dangerous game of cat and mouse, and something Arian has warned her not to do. Bringing in a detective friend, Zain, and having a meeting that will include Jessamy has sparks and fur flying—there is definitely chemistry between Zain and Jessamy, but it isn’t wine and roses.

The story will gradually have the truth of Harley’s situation, the secret she has been hiding, and how the case proceeds. Will love prevail, and happiness be in their future? Definitely, if Arian has his way--he has too much to lose and he plans to win.

“I’m just glad I came back. I could have lost you both forever.”

“The only thing now standing in the way of her happiness was the possibility of her soon being incarcerated in Badyup women’s prison, and the only reason that was a possibility was because she had been preyed on and exploited by the worst kind of parasite.”
Profile Image for JD.
979 reviews155 followers
February 4, 2020
If you're looking for a competently written and edited, consensual, light DD story, you will probably enjoy this.

Harley and Arian have a complicated past: planning to marry until Harley, to Arian's dismay and confusion, suddenly broke things off, they are accidentally reunited several years later at the very moment that Harley's life is spinning out of control. She has been falsely accused of selling drugs and faces jail time; luckily for her, her ex is a criminal lawyer. Though she keeps pushing him away, he vows to help her. As their feelings for each other are rekindled, Harley keeps one big secret from Arian (which is actually pretty predictable, but I won't spoil it here).

I enjoyed the Australian setting of the book. It's always nice to read about different places -- particularly when they're described by knowledgeable authors. I loved the "lingo," too (the colorful kangaroo references). (Do children start kindergarden in Australia at age three?)

I would have rated this more highly, but I didn't appreciate three aspects of the book:

1) Too much of the plot was tell and not show, including the most important scenes. Ms. Carter spends pages on Harley getting coffee, but we never saw ; we only heard about them in hindsight. This detracts from their emotional immediacy and tension.

2) While the writing was descriptive and the dialogue was natural, it was very repetitious. Harley kept pushing Arian away over and over again, and her internal monologues never varied. Tip to authors: if you're not giving your readers new information or information in a different way, then take it out. Now, this was partly due to the fact that most of Harley's and Arian's conflicts were in the past and Arian wanted Harley no matter what; therefore, the only source of drama left was Harley's refusal to renew the relationship. There was one more Ms. Carter could have used (the big "secret"), but this was resolved very quickly (too quickly) with little fuss.

3) Like far too many "doms" in these books, Arian and Zain underestimated, dismissed, and belittled the strength of their "subs" and never apologized, even when they're proven wrong. Authors who write in this genre: if you don't understand that "submissive" does not equal "weak" or "less than" then you don't understand this lifestyle.

Finally, while Arian and Harley were likable, they really weren't that interesting. Second-chance relationships are tricky to write: on the one hand, we're all a sucker for them as we really want the MC to finally get their HEA; on the other, since we miss the development of the relationship, other sources of tension are needed to make up for that. I just didn't feel that there was enough here. Zain and Jessamyn had much more spark and fire between them. I particularly liked Jessamyn Lushpin (and her name!), who was brave, a loyal friend, and given to colorful speech ("Opprobrious. Sweet, hey? So many bad meanings all rolled into one word: nasty, evil, obnoxious, odious, even criminal, just to name a few. Satisfying, no? And peccant? He, she, who did the crime, so that definitely fits him like his nasty black gloves.”). I hope Ms. Carter writes a book about them.

3 stars.
Profile Image for Kristen Lewendon.
6,628 reviews38 followers
February 5, 2020
A lightly BDSM cozy mystery second chance romantic comedy? You have my attention. Wait, there’s also a secret baby plot? I’m slipping away now. Normally there aren’t enough words in the English language for how much I dislike “secret baby” stories. I was very impressed by this one. Because we live in Harley’s head, and only Harley’s head, it’s very easy to see and empathise with what drove her. Since what we see of Arian isn’t always flattering, I can’t completely fault her for the choices she made. I’m a sucker for a second chance, but this one felt a little flat to me. I wasn’t feeling the sparks between Harley and Arian. The two secondary characters that I suspect are going to be the stars of the next book had far more chemistry. I like that we see conversations about expectations and consequences ahead of any punishments. I wasn’t so happy that in the middle of the book the personalities got flipped and the charming dominant started acting like an alpha-hole and my feisty heroine was suddenly a doormat. I love that this book tried to take on so much, and I think it did a pretty decent job at most of it. I definitely wasn’t expecting to spend so much of the story laughing. I’m also looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for Jessamy and Zain.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Booksprout.
Profile Image for Kaye.
6,823 reviews59 followers
February 8, 2020
Excellent! Polly unleashes one chaotic ride coupled with all the shenanigans and mayhem to rock this baby from start to finish. A raging vortex, chocked full of spinning emotions, bursting into play front and center. Skirting the drama, intrigue, danger and soaring suspense, throwing you into a curve, while balancing on a razors edge, fusing this little fella together seamlessly. Add turmoil, secrets, betrayal, undercurrents and unexpected situations along with a boatload of confusion, you have one mind-blowing adventure. Producing incredible, well rounded scenario's that punch dead center ramping up the exuberance and intensity, blasting this baby to life brilliantly. The characters are genuine and realistic with depth and qualities that make it easy to relate. The scenes and personalities are well balanced and blended as they flow smoothly, playing off one another perfectly. Remarkable job Polly, thanks for sharing this bad boy with us.
Profile Image for Carolina.
384 reviews
February 2, 2020
Harley Brand, our heroine, is a hot mess---like "going to jail soon" type mess. Arian Fletcher, our sexy hero lawyer, spots Harley in a cafe getting coffee. Harley isn't have a great day or few months. Her life seems to be spiraling out of control. Arian left Harley to work in the United States and remained there longer than six months. In the meantime, Harley begged him to come home. He refused. This is important to the story. Also, there's the secret of Lyddia. However, you're going to need to read the book to find out more details on why Harley is facing prison time and who the heck is Lyddia?

I've never read anything from this author and boy, what a treat! While I wish Lyddia had been introduced earlier in the book to our hero, the rest of the book was methodical and funny. The secondary characters of Zain and Harley's best friend, Jessamy, was fantastic. I hope their book is next! Great read and I would encourage others to read and enjoy this author's work.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
583 reviews3 followers
February 7, 2020
This is a really great story it has so much going on in it. It is an intense love story and at the same time it is a very dramatic "beware" of what can happen if you are too naive and trusting. It has some very anxious moments but a lot of it is funny and lighthearted. I loved it.
156 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2020
Great book❣️

This book is full of suspense,a bossy boyfriend who likes to spank sassy women, and two friends who are on the hunt for a drug dealer who came up missing as soon as one of the girls was arrested. You will laugh, shudder, and cry when reading this five star book❤️❤️
8,360 reviews24 followers
February 27, 2020
Was not for me

The Lawyer's Secret Baby is the first book I have read by Polly Carter so I was not sure if I would connect with her writing or not. I picked up this book because the description intrigued me and I love a "down under" man but then when you add in some BDSM/power exchange I am all in. Well I cannot say that my expectations were met fully with this book. Unfortunately I found certain details of the story to be childish and more like a connect the dots kids puzzle as they were so easy to follow it was funny at times. Then add in a H that I wanted to smack a lot of the time as he was pompous and treated not only the h but other woman like they didn't have a brain in their heads, or if they did then they did not know how to use it. The h is not a lot better for me as she was so naive about one thing I was very much laughing out loud. But then to read that he kept a pregnancy and baby completely secret from the H was just a bit much.
For me this did not work really well and I am not sure if it is the author's writing and storytelling styles or if it is this one book that I did not connect with. I will try reading another book or two by Polly Carter before I make up my mind completely. But as all readers know there are some authors that you just fall in love with and others that are not your groove.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are all my own.
458 reviews2 followers
February 10, 2020
The Lawyers Secret Baby is such a wonderful love story that includes plenty of crime and action to keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing what will happen around each corner. The storyline is believable and the characters are true to life and filled with a large range of emotions throughout the story. Arian and Harley were pulled apart at an intense stage of their love but brought back together at the height of tragic and unforseen circumstances. Arian shows the perfect combination of understanding and acceptance in his part of the breakup after he realizes what caused the beginning of this long seperation. However he is only so understanding and does not think twice about putting Harley over his knee for a well deserved spanking when needed. The author knew how to write a deep friendship that went beyond the surface. Jessamay will stop at nothing to help her dear friend through this time of uncertainty. This brought about times of warmth but other times of smiles and laughs. However, in the end my favorite character was little Lyddia. She was precious and fillied with warmth, love, and attitude. Overall this book had everything I want in a great read. While this was the first book I have read by this author it won't be the last. Way to go! I voluntarily received an arc copy of this book.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
February 10, 2020
This story a something else I loved the hero of the story Arian he and Harley used to date until he moved to the US. He asked her to go she didn’t only to move away and break things off with him with no explanation she changed her phone number and all but not only that she kept the man’s child a secret from him and she knew for months while she was still with him that she was pregnant with his child she even asked her mother to keep this huge secret. When they meet again years later she is still blaming him for what she did, she is also now in trouble and facing jail time. You think she would tell him now but no she pushes him away constantly and says very hurtful things to him

Many times hoped Arian would have just let her go but find out about his daughter and be in her life. This chick has serous issues and I could not bring myself to like her character. I wish we could have read Arian’s POV, but the whole story is told through hers. This story was a solid three rating for me because their still were some things left in the air and I wanted to see more time between Arian and his daughter.
I voluntarily received an arc copy through Booksprout for my honest review.
Profile Image for Raecharmed.
7,569 reviews41 followers
February 17, 2020
Harley is a good person and is always helping someone in need. A guy takes advantage of her kindness and she ends up in jail for a serious crime. Arian is a lawyer and someone Harley has a history with. He promised to come back to her but never does. Now he us back and determined to get her back however he doesn't know that she's in trouble yet. When he finds out he is determined to help her so that they can finally be together. There's some secrets holding them back but if they would just communicate with one another they just might have a second chance. Can Harley and Arian find a way back to one and another? Will she be found innocent of the frame against her?

This is an amazing story that once I started it I couldn't put it down. The chemistry between them is blazing hot. This is a well written and very entertaining story. I would recommend this book to any book lover.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
1,831 reviews12 followers
February 4, 2020
Harley is somewhat naive and managed to become a drug mule. She is caught and is out on bail waiting for her trial. Arian has come back to Perth to win Harley back. This was an entertaining book, but the attitude of entitlement of the men in this book was a bit much. When Harley's friend Jessamy has a great idea to find the man who set up Harley, the men dismiss her. "I had no idea Jess was a dick, or that she was involved, but I don't think there's any need to take her seriously." And then Arian proceeds to 'forbid' Harley from helping Jessamy. I know there has to be a tone of dominant man but to be dismissive of someone just because they are female? Anyways, this is just my opinion. I enjoyed the story and I'm sure there will be a second with Zain and Jessamy. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Leanne Bryson.
4,031 reviews17 followers
February 4, 2020
I've never read anything by Polly Carter before and don't think I'll go out of my way to do so again. Airan and Harley had a long term relationship that fell apart when he went to the US for education/work opportunities. After almost 2 years, she begs him to come back during a visit, but he selfishly says he's not ready. So, she moves on, with a baby unknown to him. She cuts off all contact and moves back hoe for support. Airan has got to be one of the most self centered, entitled H I've read in a long while. Not particularly likable and certainly not entitled to "punish" Harley. I liked her most of the time, she was strong and did what was necessary to protect her childThe story's pace was uneven and I felt overly long.
I received an ARC via Booksprout and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for Annie Fitzgerald.
620 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2020
Great story about second chances and fighting for the one you love. As Harley finds herself in trouble and on the brink of going to jail she runs into her old love Arian. She fights the fact that she is still in love with him while he fights to have her back in his life after she left him without telling him why. With his expertise in law and a detective friend will they be able to save her from going to jail or will Harley and her best friend take matters into their own hands and hope they don’t lose their lives in the process?

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
4,508 reviews14 followers
February 15, 2020
Loved the book it was great, the story was well written and the characters are interesting. Once I started I could not put the book down from start to finish you just could not get enough left you wanting more twists and turns with emotions that makes you wanting more. One of Harley's clients asked her to drop something off, that something got her into trouble, Harley needed to see her ex-boyfriend a Lawyer called Arian.
Thank you for allowing me to review your book.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
6,576 reviews33 followers
February 9, 2020
A riveting second chance romance that is superbly written, emotionally deep, steamy, well thought out, and exciting. It is action packed with secrets, suspense, humour, and intrigue. An on the edge of your seat read that will keep you guessing and excited for what is to come next. The characters are likeable and strong; the chemistry is off the charts. Definitely recommended.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
1,718 reviews4 followers
February 9, 2020
I felt bad for Harley for trying to do something nice for someone and having it turn out so horribly. I am glad that Arian came back into her life when she needed him so much. I had a hard time with some of the story flowing for me. I just think this was not the book for me.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
3,087 reviews16 followers
February 12, 2020
Well written and captivating. Entertaining story line and fantastic characters. You can't help but love this book. A great second chance at romance story with suspense, secrets, intrigue and a bit of humor added in. Definitely recommend.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Profile Image for Kathleen Bradbury (Bulfon).
16.3k reviews158 followers
February 14, 2020
Great storyline and character development made this book a hot and enjoyable read! I could not put it down it was that good!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
7,813 reviews58 followers
February 14, 2020
I found myself caught in this book from beginning to the end. The storyline kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
1,604 reviews3 followers
February 27, 2020
This is a great book by a new to me authhor .This is a standalone with a HEA. There is lots of drama and even a secret baby

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
2,394 reviews15 followers
February 8, 2020

Harley and Arian have history. Years after they split they meet again, there are mixed emotions, chemistry, heat, deception, manipulation, secrets and a spanky HEA.
1,574 reviews
August 17, 2020
I can honestly say that there wasn't anything that I didn't like about this book. Yes, sometimes Arian and Harley annoyed me but in the same way that friends annoy you. I enjoyed the banter between all of the characters and enjoyed the Australian-ness of it. It came off just right. I'm really hoping that Jessamy and Zain have their own story in the future.
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