Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Review: Konigsburg, Texas, Bk 3 - Be My Baby © Meg Benjamin

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Title:  Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3 - Be My Baby

Author: Meg Benjamin

Publisher: Samhain

Main Characters: Jessamyn Carroll & Lars Toleffson

There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas…

Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3

If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.

Peace…at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.

Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently.

Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.

 

Lars Toleffson had oatmeal in his hair. He found it by accident while he was sitting drinking a beer with his brothers at the Dew Drop Inn in downtown Konigsburg, Texas. Since that was around five in the afternoon, he’d probably been wearing the oatmeal all day. He only hoped other people hadn’t noticed. Daisy, his two-year-old daughter, was learning to feed herself. She was really enthusiastic about breakfast, and sometimes her enthusiasm slopped over.

So to speak.

The only way Lars could have a beer with his brothers was through the generosity of his sisters-in-law, who’d taken Daisy with them to the park to see the city workers put up some decorations. Lars wasn’t sure what holiday was being decorated for—it was early November, but he had a feeling the decorations were probably for Christmas. Christmas was a big deal in Konigsburg, given the shopping frenzy the tourists usually went into once the season was officially open.

Lars sighed, rubbing his eyes. He adored his daughter. He’d moved to Texas to make a better life for her than she would have had in Iowa where his ex-wife lived within meddling distance, even though it meant giving up the automatic babysitting services provided by his folks. But sometimes he wished he could take a day off from being a full-time single parent.

Of course, every time he wished that, he ended up feeling like a total shit.

“Hey, bro.” His brother Pete dropped into a chair opposite him. “No dozing off at the table. At least not until you’ve listened to us talk for a few minutes. I mean, give us a chance to bore you to sleep first.”

Lars shook his head. “Sorry. Late night last night. Daisy didn’t feel like sleeping until midnight.” He’d felt like sleeping around eight-thirty himself, but that was par for the course these days.

His brother Cal pulled out a chair next to Pete. The three of them took up all the available space and some that wasn’t really available, like the area around the table where they tried to stretch their legs out. Their mother had given birth to four giants, all of them standing over six feet four. No wonder Mom had her grumpy moments.

“Hey, y’all, where’s the beer? Don’t we have a standing order by now?” Cal asked.

Pete shrugged. “Looks like she’s working her way down the tables.”

“She?” Cal raised an eyebrow.

“The waitress.”

Cal leaned forward, squinting into the darkness. The Dew Drop wasn’t well known for the candle power of its lighting. “What waitress? Ingstrom fired the waitress he had last week. Or she walked out—I’m not sure which.”

“He’s hired another one. He’s trying to upgrade the place.” Pete raised a hand, signaling. “Wonder says Ingstrom may even wash the windows one of these days.”

Cal widened his eyes in amazement. “You mean so we could actually see what this place looks like? Wouldn’t that destroy his business?”

“Whatcha want?”

Lars blinked. The woman standing beside the table wore a leather vest zipped over breasts the size of melons. Big melons. Her bare arms were covered in so many tattoos they looked blue. A roll of white flesh bulged between the bottom of her vest and the top of her jeans. The nametag on her left breast read Hi! My Name Is Ruby.

Be My Baby © Meg Benjamin

 

Review

I am hooked on the Toleffson men and on this series that Meg Benjamin has created. After two visit to small town Konigsburg, I am back for a third time and this times it’s Lars Toleffson turn in front of cupids arrow.

Lars has not had it easy, with a litany of what if’s in his past he is trying to build a new life for himself and his daughter – it’s going well enough and could go better if he could find a sitter for his two years old, who was more interested in the child than in him or has some sense of health and safety.

When he places an advert and Jessamyn Carroll turns up for the job, she does not look like a babysitter, but at this stage he was just about ready to try anything. Things goes better than he would have ever imagined and just when he thinks that the only thing he has left to worry about is his sisters-in-law trying to match make, someone tries to takes Jack the babysitters son. Lars sees only one alternative at hand – move in and take onboard Jess’s battles.

Jessamyn Carroll is working a job she doesn’t particularly like but it allows for her to have a roof over her head and most importantly let her continue living under the radar.

She needs this cover to hide from her in-laws and give her son every chance of normalcy as she can. When danger comes a calling Jess is place into a not so reluctant position of accepting help from Lars Toleffson.

Jesse and Lars are not equipped to deal with all these challenges on their own and needs the help of all the Toleffson brood. Getting them involved only help them to a certain degree because Lars is sweet on Jess and Jess is most definitely sweet and Lars – but with Docia Toleffson and a precocious two years old to content with – Maybe meeting all those challenges head on did not seem so bad after all.

Meg Benjamin and her Konigsburg series is another wonderful find for me this year. Third book in the series BE MY BABY is not only a wonderful addition but it is the best book of the series so far.

The other two feels like a build up to this book. Firstly there are the characters While I only just met Jess, Ms. Benjamin gave me enough of a background on her to identify with her, to understand where she was coming from. Larson on the other hand is firmly in my heart - I have been through, the entire range of emotion with him through two books – so I was ready for a happily ever after for him.

The regulars made an appearance as well and no visit to Konigsburg would be complete without the shenanigans that the residents are famous for happening, so I met the very butch waitress, got involved in a proposal gone wrong and a battle of the dogs that I can only guess at who won.

The meat of this book centers on Jess past trying to catch up with her – the characters involved in those scenes of the book were so well done… With phrases like..

 

 

The call came in late afternoon. Lydia was unsurprised. Roy Westerman was a weasel, but he was her
weasel. She knew he’d find someone, particularly since he’d have a commission on whatever his
contractor was paid.
She clicked the connect button on the cell phone she’d purchased just for this particular caller, then
flicked the lock on her office door. It wouldn’t do to have someone wander in during this call. Particularly
Preston. “Yes?”
“Mrs. Moreland?”
The voice sounded oddly distorted. It took her a moment to realize the contractor was using some
voice-disguising device. She was momentarily annoyed but decided to ignore it. “This is Lydia Moreland.
To whom am I speaking?”
There was a brief pause on the other end of the line. The thin, metallic voice sounded faintly amused. “If
you need a name, you can call me Smith. Or Jones. Or anything else you choose. Any name I gave you
would be a convenience, nothing more, Mrs. Moreland.”
Lydia’s jaw tightened. “Very well, Smythe . I assume you’ve spoken with Roy Westerman.”

Be My Baby © Meg Banjamin

 

I was trapped in this plot. It moved fast, the twist and turns kept coming and faceless and chilly mannerism took on a whole new meaning. The way the author swings between the scenes like a revolving door really was one of the highlights of the book. image

The who done it also sneaked up on me and even now I am so impressed at how well Ms. Benjamin wove the mystery into the other storylines to the point that I was just as surprised at everyone in Konigsburg about the outcome.

Another positive was how the author grew the Toleffson boys, they are totally different in their approach and their thought process from how I met them earlier this year, That said there is one more single brother left and if there was  anyone more deserving of a HEA it is Erik Toleffson – I eagerly await his story …..

Bottom Line

Small town does not get much better, more convoluted nor more up in the air than Konigsburg. BE MY BABY is a solid read and in my opinion a better book than the past two in the series. While there is a mystery to content with in this book, the characters are better defined; they are more relaxed, it feels like Ms. Benjamin is more comfortable with her creations.

I am loving the fresh blood she introduces to the town, because left up to their own device’s Konigsburgers would not allow anyone to cross its boundaries.

I absolutely love this book and although it can be read on it’s own I wouldn’t recommend it – it would be your loss to miss out on meeting a fantastic and dynamic set of people. Must read series and book…

 

Book 2 – Wedding Bells Blues

Book 1 – Venus in Blue Jeans

 

1 Speak To Me:

Meg Benjamin on 17 December 2009 at 14:04 said...

Thanks for the kind words. I'm so glad you liked Be My Baby!