Secret Maneuvers - Jessie Lane This book is a perfect 3.5/5 for me, but seeing how you can't do ".5", I have to give it a 4.

I did like this book. It's not a simple black & white romance where boy meets girl, falls in love & they live HEA. There's a lot of twist & turns - some of which I normally don't tolerate in my reads, but it surprisingly worked w/this one.

Let's just get down to a the main issue w/this book - one which most probably have already figured out. However, I will hide it.

The "secret" pregnancy plot. I normally hate this plot, & usually automatically dislike the h & side w/the H. I tend to use my "real life" passionate view point that every man, even a useless jerk, has a right to know about fathering a child - & vice versus about the child having a right to know about his/her father. Not this time. I think that this is the 1st time I can see how the knowledge of this child was kept from the H. I'm not 100% convinced that the h intended to keep this as a secret from the H to begin with.

The H&h meet in high school. He is the town's golden boy; she is the town's "trailer trash". The h has never had a secure stable relationship in her life. Doesn't even know what 1 looks like. Her abusive father has beaten her mother to death. He now beats the h. She reservedly opens herself up to the H when he starts perusing her. They date for 2 yrs. The H makes all kinds of promises to the h, then goes off to do some military stuff. After ignoring the h for a couple of months, the H finally sends her (@ a extremely vulnerable time) a "nice-knowing-you-goodbye-have-a-good-life" letter. The h is in a situation that she has to boogie out of town for her own safety right after receiving that letter - unknowingly prego.

The murky part for me: Did the h truly intentionally try to keep the child a secret from the H? Honestly, I don't think so. I can see w/this young h's past of unstable men thinking that telling the H about his child would be pointless & not an option. It's not until she matures & has a better view on life does she realize that telling the H is not only an option, but a right. By then, she's reluctant because she doesn't know anything about the H - eg, if he's married w/kids. Would he reject their son? This is all feasible to me.

What I couldn't get - & what ticked me off - was the H's anger & hostility toward the h. I can understand some of his anger & disappointment about not knowing about his child, but I think he was mainly in in that situation as a result of his own doing. He was a big-whiny-baby-poopy-pants who was unjustifiable in his hostility toward the h. But hey, it made for a good story.

The last 25% of the book did lag on for me. I had to skip over some of the action scenes because it got too boring. The big "break-up" scene @ the end (hey, this is not a spoiler because every romance book has 1) confused the heck out of me. 1 minute the H is declaring his love & dedication to the h . . . she is his arms & legs . . .blah, blah, blah. Then he goes away w/o talking to her for 2 months.?.?.? WTF!

Nevertheless, this was a good book over all. The H kept my dander up, which kept me entertained. I'm sticking w/this author & this series. (Thank you that Riley's & his ex's bk is next JL!) Koodooz Jessie Lane!