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Miranda Lee

A Selection of December Harlequin Presents

A Selection of December Harlequin Presents

I haven’t had much luck with Harlequin Presents subscriptions of late. In December, I enjoyed three of my eight books. The problem is that I’m never sure what books I’m going to enjoy and thus the subscription seems worth it. I guess I’ll reevaluate mid year 2012.

The Trophy Wife  by Janette KennyThe Trophy Wife by Janette Kenny is the next to last addition in the Notorious Wolfe series (or Bad Blood series as it was originally labeled by Mills & Boon). It featured a model with an eating disorder and computer billionaire. While I appreciated that the story attempted to tackle the issue of anorexia and societal concepts of beauty which prizes thinness over everything, I felt that the story was overloaded with sex and dealt very little with the conflict between the characters. I wasn’t even convinced that they knew each other by the end of the book. They had been married for nearly two years but spent so little time together, wrapped up in their own jobs, that they hadn’t even seen their partner’s homes which may have been okay if the first time that they actually went to the other’s homes wasn’t by the 70% mark of the book. C-

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The Power and the Glory  by Kimberly LangThe Power and The Glory by Kimberly Lang. I bailed on this one after the second chapter. The hero is the campaign manager for his father, a Senator, who sounds like a dickwad and the heroine is a protestor for some environmental lobbying group. I am so sick of politics and politicians that I could not stomach reading more than about 20 pages of this book. Maybe in another era I would find this more palatable but, alas, could not. DNF

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The Man Every Woman Wants  by Miranda LeeThe Man Every Woman Wants by Miranda Lee. The heroine is a lawyer who does contract work for a sports agent. She confesses that she has been weaving a tale about their faux engagement to her dying grandmother and now her dyying grandmother wants to meet him. The hero agrees to do this favor for her and has a bit of fun with it. The heroine’s family is sports mad and the heroine showing up with a former star athlete and current sports agent increases her cachet. B-

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A Christmas Night to Remember  by Helen BrooksA Christmas Night to Remember by Helen Brooks. My main complaint about this story is that it takes place over two days and the couple has serious issues. The heroine is involved in a terrible car wreck. She’s maimed and scarred and has never felt secure in her husband’s love. He’s so beautiful and so rich and there are always dozens of women casting lures for him, all of which he has steadfastly ignored. The heroine was beautiful prior to the car wreck and she prided herself in being able to fit in with the fast and fashionable but now that her legs are less than perfect, she doesn’t know what will become of her and she’s sure that her husband will leave her. In order to prevent him from leaving her, she’ll leave him. He refuses to leave and in the space of two days (right before Christmas) convinces her anew of his steadfast devotion. I should love this story. It is the kind of Brooks’ story I usually enjoy but I wasn’t convinced that the heroine’s deepseated emotional fear could be assauged in just a couple of days. C

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On the First Night of Christmas…  by Heidi RiceOn the First Night of Christmas by Heidi Rice. Cassie gets splashed by a car careening around the corner while she is looking at holiday windows at Selfridges in London. Rather than be a doormat, she marches over to the vehicle, stopped at a signal and bangs on the window. She tells him off and when he fails to provide an appropriate response to her, she jumps in the car only to realize that the driver is a former high school classmate of hers, one she’s always had a crush on. Just off a broken engagement, Cassie’s confidence is at an all time low and when Jace Ryan comes on to her, it’s like a balm to her wounded ego. They embark on an affair, destined to only last until the New Year when Jace returns to New York. In that time period, Cassie falls hard for Jace but Jace is confused by his feelings. He doesn’t really believe in love and just wants to enjoy the moments as they come. I really enjoyed the ending because I felt like it didn’t force the issue. It does have a traditional HEA (provided by the epilogue). B

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Once Touched, Never Forgotten  by Natasha TateOn the First Night of Christmas actually had a similar conflict to Once Touched, Never Forgotten by Natasha Tate, a book that I didn’t like much. Once Touched, Never Forgotten is a secret baby story. The heroine decides that the hero won’t be a good father and more importantly, doesn’t want to be a father so when she finds out she is pregnant she leaves him. Five years later he rediscovers her and her secret baby. She had a terrible childhood and was abandoned by her own father. She projects her fears onto the hero that he too will abandon their child. Of course, she never gives him the opportunity to choose. The hero isn’t sure he knows how to love but he promises that he will be a good father. The heroine is relentless in her accusations that he will be a terrible father based on nothing more than her own fears. She was a bitch but then he later uses sexual blackmail to get her to marry him so I figure that they belonged together. And unlike the Rice book, the hero in this one belabored his inability to love over and over again. I got it. She was abandoned. He had crappy relatives. The melodrama was over the top. D

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REVIEW:  Billionaire’s Bride of Innocence by Miranda Lee

REVIEW: Billionaire’s Bride of Innocence by Miranda Lee

Dear Ms. Lee:

41097073The previous two books in the series have told us some awful things about James, the hero in Billionaire’s Bride of Innocence. James was desperate to have a family and when his super model girlfriend could not deliver the goods, so to speak, he divorced her, impregnated a nice young woman, and married the nice young pregnant woman.   Yes, James is a classy guy.   But he’s a billionaire who wants children.   Doesn’t that really absolve him of all sins?

Megan, James’ docile sweet, innocent wife, loses the baby. In the hospital, she overhears James’ two friends, Hugh and Russell, speculating as to whether the marriage will stay together now that James has lost the one thing that he wanted.   Hugh is incensed that James impregnated and then married Megan in the first place, knowing that James did not love her.     Megan is distraught over this news and basically moves into the pool house, refusing to allow James touch her.

James is upset because, well, he wants to be a dad and how can he get her with child again unless they have sex?

Becoming a dad was what James wanted most in the world these days, but it was almost impossible if your wife never let you make love to her.

James sympathised with Megan. He really did. But running away from life was no answer. You had to face up to things, then move on.

Of course, Megan was an extremely soft, shy, vulnerable girl. That was why he’d chosen her.

Megan is torn, though, because she loves James and even the revelation that he is just using her as a baby making machine doesn’t quite kill off that love.   Further, Megan is helplessly attracted to James so that when he suggests a second honeymoon for the two of them, she readily agrees.   Not only does she readily agree to go and have island sex with him, she seeks out the help of her friend, Nicole, to get a full makeover.   She is to become the sexier, more outgoing Megan in order to better appeal to James.

Yes, Megan has no pride. Or backbone.   Or sense of self worth. Her entire life is wrapped up in James and even though there is a tiny period at the end where Megan decides that maybe she is better off without James it doesn’t last long enough to convince me that Megan will be anything but an appendage to James.

James is both appalled and titallated by the new Megan.   He was a bit bored with their pre miscarriage sex.   Megan was usch an innocent and James felt constrained in trying out his dirty ways with her.   What are James’ deep secrets?   Well, he apparently likes to do it in other positions than the missionary and he ties her wrists to the headboard at one time.   Oh, James, your kink is so intimidating!   Thank goodness James is a billionaire because how else would a woman ever want to stay with him?   Actually, Megan was frustrated with the loving that James was doling out.   It was a bit too tame for her as well, but she didn’t say anything to James and she lacked the confidence to initiate anything.

Very little emotional energy is spent contemplating the miscarriage.   James just wants to start boning Megan again so he can make more little babies.   Megan can’t stop thinking about how much she longs for James’ body even though he has no love for her.   It’s probably fair to say that he little   affection for her either, other than she was a suitable baby making vessel.

I’m not certain what disgusted me more. Megan’s inability to value herself and her persistence in continuing to abase herself to try to gain James’ love or James for being a grade A bastard.   I loved it when he accuses Megan of being deceitful when he finds her birth control pills because for a man whose baby making is at the forefront, birth control pills are akin to the devil’s drug. I vacillated between wanting to punch James in the face or shake Megan till her teeth fell out.   It’s not a failure of a book, the writing is too competent. I can give it a D because I am sorry I read it.

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased at eHarlequin.com or in eHarlequin.com“>ebook format from Harlequin only until November 1.

This book was provided to the reviewer by either the author or publisher. The reviewer did not pay for this book but received it free. The Harlequin Affiliate link earns us an affiliate fee if you purchase a book through the link and the Sony link is in conjunction with the sponsorship deal we made for the year of 2009. We do not earn an affiliate fee from Sony through the book link.