You can’t thaw a heart that was never frozen.
Retired at thirty-five, billionaire Matt Coolidge should be enjoying the fruits of his workaholic years. Instead, he’s got migraines from butting heads with his mother. If Matt doesn’t get a matrimonial move-on, she’s threatening to will the family farm to his brother, who’ll turn it into a strip mall.
Then Matt’s childhood best friend rolls back into town, bringing a complication that’s not entirely unexpected—or unwelcome.
Years ago, with Matt’s help, Dara Marley froze several embryos before cancer treatment stole her fertility—and before a stupid argument tore their friendship apart. Now alone, she’s taking the most logical step to ensure the child she’s carrying has a father. Returning to Matt—and hoping bygones will be bygones.
Baby and all, Matt’s on board. And when Dara finds out Matt’s career kept him too busy for a relationship—even sex—she’s more than happy to bring him up to speed.
But a decades-old grudge between their families means keeping quiet about their good news—and the feelings they never knew went far deeper than friendship.
I have to admit that part of the reason I signed up to review The Virgin Cowboy Billionaire’s Secret Baby was because I had to know exactly how a man could make it to thirty-five and still be a virgin, especially if said man was also a billionaire. As I read the book and came to understand the dynamic between Matt and Dara and Matt and his parents, it made a lot of sense. Matt used the startup of his company and work as a way to fill the void that Dara left behind when their friendship became strained after a fight and as a way to avoid his parents. But when his doctor informed him that he was well on his way to working himself into an early grave, Matt retired from the company and moved back home to find a simpler way of life on the family farm. Unfortunately for Matt, simpler didn’t necessarily equal stress-free.
As it turns out, The Virgin Cowboy Billionaire’s Secret Baby was a sweet but fraught second chance romance. When Matt and Dara reconnect, it’s due in a large part because Dara’s husband has filed for divorce and she’s learned that her last fertilization procedure was successful, meaning she’ll soon be twice-divorced with a baby on the way. Because her soon-to-be-ex was not the baby’s father, she’s decided to approach Matt to see if he was interested in taking an active part in the child’s life being as Matt was the man whose sperm donation made it possible for Dara to freeze her embryos before the chemo destroyed her ability to have children. With nearly a decade having passed since their fight, Dara is not sure how Matt will react to her request – after all, things did not end well between them. Once Matt has a chance to consider what Dara is offering, he embraces the idea of becoming a father. As the two spend time together and rekindle their friendship, Dara is surprised to learn that her best friend is still a virgin and she makes him an offer that is beneficial to both of them – she’ll teach him how to please a woman and, in the process, he’ll help her with her amped-up libido courtesy of pregnancy hormones. Maybe it was because they were friends for so long and they trusted one another completely, but the sex scenes were freaking hot as Dara taught Matt about sex and helped him overcome his fear of failure. But when Matt receives a date request via a dating site he signed up for, he and Dara are faced with the end of their mutually beneficial arrangement and possibly the friendship as they realize (but refuse to admit) that there’s more between them than just sex.
One of the things I liked about The Virgin Cowboy Billionaire’s Secret Baby is the conflict that Gallagher included. The book had the potential to be an overly sweet second chance romance, but the conflict between Matt and Dara’s families as well as the scheme Matt’s mom was pulling kept it from happening as there was far too much stress for them to have an easy time of it. I enjoyed watching Dara and Matt as they began to see their best friend in a new light. I also liked how Matt told Dara that she probably wouldn’t have liked who he became while he was working to make his company a success. By no means was this an easy reunion between two friends. I was seriously appalled by both of their mothers’ actions and schemes and was glad that at least their fathers were able to act like adults. While the ending wasn’t the perfect happily ever after I tend to see in second chance romances, I think it was the perfect ending for Matt and Dara. I do hope that the author decides to revisit Aspen Mill because I’d be interested in seeing how Matt’s sister, Beth, dealt with their mother’s manipulations and catch up with Matt and Dara as well.