One of my favorite tropes is the secret baby one so when I read the blurb for Not Your Average Joe by Nell Carson, I knew this book would be right up my alley. Although the plot for these types of books is predictable, I still enjoy them and read pretty much every book I come across with this theme.
Jennifer Wright is a single mom who works during the day at Brickman Foods and attends law school at night. At the end of her shift one day her boss brings over new employee Jason Baxter and asks Jennifer to train him. The only problem is Jennifer instantly recognizes him as Jared Brickman, the son of the owner of the plant – and the father of her 6 year old son. Jared is there to film an “Undercover Boss” type show so she plays along and doesn’t let on that she knows him. Jennifer has always struggled with whether or not to tell Jared about their son, and their close working relationship makes the urge to tell him even stronger.
The back story between Jennifer and Jared really portrays him as a cheating asshole and it is a little hard to overcome that dislike even as the story progresses. Granted we’ve all done things we weren’t proud of in college, but it seems that he is still an asshole. His comments about single moms and daycares really do not help us like him at all. Jennifer on the other hand I really liked. After getting pregnant in high school her parents kicked her out and she was on her own. She had to drop out of school because she was so ill during her pregnancy but now that her son is older she has gone back and not only completed high school and college, but she is in law school.
Jennifer is being sexually harassed by the plant manager and her friend Mandy is determined to do something about it. Unbeknownst to her, Mandy has been in contact with Jared’s sister in an attempt to get the manager fired. When their father won’t do anything about it, Jared and his sister take matters into their own hands. A video is obtained of the manager assaulting Jennifer and they show it during the live airing of the show. I found myself cheering for Mandy and Cynthia and I’m hoping they get their own books.
I enjoyed the book overall but there were just a few things that irked me. One was the fact that the author never really redeemed Jared which made it a little difficult to cheer for him in the end. The second thing was the big reveal that Jared was Chris’ father. It was just blurted out, he took her word for it and they ran and told Chris immediately. There was no time to absorb the shock, none of the normal are you sure questions, nothing. I felt like so much more could have been done with that scene.
If you are looking for a fast read with a predictable story then you will enjoy this one. I wouldn’t hesitate to try more of Ms. Carson’s books and if this happens to turn into a series I will be reading them all.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Not Your Average Joe
by Nell Carson
Release Date: August 1, 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing