Play Dates series
by Maggie Wells
Once burned, this father of twins is twice shy until he realizes the right woman is the charm . . .
James Harper is a great dad, but a lousy judge of women—as evidenced by his twin boys’ flighty mother, who walked out when the babies were just six weeks old. He’s got fatherhood down, but dating is another story—especially when the twins’ mom shows up any time she needs something. His office manager, Rosie Herrera, is the one woman he can count on, actually talk to, flirt with, and . . . come to think of it, has he been overlooking the perfect woman all this time?
Rosie’s been in love with James since her first day on the job, but she’s certain he only sees her as a reliable employee—until one heated kiss changes everything. And then James’s ex shows up, and walks right into his life again. Determined to move on, Rosie tries to forget everything she feels about James—by doing her best to fall for someone else. But James isn’t about to make the same mistake twice. To woo Rosie this time, he needs to prove they’re made for each other . . . forever.
I think one of the hardest parts of this story is that it is a little too real. You have to feel for Rosie because she’s been in love with James for years but he’s either clueless or actively ignoring it (or a little of both). While it’s understandable, it doesn’t do her any favors to have her pining away for him. When things finally came to a head, I found myself cheering for her as she moves on … and a bit hoping that things might work out with one of her new beaus. And her growing friendship with the wives is one of the brightest parts of the book
James is doing the best he can as a single father. Dealing with his flighty ex and an attraction to his office manager, who is very much off limits, is just a little too much. I think that James gets the worst of it when it comes to the realism of the book negatively impacting some readers. He’s pretty clueless and not the take-charge type we’re used to in a hero. He caves to his business partners’ demands about dating Rosie, as well as their crazy (and somewhat ill-thought out) plan to get rid of his ex. I could maybe see something like this happen in real life, where people do stupid things all the time, but in a romance you expect better behavior from your characters 🙂
With a hero that has a lot of moments where he tries to make everyone else happy, and fails spectacularly, and a heroine that holds out hope for love a little too long for comfort, A Ring for Rosie isn’t the smoothest of romances but it is real and has satisfying moments, characters that appeal, and some of the cutest kids on the face of the planet.