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Feature book: Daddy’s Girl

10 March 2021

Daddy’s Girl by Belinda Williams

Series: Freshwater #3
Subgenre: contemporary romance
Release date: 25 Jan 2021
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook and print
Length: 285 pages
RRP: $5.99 (ebook); $32.99 (print)

This is the third book in the ‘Freshwater’ series and can be read standalone. However, I’m seriously going to say you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t read the first two books before this one. Mainly because the characters from the first two books do pop into this third one, but also because they’re just so good. I don’t want you missing out on any of the fun, and the getting-to-know-you lead-up with the heroine, Em Georgiou.

Now the thing with Em is that she looks fresh, lovely, young, giddy, sweet girl-next-door. Ahem, that description might have been slightly clarified from the first two books—she’s truly a down-to-earth, highly intellectual, very passionate but very happily single girl, despite what her Greek father (Chris) in particular wants for her. Which basically involves giving up her studies and instead find a husband and have children. Chris is a traditionalist, and protective, so he’s also given her a penthouse in Freshwater to live in for now, and an allowance while she finishes her PhD. But he never stops trotting eligible men her way.

Em knows she’s lucky to have such a loving, supportive family, but she’s not ready for any kind of relationship. She’s ready for ‘friends’ and ‘more’ with guys, but definitely nothing seriously long-term. Everything is casual, everything is definitely not serious. She wants to get her thesis completed and her professional life up and running after spending the last ten years as an academic. She’s ready to prove herself to the world and get out from under her father’s protective wing.

So when her father introduces her to architect Joel Scott, she thinks he’s just another guy in a long line her father has paraded in front of her. To complicate things, Joel and his business partner are bidding for a lucrative development contract with her father.

Joel realises he’s in a delicate manoeuvring position when he meets Em. She’s the daughter of the guy he wants to do business with, but he doesn’t necessarily want to butter her up just to get the contract, no matter how attractive she is. It’s a relief to both of them when they both acknowledge the ‘elephant in the room’ (Chris’s matchmaking) and work around it instead.

Joel’s like Em. He doesn’t want a relationship right now or for the foreseeable future. He’s all for growing his business. And we get the slightest hint that there’s something in his past that’s also driving him to succeed, above the odds.

Tough luck, guys. When Joel and Em kiss for the first time—not really letting any secrets out here—it’s incendiary! That kiss takes them both by surprise, and their alleged ‘non-relationship’ turns into a red-hot hurricane of sizzling action and emotion. Which they also don’t want, but can’t help but be drawn to each other, again and again. But, you know, ‘there is no relationship’ …

The ‘showdown’ between them, when it comes, was definitely not what I expected. It’s not ‘just’ about Em and Joel. It’s a doozy, bringing in that dark past hinted at by Joel, bringing Em’s father in like a marauding, protective guard-dog, brings Em’s friends clustering around her, and Joel’s business partner is like—well, read it and see. It’s truly a moment. I cried, then got a bit soggy again in the last few pages. What a splendid ending.

This is a wow finish to the Freshwater trilogy! I love it to bits and can’t wait to see what’s next for Belinda Williams.

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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