Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher:  Forever (July 19, 2022)

From Goodreads.com: Colby's living her best life: as a popular food blogger, she gets to fulfill her dreams of exploring the globe. But her world comes crashing down when a tragic accident leaves her co-guardian of her best friend's two adorable children. Not only does she need to put down roots—fast—but she'll be sharing custody with the one man she can't stand sharing a continent with, let alone a house.  

Accountant-extraordinaire Rip values rules and plans. But when he loses his sister and his best friend and becomes an insta-guardian all in one night, Rip sees his organized life imploding. What he really doesn't need is his sister's irresponsible, flighty—albeit kind and gorgeous—best friend making it worse.

Rip doesn't trust Colby to take their new responsibilities seriously, while Colby can't believe Rip thinks children will thrive under his rigid control. Yet soon Rip and Colby discover they need each other more than they hate each other. Could it be possible that following their hearts is just what their new little family needs?

                                                         *******************


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

To be honest, I struggled with this one A LOT. I found myself putting it down and walking away to do other things, or picking up a different book to read because Rip just made me so unbelievably angry. 

I get it. He's grieving. But the way he treated Colby sometimes boarded on emotional abuse. He screams at her to stop acting like a child when she's crying over the sudden loss of her best friend. He accuses her of making their death all about her when she passes out after having to identify the bodies. He accuses her of being drunk because she has a wine stain on her dress, completely forgetting the fact that moments prior, he had a full whiskey glass in his. He even goes so far as to scream at her about filling the children's heads with lies when she was trying to make them feel better about losing their parents and telling them that it was okay to just talk to their parents. Oh, and let me just say that the kids are only three and five. 

At one point, Colby even says she knows her self-worth and knew Rip never would. But that doesn't keep her from being "in love" with him. Doesn't keep her from wanting him to want her, or wanting to please him. And it certainly doesn't stop her from agreeing to a plan with Banks (one of Rip's friends) in which he pretends to be interested in her just to rouse Rip's jealousy. 

There is also a scene about halfway through the book (just when you may see a glimmer of hope of redemption for Rip) that is a word-for-word repeat of the novel's first chapter. I honestly don't see what purpose it served at this point other than to remind the reader of how horribly Rip has treated Colby up until now. I mean, for crying out loud, even after the good few weeks they have had and the "moments" they have shared, she is still struck with fear when she hears him come home because the house is dirty, and she just knows he's going to show her how angry he is without saying a word. In fact, she is convinced this will be the final straw for him. 

Now, after that scene, things seem to settle between the two, and we get a glimpse of a softer side of Rip. He begins to open up about his grief and the fact that he hasn't processed it. He even admits that he had feelings for Colby before but didn't know how to act on them. There were also some great moments where the author really connected the reader with the grief and loss these characters were experiencing. I especially loved the line that said, "you had to hold on to the moments - even the ones that drove you crazy. Because you never knew how long you had to enjoy them." 

Those moments are what saved this story for me, and although there is another instance of Rip acting like a complete jerk in regards to Colby, for once, he is quick to apologize. Oh, and those children? Well, it was obvious in the way they were written that this author is a parent. There were no insanely long, coherent speeches from the three-year-old, and the five-year-old acted just as I imagine a five-year-old boy would.  

If you don't mind males that need to be smacked upside the head with a good strong baseball bat and enjoy rom-coms then this one will probably be enjoyable for you. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
                                                         *******************
                                               
                                          The Godparent Trap is available on Amazon.com