Desert Isle Keeper
Pregnant by the Playboy
There are a handful of romance novelists who can make me smile effortlessly with their prose. Talia Hibbert is one. Sarah Title Is another. And Jackie Lau, the queen of contemporary romantic comedies, sits atop the throne, looming over them all. Pregnant by the Playboy is another one of her perfect romances, and this book is my favorite of the year thus far.
Vince Fong – the titular playboy, rich from his tech company start-up – and Marissa Chan meet through their friend and Vince’s roommate, Carrie Lo, and hook up for the first time at a party. Marissa is instantly attracted to Vince, but knows his reputation; he doesn’t bother to get Marissa’s last name. Public cunnilingus against a door leads to a weekend of smoking hot sex, but afterwards, they drift apart, even though though both Vince and Marissa think of one another quite often after the encounter.
Cue Marissa’s discovery that she’s pregnant, a state she approaches with confusion (they used condoms the whole weekend) and determination. Having had an abortion – which she doesn’t regret – when she was younger, she now, in her mid-30s, feels like she wants to continue with the pregnancy. She approaches Vince with the news, and he instantly offers to marry her. But Marissa just wants to co-parent; she can afford to raise the kid by herself. Surely Vince isn’t going to change his lifestyle for her?
She’s better not bet on that. Vince is a good uncle to his brother Julian’s (Mr. Hotshot CEO) brood, but most of his life is spent working, partying, and dallying with girls. Usually that’s enough for him, but lately he’s found the whole situation a little tiresome. Especially since Marissa and the infamous door incident. Now he’s thinking about marriage, commitment, and baby carriages. But can Vince convince Marissa to marry him, that he really loves her for her and just for the baby? Or will he have to settle for raising the baby with her?
Pregnant by the Playboy combines beautifully funny, realistic life moments with a romance that starts hot and becomes sweet. Great family moments ripen the tale and give the reader a reason to grin. It’s among Lau’s best – and most trope-filled – books.
Vincent is one of those rogues-with-a-heart who really wants a family (his hilarious relationship with his niece in particular shines). He’s sexy and playful and naughty and steadfast and, well, plain wonderful.
Marissa, meanwhile, is sympathetic, funny, arch and vulnerable; she’s complex and tough and real. She has no extended family, which is why the sprawling and closely knit Fong family seems so appealing to her. Her relationship with her mother – her only close living family member, was appealingly rendered in all of its complexity.
Marissa and Vince together are tenderness and fire, wisdom and rashness, vulnerability and invulnerability.
I loved Vince’s grandma, Po Po, and I loved Evie, Vincent’s wonderfully written niece. Every single supporting character strikes just the right chord, adds just perfectly to the story, and come off as real people.
The book deals beautifully with an array of topics, from the difficulties of pregnancy to the rigors of depression. As always, Lau achieves the perfect balance of sadness and sweetness.
This is a great book, and the joy it brought into my life was boundless. Pregnant by the Playboy is a delight any Lau fan will greet with gladness; it’s perfect in every single respect.