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The Best Laid Plans

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,189 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Boundaries. The key to how corporate lawyer Alexandra Knight manages her busy life. However, lately all her precisely drawn lines are getting blurred. Blame it on her out-of-control biological clock that is ignoring her single status...and on Ethan Stone.

Because her sexy, no-strings colleague has posed an outrageous solution to her dilemma--he'll be her baby daddy. This fr
Paperback, Harlequin SuperRomance #1669, 288 pages
Published November 2010 by Harlequin Books
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,189 ratings  ·  166 reviews

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4 ½ stars – Contemporary Romance

Sarah Mayberry is my favorite category contemporary romance author, and I’m continually impressed by the genuine character development and emotional depth she’s able to convey in her stories. The Best Laid Plans is a great ‘friends to lovers’ tale between a career woman who yearns for a child and is afraid her time has nearly run out and her lawyer co-worker whose playboy commitment phobic ways masks underlying hurt, insecurity, and fear resulting from a painful d
Sarah Mayberry is a favorite author of mine and I had already planned to buy the book when Tell Harlequin surprised me with a free copy to read for a market research survey. To say it was a pleasant surprise would be an understatement.

Melbourne attorney Alexandra Knight is not having a great morning. She has a client appointment first thing, a hole in her stockings and a run-in with her ex-boyfriend - who's wrestling a baby and carriage into a car a mere 18 months after ending their seven-year
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hqn-category
Harlequin winner, part deux!

A winner, and I really enjoyed it. This one went by very quickly, but it was also a satisfying and emotional read. I found myself choked up towards the end, and I'm usually a tough nut to crack.

The story, briefly.

The plot isn't too complex, but the dynamics and characters are what make it special. Basically, career woman Alex decides she wants to have a baby, and office ladykiller Ethan steps up to the plate and offers to be her sperm donor. They have to navigate thei
Oct 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When I pick up a Sarah Mayberry book, I know I’m going to be in for a major treat of very real characters, and a deep story plot not found in too much in short novellas of today.

The Best Laid Plans is another winner by Mayberry, that as a woman in now her mid-twenties can understand more about what it will be and means to woman to be a mother. Not a mother myself, I felt for the heroine Alex Knight as she wakes up one day to find that her time is ticking by to have a child. Then her desperate
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dead-tree
The Girl--Alex Knight, 39, is almost deafened by the sound of her biological clock. She wants to have a baby, but with a career in a powerful law firm and a wealth of personal issues going back to her teenage years, getting knocked up isn't going to be a simple process.

The Guy--Ethan Stone, 42, is the office ladykiller, and he's Alex's racquetball partner. They're friends, but not friends, and his own slew of personal hang-ups keep him from taking that leap of faith when it comes to Alex.

The Set
Jacob Proffitt
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: steamy, romance
I had a hard time with the first half of this book—while Alex and Ethan are planning on being co-parents (each remaining single). I think it seemed like they were treating it rather trivially, or casually, maybe, when neither are trivial or casual people. Indeed, both have been rather slapped in the face with some harsh truths and should know better.

There's a turning point a little after mid-way, though, and things get lots better. I particularly like how well Mayberry sketched the details of fe
As a general rule, I like anything written by Sarah Mayberry. This was no exception. Except, while it is classified as a romance, there was so little romance. There was a happy ending, of course, but the growing lust-love and tension, almost completely missing.

The heroine, Alex, single at 38, runs into her anti-children ex- who happens to be a father now. To make things worse, she finds out that if she wanted a family, she better start now. Her hot coworker and raquetball buddy, Ethan, happens t
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Best Laid Plans is an amazing book. Alex is a lawyer, she is 38 years old and is very successful professionally when she runs into her ex-boyfriend whom she lived with for 7 years, her ex always said that he didn't want kids and that was the reason Alex ended the relationship after seeing how futile it was for her to hope that he would change but she runs into him and sees that he has a child that shocks her and when she goes to her doctor and learns that the chances of her getting pregnant ...more
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Re-read 15/12/2020

Apparently, I'm re-reading all the past favourites that have been on my Kindle since the dawn of time. I still love this. I guess I'd put this at 4.5 stars now, given how fast everything does go and given the fact that Ethan's "secret" regarding his past marriage stays buried too long.

But oh. This book and its plot still get to me. I can't believe it had been 7 years since I'd read it, I remembered so much of this. And reading this at 35 instead of at 28 was a vastly different
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: hqn
I think I am in the minority on this one, but this was just okay. I thought the book went on too long with internal dialogues and very little interaction between the two, so I found it hard to believe they had fallen in love. Secondly, I felt Ethan's inability to commit to a lasting relationship was a bit over the top....and I was surprised that she could entertain going back to him after the way he treated her.

Not one of my favorites.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nice story with older mc's, 38 and 42 respectively, partners in a law firm who come together to fulfill a want to have a biological child and co-parenting. They find much in common as they become more intimate. ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it liked it
**3.5 stars**

Good book but I just didn't feel this guy or the relationship. Sarah Mayberry's books tend to have lots of chemistry but in this one, they felt more like friends than anything. I also couldn't believe that he didn't have a clue his wife was so unhappy. The fact that he didn't know his wife after a 12-year relationship made him as either clueless or so self-centered that he didn't pay attention to what was going on around him.

The best part was the relationship between the hero and h
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I told myself that I was done with any Harlequin titles YEARS ago ... but I was in the (strange) mood for romance for the past few weeks, and a friend gave this a 5-star rating (even if I don't share some of her taste), so I was curious.

One thing stands out in this ... the fact that the heroine and the hero are both in their late 30's and early 40's; and their life (money wise, career wise) has been established . I like that, because I feel like I'm in the company of 'mature' love / relationship
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while, you can find a very rare jewel between all the harlequin releases and in my opinion, this was one of them.

The book starts with Alex running into her old-boyfriend. She spent seven years in a relationship with him and the reason why they break up was because he didn't want a child. When she runs into him, she finds out that he had a baby just recently and she's very hurt. She feels like she lost all this time with him and feels like she's running out of time. She has a doctor con
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really well done friends-to-lovers story. Well written, well plotted and very nicely executed. Sometimes an author makes the transition from friends to lovers a bit jarring. But not here. Not once did I feel like anything was contrived, every situation flowed organically.

The main characters were incredibly appealing with Ethan being a prototype excellent hero. The dialogue was also a plus, the banter between the two was frequently witty.

I also liked that the epilogue was welcome and not exactl
Jacqueline J
I liked this book. I'm not generally fond of Harlequine super romance because they tend to be about ordinary couples and are not usually the best written books. I usually find the authors competent at best. This one the writing was really good and engaging and I was totally drawn into the story. The characterization was extremely well done on the part of both the hero and the heroine. ...more
Another very satisfying read by Sarah Mayberry. I'm very impressed with her ability to handle the shorter form of HQ while delivering well-rounded characters, believable emotions, and a decent plot. I have no real caveats with this book. I thought it was well done all the way around. ...more
Jane Stewart
Just ok. A lot of internal pondering. Single career woman wants a baby before it’s too late.

Alexandra (Alex) is 38, single, successful corporate lawyer, partner in a law firm. Ethan is 42, partner in the same law firm. They are best friends and play racquetball weekly. Alex desperately wants to have a baby and debates whether to find a husband through online dating or purchase sperm through an agency. When Ethan discovers this, he realizes he would like a child also. He offers to pro
I just flat-out ADORE stories by Sarah Mayberry and this story that I quickly picked up once I knew of its release and left everything else on hold just reeled me in from the beginning until its perfect ending which still has me sniffling all around. Sigh! Just sheer perfectness!
My review of the story can be found up on my blog:
Seriously, cannot wait till the release of her next title The Last Goodbye which is to be released Feb 11'.
2.5 stars.

I would have liked this book more if the author had seen the original story line through of friends deciding to have a baby together, no strings attached. I wish they would have fell in love through that journey. That would have been an interesting story to read, but she cut the strings half way through and took a detour to a different plot. The sexual tension went straight out the window with it. It wasn't as fun to read anymore after that but it wasn't a horrible read.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Nice work. :)
Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}
2.5 Stars

I wanted to like this story for the simple reason that I loved the cover so much :)

Unfortunately I did not. It wasn't a horrible story, but it was very unrealistic. Alexandra is almost 39 and wants to have a baby; her co-worker (after less than a week of finding out how important to her this is), offers to be the father. Less than a week. This is a coworker... thankfully that got squashed by midway through the book; after that it was a sweet romance story. The whole baby thing bothered
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is SO good. SO. GOOD. The heroine runs into an ex and has a doctors appointment, with the result that she realizes she’s running out of time to have biological children. She starts looking into options. Her friend and coworker sees her go through this and is reminded of his own desire for a family, which he let go after a bad divorce. Both of the characters are professionals and adults. They have their own issues, but are never irrational. I loved reading their story. I wish the story ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I have a confession to make -hero/heroines as lawyers - not my favorite. In fact, I'm less likely to pick up a book if the hero or heroine is a lawyer. The one exception is a Julie James book. I like her lawyers. :) Anyone else, unless it's a romantic suspense, I can do without them. In Sarah Mayberry's latest, an author I adore, both the hero and heroine are lawyers. I wasn't crazy about that but it's a Mayberry so an auto-read for me.

Alexandra Knight is a smart career woman who, up until 18 m
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brianna (The Book Vixen)
Review copy provided by publisher

Why I Read this Book: I usually don’t read romances where there are pregnancies and babies involved because why would I want to read about that stuff when I’m living it? We read for an escape, right? And that wouldn’t be much of an escape for a mom of two, with one on the way, like me. But for some reason, and probably because I am pregnant at the moment, this book held an interest for me.

What I Liked: I read Her Best Friend and fairly enjoyed it. I like this aut
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
4 Stars ~ Bumping into her ex-boyfriend, Jacob, at the convenience store, Alexandra's shocked because he's pushing a baby carriage, and one glance at the baby is enough for Alex to know that he's the daddy. This is the start of the day that shakes up the rest of her life. She's 38 and very soon to be 39, and later that day at her annual physical her doctor reminds her of how fast her clock is ticking. And to end her day, she has an emotional breakdown with a colleague during their weekly racquet ...more
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ
This is by no means a traditional romance. It starts out with our heroine realizing her biological clock is ticking and she's running out of time to have a baby. She decides her best option is through a fertility clinic and a sperm donor when she's surprised that a coworker offers to be the sperm donor and help her raise the child. I'm sure later in the book there will be some romance (after all it's a Harlequin), but I'm up to page 82 and so far the entire book is about fertility.

OKay, finishe
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: category-romance
Sarah Mayberry is rapidly becoming one of my favorite category romance authors. I love that the hero in The Best Laid Plans is a normal guy, not an overwhelming jerk as in some category romances, and I'm beginning to think that most of her heroes are normal guys, so big plus there.

Ms. Mayberry takes a very plausible situation (38 year old career woman w/ ticking biological clock) and manages to craft a sweet and touching romance.

My only complaint would be that the first 2/3 of the book focuses
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Sarah Mayberry was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. From the time that she first “stole” paper from kindergarten and stapled it together to make “books,” Sarah has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, on graduation from high school she completed a bachelor of arts degree majoring in professional writing, then sat down to write a book. When ins ...more

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