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Child of Mine audiobook

Child of Mine audiobook

a Secret Baby, Second Chance nostalgic romantic comedy

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 250+ 5-star reviews

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Narrated by Erin Mallon & Tom Taylorson

9.25 hours

A heartwarming rom-com: After an early life of stardom, single mom Isabella is ready to raise her daughter away from the spotlight back home in Boston — where she encounters a man from her distant past. But can Henry convince her to give him a second chance?

Book Description

★★★★★ “5 '80s loving' stars for this fourth installment of Karen's Boston Classics!!” Pixiedustreads

The bigger the secret, the harder it is to hide.

I may be a hard-working nobody of a single mom now, but I was a celebrity before my first kiss, my first date, or my first sip of alcohol. Playing the bad girl in my early twenties—both on and off the set in New York City—allowed me to make up for lost time. But now, back home in Boston, with my “checkered past” behind me, all I want is to raise my six year old far away from the spotlight.

When a job offer takes me back to the PBS station where I got my start, the last person I expect to see is the guy I haven't laid eyes on since a fateful one night stand we shared seven years ago. He's as hot as ever, but he's also a grumpy jerk who seems to hate kids, so it's easy to justify keeping him away from my daughter.

After all, revealing my secrets could mean losing everything.

In this sexy, heartwarming, second chance, secret baby romance—a couple has to face the past before they can find a future… together.

Look inside

BELLA

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, as my daughter and I drive to a suburb west of Boston, the sun warming the car is a welcome reassurance that winter’s truly over. After we locate the blocked-off street and park nearby, Lilah helps me find the right house. She then insists on ringing the doorbell herself. After a few moments, a freckle-faced redhead with a toddler on her hip opens the door.

“Hey, you must be Bella and Delilah. I’m Penny, Cal’s sister. We’re so glad you guys could come!” Ushering us inside, she gestures at a living room where every surface is covered with toys. “You can set your stuff in here before you head out to the street. There are tons of kids at the block party already.” Squatting so that she’s eye to eye with Lilah, she adds, “Don’t worry. I know a big girl like you doesn’t want to play with a baby like Danny here. He has cousins that are older, and there are all ages in the neighborhood. Do you want me to introduce you to some of them?”

“No, thank you,” Lilah says politely. “I’m gregarious.”

Straightening, Penny shoots a brows-up look at me before addressing my little word sponge. “Um, I think that means you’re not shy?”

“That is correct. Also, I prefer Lilah.” Lilah nods solemnly. The way she does everything.

Penny’s monologue seems to have run out, so I steer Lilah toward the living room. “Let’s find a spot for your bag, and then you’ll know where to find it in case you want to take a break and read.”

“How old is she?” Penny mutters under her breath.

“I’m five and three quarters,” Lilah says over her shoulder. After handing her plaid backpack to me—no toy themes for this girl—she turns back to Penny. “I grew up in a bookstore, so I like to read.”

“Good for you.” Penny nods. “Maybe you can teach Danny here.”

When the toddler pulls his thumb from his mouth and slaps his mother on the cheek, Lilah winces. “Maybe.”

Bouncing Danny, Penny walks us to the front door. “I was just about to put him down for an N-A-P, but Cal and Jess are out there somewhere. If I know Cal, he’s probably monitoring the waterslide to make sure the kids are being safe. Did you bring a suit, Lilah?”

“I have it on already.” Lilah lifts her T-shirt to reveal her one- piece. “Also, as soon as he learns to read, you won’t be able to hide things from him by spelling.”

“That is an excellent point.” Penny points a finger at her. “I will keep him ignorant as long as possible.”

Taking my daughter’s hand, I start down the front steps of Penny’s house. “Thanks for letting us stow our stuff here, Penny.”

“Anytime,” she calls over a loud yowl from Danny.

After Penny shuts the door and we head toward the crowd of people down the block, Lilah squeezes my hand. “Don’t worry, Mommy. It’ll be fun.”

I make a pooh-pooh gesture so over-the-top I’d never get away with it onstage. “Who’s worried?”

Her expression makes it clear she’s not buying it.

“Okay, okay, you’re right. I wish I were as outgoing as you.” I put an arm around her and hug her into my side. “But I’ll be fine.”

What my daughter doesn’t know is that when I was a kid, I was even more of an extrovert than she is. Driven by an unquenchable need for the next high—achieved at first through novel experiences, then risk-taking, and finally, sex, drugs, and alcohol—only rock ’n roll was left off the list of my adventures.

These days, I pretend to be an introvert. Makes it easier to keep temptation at bay and to hide from the consequences of past poor choices. Just like on stage, it’s more comfortable for me to play a role than myself.

For instance, today I’ll play the role of laid-back but responsible single mom. I’ll keep an eagle eye on my daughter while pretending not to. The waterslide is at the other end of the block, so I smile and nod at the people who look up as we pass. In this suburban neigh‐ borhood outside of Boston, every single family seems to consist of a mom and a dad and at least two children. Probably a dog and a cat and a canary, to boot.

Lilah has been excited about coming to this block party ever since Cal invited us. She not only has a huge crush on him, she’s adopted his girlfriend Jess as her auntie. Cal’s family is just like the one she’s always wanted—like the families she’s read about in books, with uncles and aunts and grandparents and cousins. And fathers.

None of which my little girl has ever had.

Briefly, an image of her father flashes in my mind. What if he hadn’t disappeared without a goodbye? Would he be walking down this street at my side, helping me watch out for our little girl, his palm on my hip a promise of things we might do later?

As lovely as all that sounds, that’s not my reality, so I pack it away. If I’ve learned one thing in this life so far, it’s that there’s only one person I can truly rely on, and that’s me.

Besides, what Lilah doesn’t know can’t hurt her.




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Customer Reviews

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k
kgagnon
I loved this sweet & sexy, second chance romance!

It brings back all the fun, emotional and sizzling nostalgia of the 80's soap operas. It starts out with a chance meeting, and passionate encounter between Isabella York and Henry Smith. They had a fiery connection, but Henry received a tragic call and fled without exchanging information. Isabella was a tv star at a young age that put her in too many problematic situations. She had to flee her life in NY to find it. But she was left with a gift from the man who she could have seen a future with. Now she is back home in Boston, raising an adorable little girl on her own. When she gets an offer to help on a remake of her most popular show as a child, she is excited, until she meets the producer and the man she never forgot. Now she is afraid he will use her past to destroy her future. Henry lost his father suddenly and rushed home to help with the family business. He has always wanted to get back in the tv business and has taken a job in Boston. He never expected to see the woman of his dreams again. He is excited to work with Bella and is curious about her life and her daughter. The more time they spend together, the stronger their connection grows again, and they have a hard time denying their attraction. When Bella has some family issues, Henry wants to be the one who stands by her and support her. But when her secrets are revealed, will he be supportive, or will he do what Bella fears most? This was such a sweet, funny, tender, and steamy story. I loved how strong and resilient Bella is and Henry made me swoon with how attentive and loving he was.
Narrators Erin Mallon, and Tom Taylorson were amazing as they brought this wonderful story to life. They nailed all the characters perfectly, making me feel all the complex emotions they went through, and made me laugh out loud, cry, and totally swoon. This was a fun, emotional and steamy romance that captured my heart.

R
Rellim
Henry & Bella

Child of Mine is the 4th book in Grey’s Boston Classics series set in the late 80s. Bella’s been a secondary character in the Boston Classics series since the beginning and behind “Hot” Steve she’s the story I was most looking forward to. You could start here as there aren’t any spoilers for previous stories (other than they end up together – but this is romance, so yeah). However, I definitely recommend reading/listening to them in order.

I admit that “secret baby” is not my favorite trope. Mostly because I usually find the MC’s reasons for keeping the secret pretty lacking. However, I really loved the way Grey handled it here. No spoilers – so I’m not telling, but it worked for me.

Henry & Bella have a fling and external forces keep them apart for 7 years. Now that they’ve met again – the previously extinguished flame is rekindled. Bella is faced with revealing that they have a child, major career & life choices, plus moving beyond mistakes from her past.

No, she does not consider Lilah one of those mistakes. Bella is a devoted mom and I appreciated Grey’s inclusion of Lilah as an integral part of the story. She wasn’t a prop or someone to be on page for a few minutes just for a joke to work. I also liked Henry’s efforts to get to know his daughter.

There’s a little drama/angst as Bella, Henry, and even Lilah react to the new dynamics. It worked well in giving the story realism and depth. There’s also some healing for Bella and Henry individually that helped me believe they were ready for their HEA.

Narration:
I loved Erin Mallon’s Bella (and Izzy & Quinn). Tom Taylorson’s Henry is equally perfect. The southern drawl is swoon worthy. There’s lots of emotions and revelations in Grey’s writing and I thought Mallon & Taylorson were also terrific at bringing this through. Lots of laughs, but I definitely shed a few tears. Such a great listen.

E
Elizabeth T.
Henry & Bella 🥰🥰🥰

Babies and Bookshop Cats and Shakespeare, oh my! I have said it before and I’ll say it many more times, Child of Mine by Karen Grey is a wonderful book! I have read it a few times now and I honestly didn’t think I could love it more. Until I listened to the audiobook…The narrators and sound effects add even more depth and charm to this wonderful retro romcom! The sound effects work perfectly with the story and chapter headings!

Erin Mallon and Tom Taylorson did incredibly lovely work bringing this book to life. Tom is a new-to-me narrator, and his narration of Henry was flawless. He masterfully gave voice to the charming, ambitious, grumpy tv producer. Tom’s southern accent is smooth and his voice has a smoky timbre. Erin, the queen of romcom, is fabulous as Bella. Erin’s character voices are pure magic in bringing the robust group of ancillary characters to life.

Drawn to Boston by a professional opportunity, Henry is searching for something, though he can’t pinpoint what. He is haunted by his past and the girl who got away. Bella is a former soap star and single mom to a precocious (almost) 6 year old. As a staple in the Shakespeare Boston cast, Bella has developed lovely friendships throughout the Boston Classics series. Child of Mine is full of character catch-ups, cameos and introduces Henry’s lovable family. All voiced to perfection. The Child of Mine audio made me laugh, cry, and swoon. I love this book so much, I was borderline teary-eyed experiencing this audiobook.

L
Leigh Ann Jordan @read_pair_share
Just one time. Okay, just one more time!

Thanks to Home Cooked Books for the ALC of this book and the chance to give my candid review.

Child of Mine
by Karen Grey
Narrated by Erin Mallon & Tom Taylorson

Story Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (0-5)
Audiobook Rating: 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 (0-5)
Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (0-5)
Steam: 🔥🔥🔥 (0-5)

What I’m Starry-Eyed Over:
🤩 Totally works as a standalone but the rest of the Boston Classics series is so cute too.
🤩 The level three steam, but almost fade to black, is sizzling with foreplay.
🤩 Fantastic voice narration entertainment and great change in feelings. The voices of attraction are especially my favorite and give me those lusty feels I love.
🤩 Meet-cute and a re-meet-cute!! Such a great plot!
🤩 One night stand and secret baby.
🤩 Prologue: “I just want you to blow my mind.”
🤩 Just one time. Okay, just one more time.
🤩 Nostalgic 80s TV shows, books, etc . . . this whole series is just so clever.
🤩 Great mental health and addiction/rehab representation.
🤩 Typewriter soap opera news clips between chapters.
🤩 Ribsy—the name of Henry’s dog. Awe!
🤩 Workplace romance, TV producers. Forced proximity in the editing room.
🤩 Beautiful city and country descriptions as well as situations—so easily engrossed.
🤩 When Henry takes care of Bella.
🤩 Book shop and ARC review fun!
🤩 How Henry and Lila get to know each other. Awe!
🤩 Beautiful side character/side story gay representation.

What I’m Wishing/Dizzy About:
💫 Nothing at all. But, see Henry and Bella’s crazy wedding day story in the Carolina Classics book 0.5 novella called I’ll Stand By You.

E
Erica W
LOVED

I wish I was good at writing reviews. This book was so beautifully written. I loved this story so much. My heart hurt with each character and their pain. I cannot express my love for this series. I really love that it is based in the late 80's and no cell phones. Reminding me of the days that we could not just get in touch with someone easily. Especially if you did not know their last name! The narrators did an amazing job brining the characters to life!