The Surprise Triplets (Safe Harbor Medical, #14) By Jacqueline Diamond

    Good book. When Melissa and Edmond had married, they had agreed that they didn't want children. Five years into the marriage, Melissa had changed her mind, and tried to talk to Edmond about having a family after all. He was still adamant about it, then went off and had a vasectomy without telling her. Furious and hurt at his actions, she packed her bags and divorced him, feeling like she had never really known him. Three years later she hasn't found a new love, so she has pursued motherhood on her own. She is now pregnant with triplets.

    Edmond has always felt that he isn't father material. As a teen he had felt responsible for his younger sister and when she made poor life choices later, and is now facing prison, he blamed himself. He feels that he failed his sister and there's no way he would want to risk ruining a child's life. Now he's been tasked with taking care of his niece and the prospect scares him. Now that he is living and working in Safe Harbor, seeing Melissa again reminds him how much he has missed her and their relationship. He had hoped that they might rekindle their relationship, but those hopes crashed and burned when he saw she was pregnant. He does ask for her assistance in getting Dawn settled with him, and finds that his attraction to her is just as strong as it had been and his love for her had never gone away.

    Melissa is happy to be pregnant, though does have some concerns about raising three babies on her own. Edmond's arrival in Safe Harbor brings back both good and bad memories. They had had a wonderful marriage until the end, but his refusal to even discuss having children had strained it, and his sneaky vasectomy had destroyed her trust. When she finds out that he's become guardian to his niece she is happy to help him prepare. She finds that they are just connected as they had been before, as long as they avoid the topics of fatherhood and her pregnancy.

    I felt that both Edmond and Melissa bore some responsibility for the end of their marriage. They had made an agreement at the beginning, and Melissa wanted to change things. However, she brought it up for discussion, and he refused to even talk about it. He never told Melissa why he felt that way, and then to go off and get a vasectomy without telling her was just wrong. I didn't blame her at all for leaving him. Both of them felt that the other had betrayed everything that their marriage stood for. I liked the way that Melissa was trying to move on with her life and pursuing her dream of motherhood. I thought it was really nice of her to agree to help Edmond with Dawn, considering he was being something of a snot about her pregnancy. As they reconnected she realized that she still loved him, but until he could accept her pregnancy, she felt there was no hope. She couldn't understand why he thought he would be a terrible father because he was wonderful with Dawn.

    I thought Edmond started out as rather selfish. He didn't want anything to change, to mess up what he saw as a perfect life. He was completely unwilling to listen to what the woman he claimed to love wanted, took steps to ensure it wouldn't happen, then had the nerve to feel betrayed when she left him. I didn't have much sympathy for him at that point. When he arrived in Safe Harbor, hoping to start up with her like nothing had happened, I had to laugh at his surprise. I felt it served him right. I softened a little toward him when he was so determined to do things right for Dawn, but was frustrated by his refusal to think of himself as a father figure. I loved seeing the changes he went through as Melissa showed him that he was fully capable of being everything the little girl needed.

    I really enjoyed seeing the way that their relationship developed and grew. Melissa had known all along that he had what it took, but hadn't been able to convince him. I liked seeing her support him and show him what he could do. Her love for him grew even more, but her fears that he could never accept her as she was now were real. Edmond went through some really big changes as their relationship progressed. He had started out wanting things back the old way, and being unwilling to accept her pregnancy. But the more time they were together, the easier it became. He started to picture what it could be like, but his fears would constantly bring him back down. It took accepting that parenting is never a perfect proposition, and some help from his niece for him to realize that maybe he could have it all. Jacqueline Diamond Losing you cut me off from so many things. Even aspects of myself. His voice grew hoarse. Melissa, what we had should have been enough. Why'd you have to throw it away?

    Her happy mood evaporated. I'm not the one who threw it away, Eddie.
    pg. 120

    Edmond and Melissa were married for five years. Then they got divorced. When they entered into the relationship, both agreed not to have children. But after five years of marriage, Melissa changed her mind and decided she wanted children. Edmond was aghast and ran out to have a vasectomy immediately. So Melissa filed for divorce.

    Now it is three years after their divorce. Edmond has come to work at the clinic/hospital Melissa works at. He is shocked to see she is pregnant with triplets. He's upset to think she met another man, but it turns out that she was implanted with three embryos from another couple. Edmond also, despite his strong aversion to fatherhood, gains custody of his 8-year-old niece when his sister is sent to prison.


    ANALYSIS

    THE HERO

    Edmond is a typical Diamond hero. Diamond likes to write cold, distant, arrogant, dismissive men. Edmond's defining trait is that he is selfish. He can't understand why Melissa ruined their 'perfect' marriage. He misses her - because he misses getting massages from her, having a sex partner, having a sounding board, and having a helpmeet. Not because he misses her as a person and a human being. Only as someone who once was giving him lots of love and support, and now that love and support has been taken away.

    He's also deeply emotionally stupid. He doesn't understand human emotions or why people get upset. He cannot understand why his wife might be upset that he ran out and got a vasectomy without discussing it with her. He finds out Melissa is pregnant with triplets, and that she's single, and makes comments about how having kids without a father is bad, and being a single mother is bad. It's like he has no common sense. He goes through life hurting people but being bewildered as to why they are hurt.

    This is typical of a Diamond hero.

    So he spends most of the book whining about 'why doesn't Melissa love me anymore? Why did she have to leave me?' and reminiscing about the good old days when she waited on him and was there for him and supported everything he did.


    THE HEROINE

    While I liked Melissa A LOT more than I liked Edmond, she wasn't some perfect angel. Although not emotionally stunted like Edmond, and definitely less hurtful to other people, Melissa seems to make the unilateral decision that Edmond is perfect father material.

    I DO NOT believe in forcing people to be parents against their will. If someone says I don't want a baby then I think they should not have a baby. Melissa is one of those people who thinks that as soon as Edmond holds a baby or becomes a father, he will magically turn into a wonderful dad and take to parenthood like a duck to water. THIS IS FALSE. If someone does not like children, does not like babies, and desperately goes out of their way not to father children, maybe you should FUCKING TAKE A HINT that they don't FUCKING WANT ANY CHILDREN.

    Sure, people are forced into parenthood all the time. Plenty of men become fathers unwillingly. Plenty of people are badgered into having children that they don't want to have. But I'm against it.

    Melissa does not respect Edmond's view on the subject. She sees his resistance to being a father as 'immature' and 'childish.' Which is quite frankly RIDICULOUS. It's very weird that she thinks the man who ran out to get a vasectomy as soon as she said the word 'children' would be overjoyed to raise her triplets. Baffling.

    So the whole book is spent with Melissa wondering when Edmond is going to 'wake up and embrace fatherhood,' something he not only has no interest in but has actively and destructively gone out of his way to violently avoid. She drove me nuts half the time. And I am not a fan of Edmond, but she drove me nuts.


    ENGAGING

    While I feel like this book failed as a ROMANCE story - it wasn't romantic, it definitely wasn't sexy - it was interesting enough and I felt like it kept me engaged. It wasn't boring. Safe Harbor Medical is a series obsessed with babies, children, surrogates, in vitro, multiple births, and parenthood. As long as you expect that going in, you'll be fine. Everyone is either pregnant, obsessed with becoming pregnant, every single female character has multiple children or is pregnant with multiple children... it's kind of nuts. But the story wasn't boring. I think it helped I'd read some of the previous books.


    HOW'S THE SEX, CARMEN?

    The romance and the sex are a failure here. I did NOT believe the characters were attracted to each other at all. Sexually or romantically. I was having a hard time even buying them as platonic friends.

    The sex is perfunctory. Edmond isn't interested in foreplay, he just sticks his penis in her. Then I have to hear her raving about how good he is in bed. *rolls eyes* He's NOT good in bed, the poor woman just doesn't know any better.

    There's no sexual or romantic chemistry.


    TL;DR Surprisingly, I wasn't bored. The book provides plenty of drama, especially at the end. However, be warned that in this book - as well as all Safe Harbor Medical books - children are THE BE ALL END ALL OF EXISTENCE. A person cannot be happy, fulfilled, or whole if they are not the legal guardian of a child. Having and raising children is the entire point of existing on earth.

    Does this attitude grate on you? It does on me. I don't agree with it. While I love children and think they are amazing, I think that being childless is perfectly fine and a valid choice and does not make you an incomplete person with a meaningless life. Only read these books if you can tolerate the viewpoint that children are the meaning of existence.

    Diamond is enamored of cold, distant, arrogant, and dismissive men who are often robotic and deeply emotionally stunted. I don't find this type of man to be attractive even in the least bit. I like warm, loving, kind men. YMMV. Be prepared that any novel by Diamond that you pick up is going to feature this type of male. I don't know whether she thinks all men are like this, or SHOULD be like this, or that this type of men is exceptionally sexy, or what - but they all fall into this category.

    Baby and pregnancy dramas. That's what you can expect from these books.


    ROMANCE CATEGORIES
    Contemporary Romance
    Second Chance Romance
    Non-Virgin Romance
    Pregnant Heroine
    Lawyer Romance
    He's a Family Law Attorney; She's an In Vitro Fertilization and Egg Donor Coordinator.
    Takes Place in: California, U.S.A. (Orange County, L.A., Santa Ana, Norwalk)

    NAMES IN THIS BOOK
    Jacqueline Diamond When Melissa and Edmond had married, they agreed that they didn't want children. After being married several years, Melissa had changed her mind and tried to talk to Edmond about having a family after all. He wanted things to stay the same with just the two of them. To make sure that didn't change, he had a vasectomy without telling her. Melissa couldn't believe he would make such a major decision without talking to her first. She was hurt and angry. Realizing he wasn't the man she thought he was she left him. Years later she still wanted a baby but hadn't found a new man, so she decided to be a mother on her own. Being pregnant with triplets was more than she had bargained for.

    Edmond had always felt that he wasn't father material. But, even though it scared him, he's agreed to be a guardian to his niece. Now that he was living and working in Safe Harbor, seeing Melissa again reminded him how much he had missed her. He had hopes of rekindling their relationship, but when he saw she was pregnant, his hopes died. He did ask for her help in getting his niece settled with him. It didn't take long to realize that his attraction to her was just as strong as it had been.

    Even though Melissa was happy to be pregnant, she was concerned about raising three babies on her own. One she could handle, but three was worrisome. Edmond's arrival in Safe Harbor brought back memories - both good and bad. But the attraction was still there.

    Edmond was selfish in the beginning but changed once he had Dawn to care for. I liked his desire to be a good guardian to Dawn, but I couldn't understand why he didn't think he could be a good father. He WAS a father to her. I liked seeing the change in him as Melissa showed him that he did have what it took to give Dawn a happy life.

    I really enjoyed seeing the way that their relationship developed and grew. There were changes in Edmond as he overcame his fears and in Melissa as she understood him better. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs there is but it is sooo worth it. Jacqueline Diamond Great Read and I would read it again.....☺☺☺☺Here is a highlight from the book...

    He did, actually. “Let’s go for it. Naming kids after family is a wonderful tradition.” “Excellent idea,” Melissa said. “But we tried that, remember?” None of their female relatives’ names had quite hit the mark. Then Edmond came up with one they hadn’t considered. “What about your brother?” “Jamie.” Melissa spoke the name gingerly. “The little boy who died?” Dawn had heard the story. “It can be a girl’s name, too, can’t it?” “You bet.” Melissa ran a finger across Edmond’s cheek. “It’s a wonderful suggestion.” “We each picked a name,” their niece observed. “So we did. Lily, Simone and Jamie,” Melissa said. “They’re lovely.” The lowering sun and his rumbling stomach reminded Edmond that the dinner hour was approaching. “Who’s hungry?” “Me!” said Dawn. “Me, too,” Melissa chimed in. “It’s lucky I know how to cook.” He’d learned a lot these past few months, he reflected as he assisted his wife to her feet. Now he had a heart full of love, a house about to be full of babies, and a box full of recipes. Hard to say which was more important. Grinning to himself, he slid open the patio door and ushered his family inside. Jacqueline Diamond I love baby dramas! I thought this was a good premise. I found the romance a little rushed/forced. I also didn’t like Melissa’s assumptions based on Edmund stepping up to take care of a family member in need to mean he would be a good father. It grated on me but I could suspend my disbelief for a little bit. The writing flowed smoothly and I liked Melissa as a character. Her living situation was also fun and made me intrigued about the rest of the series. Very tame sex scene that last a couple of paragraphs. It follows mostly the middle of the pregnancy so no newborns actually made an appearance. Pretty quick read. Jacqueline Diamond

    Triple The Trouble

    When fertility counselor Melissa Everhart decided to have a baby on her own, she didn't anticipate triplets…or her ex-husband's return to Safe Harbor. Three years ago, Edmond's reluctance to have children tore them apart. But now that he's been made guardian of his niece, Melissa witnesses how tenderly he cares for the little girl.

    Though Edmond doesn't believe he's father material, his sudden custody of Dawn leaves him little choice. He turns to Melissa, the warmest, kindest person he knows, for help. They begin to rediscover the love they once shared, but the betrayals of the past trouble them both. Can they find the forgiveness they both need to come together as a family? The Surprise Triplets (Safe Harbor Medical, #14)

    3.7 Stars. Public Library 3/19/15. Good book but not quite what I was looking for. It had less to do with Melissa's triplets and more to do with her ex-husband's (Edmond) drama. The characters were realistic and entertaining each having their own side drama that will play out nicely in other books. I really enjoyed the book until 3/4 of the way through where all the issues started to be resolved like they were nothing. Nothing was left hanging but I wasn't satisfied with the speed in which the issues that we've been grappling with for 100+ were solved. Edmond never wanted kids and then suddenly he's ok with raising 4 little girls? That's a lot for people who want kids. What I'm disappointed most about is there is very little about the triplets out of the abstract. I would've liked more about the pregnancy and life after their birth.

    Jacqueline Diamond I hesitated writing this review only because the book was not what I was anticipating. Jacqueline Diamond did a great job introducing the characters and reinforcing their story lines. Thank you to the editor for doing your job! (It drives me nuts when I read a book with typos, syntax errors, unfinished or nonsence statements.) I really believe my problem is that I'm a NICU nurse and I was anticipating more of the medical side of things. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I believe it is an excellent read for anyone looking into fertility, the pros and cons, however I don't recommend it if you are looking for something more medical.

    Melissa Everhart is a fertility councelor who had previously decided that her and her now ex-husband, Edmond, would always be a couple, neither of them wanting children. Little did Melissa know how she would react when her biological clock began clicking, nor did Edmond realize the implications of a hasty decision of a life altering surgical procedure he opted to receive. Once the wheels began to turn and Edmond and Melissa rekindle their friendship, precious life lessons are learned from many extended family and characters. There are many surprise circumstances from long held family secrets to unexpected demands which keep the story line interesting. In my heart I felt I knew the outcome of the story and I was not disappointed. Jacqueline Diamond Thia story was written well. I just did not care for it. Not a fan of either the hero or Heroine. The plot was too ridiculous for me to grasp. I could not feel empathy for either for some reason. It made it difficult to enjoy. Jacqueline Diamond ...the hero starts out selfish and self-centered, his discovery of who he really is makes this an emotional, joyful story (RT Book Reviews).4 stars

    Miniseries: Safe Harbor Medical Jacqueline Diamond I enjoyed the book, I enjoyed the little twists that the author threw in there as well, I have enjoyed the whole series and look forward to the next one in the series Jacqueline Diamond

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