Jun 14 2017 8:30am

First Look: Lauren Blakely’s The Knocked Up Plan (June 23, 2017)

The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely
The Knocked Up Plan
Lauren Blakely / June 23, 2017 / $3.99 digital

The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely pretty much lets you know what the story is about from the start. It's, yes, a heroine who would like to get pregnant. However, the story is so much more. It's a friends to lovers romance. It's also two savvy characters - dating/relationship experts, in fact, who think they can stay ahead of their own emotions, and separate love and romance from “dating” and sex. Nicole Powers and Ryder Lockhart work for “Hanky Panky Love” - the dating division of a lifestyle media giant. They're practically the same person in male and female form. 

Nicole and Ryder are obviously insane attractive, have their own radio shows and such ... but that's just the surface. Nicole hasn't found love and wants to have a baby, so she takes matters into her own hands. She looked into a sperm bank, then decides she wants to know how her baby might look, so she asks her practically perfect co-worker, Ryder for his sperm. He's basically the perfect male speciman—smart, great personality, and insanely attractive. Ryder and Nicole have always have a simmering attraction in the background, so Ryder agrees to Nicole's plan, but because this is a romance, he wants to make a baby in the “traditional way.”

I was actually ok with it - it makes sense, wanting to explore the attraction that was always there. And the perfect opportunity presents itself, when neither Nicole or Ryder would ever have acted on it ... until Nicole comes up with her plan and request. In exchange for his “baby batter” Nicole has to go on a series of dates with Ryder - but not for any romantic reason. He's about to lose his job and needs to turn things around into “how to romance her” instead of “how to score.” This, plus the sex is too much for our savvy not couple, and both develop strong romantic feelings for each other.

As both Ryder and Nicole are “lifestyle experts,” Ms. Blakely makes it believable the two of them would be so matter of fact and certain they'd be able to separate sex from emotion. It'd be two adults conducting (various) transactions and having a good time. Contracts are written about the child and parental rights (that Ryder won't have any) - and they go on from there.

If you think Ryder is an ass ... well the crazy almost refreshing thing is ... in the beginning, he kind of is. Not as a person overall, but as a guy to date. He was really burned by love. He had a whole empire built on being “the consummate wingman” but became bitter after his divorce. He had a lot of good reason to, but it's affecting all aspects of his life. He hasn't let himself get emotionally involved. The “forced” interaction with Nicole, being her coworker and already having a healthy attraction and respect for her, along with the series of dates, and the phenomenal sex, is a major wake up call

I do have to say, one aspect of the book annoyed me. Not that Nicole wants to get pregnant and have a baby, but her “logic” for the why. She says throughout she's “too old” to find love and it'll never happen for her, so she has to have the baby now. Please. She's 30. Not only is it a perfectly reasonable age to have a child and in no way “too old” but she's a sex and relationship “expert.” That's literally her career. So what - she doesn't think anyone over 30 can find love? It reminded me of a friend in middle school who said she never wanted to be old, and wouldn't live past 40. Of course, that friend was 12. Nicole not only should know better, but considering her job, it especially bothered me. 

In a way, I'd suggest suspending the disbelief of the premise of the book - the age thing. Every other aspect is well written and works. Ryder and Nicole are in your basic budding romantic relationship from the start, only they aren't because it's all based on various agreements, where both parties staunchly and clearly maintain emotion has no part of it. Of course life is messy, and I love how Ryder and Nicole both start yearning for more, but feel trapped by their own prior words.

The Knocked Up Plan is extremely hot, and seriously romantic. You also have the delicious angst of characters realizing they might not be quite as impervious and cosmopolitan as you thought, with the reward of true love. Messy can be good, and second chances better. I loved Ryder's friends, and can't wait to read their romances. You actually first meet Nicole in The Only One which tells her friend Penny's romance. Her other friend Delaney also got her HEA in The Hot One. I've really enjoyed the various series Ms. Blakely has written, and like how they are tied together, but can stand alone. So many “easter eggs” to find.


Learn more about or pre-order a copy of The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely, available June 23, 2017:

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