Kristina Taylor has always wanted to be a mother, but with a fear of commitment, her dating life has become a revolving door of Mr. Wrongs. Suffering from severe endometriosis, she'll soon be facing a hysterectomy, which places her a race against the clock to either get pregnant right away or face never having a child of her own. She asks Johnny, her best friend since childhood, to help her find a suitable father for her baby, but soon realizes that he's the only man she can really trust for such a sensitive "job." Bedding him will be no hardship. In fact, Krissy fears that she may enjoy it too much, which is why she tries to institute a lot of rules that Johnny keeps breaking, leading to the feelings she was trying to avoid being stirred up. But when things start getting too serious, can she overcome her fears to let Johnny be a permanent part of her life or will she drive him away?
Johnny Huston has been in love with Krissy since middle school, but understanding her issues with commitment, he's never tried to pursue things any further with her out of fear of losing their incredible friendship. When Krissy asks him to father her baby, it's like she's handed him everything he's always wanted. But he also knows he'll never be able to play by her ridiculous rules, much less ever let her go once he's made love to her. She may be planning on them going back to being just friends after he impregnates her, but Johnny has forever kind of plans that involve him, Krissy, and their child being a family. But can he play it cool enough and be persuasive enough to get her on board?
Johnny Loves Krissy is a fun, sexy, erotic romance that's been on my TBR pile for quite some time. I can't recall exactly how it first came to my attention, but I'm sure it was the friends-to-lovers theme that attracted me to buy it. The story may have had a few weaknesses in plot and characterizations, which I'll discuss shortly, but the sexy sweetness of it all helped to make up for these shortcomings. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it, because even though it didn't reach the heights of perfection, I did enjoy it.
Krissy suffers from severe endometriosis, which has advanced to the point that she'll soon need a hysterectomy. She's always wanted a baby of her own, but she's never found the right man. She tends to go from one guy to the next, and whenever things start to get serious, she bails out of a fear of commitment. However, with her condition, she now faces a very tight window in which she can get pregnant, after which all hope of having a biological child will be lost. This places her on a desperate search for Mr. Perfect, or at least someone who would be willing to father a baby without the complications of custody or visitation rights. When it appears that her quest is a hopeless one, Krissy begins to look at her lifelong best friend, Johnny, in a different perspective. He's always been so supportive of her, she knows he'll make a great father, but she isn't sure whether they can have sex and then go back to being just friends, which is why she tries to impose a bunch of rules in hopes of not getting too attached. Krissy is a character who is pretty different from me, in both personality and life choices, but in general, I tended to feel like I understood her most of the time. It wasn't too difficult to put myself in the shoes of a woman who desperately wants a baby, but has a limited time in which to make that happen and limited relationship prospects. However, where I thought her characterization could have been stronger is if she'd been given reasons for her inability to commit in any of her past relationships. Johnny comes to think that perhaps it's because deep down she's always loved him and none of those other guys were him, but other than that, this part of her isn't really explored. If it had been, it would have made her a more interesting and well-rounded heroine.
Johnny is sweet, sexy and pretty much a saint. He's been in love with Krissy since middle school and has been the one constant in her life ever since. He's never pursued things any further, both out of a fear of losing their friendship and also because he knows her track record with guys and her commitment issues. Instead, he's been her shoulder to lean on through all of her relationship ups and downs, and because she's so open and comfortable with him, he's privy to every detail of her life, including her sex life. When Krissy tells him about how advanced her condition is and asks his help with finding someone to father a baby with her, Johnny can't help feeling jealous. But when she asks him to do it, he balks at first. Although he does want kids, he doesn't exactly feel ready for fatherhood right away, and he also knows that once he touches her in more than a friendly way, it's going to be over for him. He'll want marriage, family, and the whole nine yards, while he knows Krissy will be reluctant, if not impossible to persuade to his way of thinking. But eventually he puts his concerns aside, determined to make her see that they already have the foundation upon which to build an incredible life together. Johnny was the perfect mix of sexy and a little bit dominant, while still having a sweet side that is willing to do just about anything to get Krissy to see the light even if it means backing off and giving her space. He's also a scrumptious lover who enjoys breaking every one of her ridiculous rules.
Overall, Johnny Loves Krissy was an enjoyable read for me. However, I freely admit that the plot isn't particularly deep. The conflict strictly revolves around Krissy's reluctance to commit and fear that she'll ruin both the romantic relationship and the friendship that she shares with Johnny if they take things too far. Because the motivations for her fears aren't clear, the overcoming of them didn't hold as much weight as it could have. There were a number of typos that should have been smoothed out by a good editor or proofreader. I also thought the story would have benefited from having an epilogue to perhaps show the birth of Johnny and Krissy's child and them actually living happily after some time had passed. On the plus side, the love scenes were very hot and steamy, just the way I like them. However, one small complaint I have in this regard is that the author rarely ever allowed the characters to cool off from these heated moments by basking in the afterglow before she cuts a scene or chapter short to move on to the next thing. Generally speaking, my criticisms didn't detract over-much from my enjoyment. I loved the friends-to-lovers aspect, which brought a sweetness to their romance. Johnny and Krissy's colorful friends also added some lightness to the story and gave them some other characters to play off of. So, in the end, this was a pretty good read for me, my first by this author, and it has left me open to trying more of her work.
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