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REVIEW: Billionaire’s Bride of Convenience by Miranda Lee

Dear Ms. Lee:

1009-9780373128600-bigwBillionaire’s Bride of Innocence showed tantalizing glimpses of Hugh Parkinson, heir to the Parkinson media fortune and billionaire in his own right. He’s got a soft and romantic heart and for that reason will not marry any poor girl.   He’s seen his father fall in and out of love what seems a million times and marry and divorce each of them.   He’s determined not to suffer the same or inflict this on any woman.   Yet, Hugh is in the grips of a terrible problem.   He has the hots for his PA.   Billionaire’s Bride of Convenience is Hugh’s story.

Ordinarily he would just seduce her and be done with it, but his PA is engaged to be married which means he can’t proposition her but going in to work is  excruciating  for him.   He contemplates her impending marriage and possible pregnancy and half hopes that she’ll stop working for him after she gets pregnant.   Only the idea of her glowing and with child adds a layer of further want.   I thought this was pretty hysterical.

Hugh was already praying for the day when she’d come into the office and announce that she was pregnant.

Though a pregnancy would not be the immediate end of his problems, of that he was sure. He had no doubt that Kathryn would work right up to the baby’s birth. She was that kind of girl.

The kind of girl, too, who would look even sexier pregnant. Her already impressive bosom would become even more lush, her wide, child-bearing hips accommodating a baby easily with only the most minimal bump.

He could see her now, positively glowing with health and hormones. And he could see himself wanting her all the more.

The prospect horrified him.

Hugh’s teeth clenched hard in his jaw.

Could he endure at least another year of this?

Kathryn doesn’t reciprocate the feelings. She is ticked off that Hugh avoids the office and makes her do his work (not realizing, of course, that he avoids the office because he is too attracted to her). As she badgers him into spending more time in the office, his increased presence begins to aggravate her as well and she just doesn’t know why. Further, she is getting flack from her increasingly jealous fiance who doesn’t appreciate that she spends so much time with said handsome billionaire.

Harlequin Presents don’t involve a lot of character growth. Instead, the focus is on the courtship and the emotional connection formed between the main protagonists. The conflict is primarily internal. This is true in Hugh and Kathryn’s story. Hugh is deeply attracted to Kathryn but fears that this attraction will only be temporal. Based on his father’s philandering, temporary connections are all that Hugh feels he is capable of.

Kathryn needs to get married to gain ownership over a piece of property that is very meaningful for her. Her marriage to her boyfriend is one more of convenience than of love. She’s the product of a bad childhood and the concept of family is bound up in this house. When Kathryn’s fiance does something very bad and Kathryn breaks with him, Hugh gives in to his desire and propositions her.   More than that, he offers to marry her in exchange for sex.   (I guess it could be titled Blackmailed Into the Billionaire’s Bed).

Kathryn and Hugh start a raging affair under cover of their marriage of convenience.   Fortunately for Hugh, Kathryn is a perfect match for him, even in the bedroom.   (One thing Kathryn appreciated about her previous fiance was the good loving she had. Yes, a heroine who enjoyed sex with someone other than the hero).

The story is very sexy. I admit I was a bit surprised.   “"Don’t even try, babe,’ he murmured. "Can I at least call you that? Of course I can. There’s no one else to hear. You don’t mind my talking, do you? I like to talk during sex.’ Kathryn worries that she’s not emotionally equipped to handle an affair and Hugh is fairly sure he is emotionally able to ONLY handle an affair.

I loved how Kathryn stood up for herself, time and again. She’s, what Hugh refers to as, stroppy and sarcastic and frankly I like my heroines like that and clearly Hugh does too.

‘True. And it’s not as though you have anywhere to put it on your person-’not in that bikini you’re almost wearing.’

"It’s not that brief.’

"Maybe it just looks it on you.’

She rounded on him. "Are you saying that I’m fat?’

"Lord, but you’re touchy today,’ he said with an amused smile. "Of course you’re not fat. You must know that. But you are well-endowed, shall we say?’

"You told me that my breasts were beautiful.’

"And they are.’

"Then shut up about my bikini being too small.’

"Yes, ma’am.’

"And don’t start mocking me.’

"I’d forgotten how prickly you could be.’

"That’s because you’ve probably gone back to dating your usual brand of sycophantic female.’

The dialogue is fun. The sex is hot (particularly for an HP) and the characters were enjoyable. B

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased at eHarlequin.com or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. Anne Calhoun
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 15:31:49

    I’ve never bought a Presents in my life, but I’m going to buy this one based a) on the dialogue you quoted and b) the cover. Something about that cover is completely doing it for me. Well done, Harlequin Art Dept!

    Anne *is off to bookstore*

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  2. Jill Sorenson
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 16:50:41

    I read an HP the other day (my first!) and I was shocked by the closed-door love scenes. I thought HPs were tawdry and smoldering. Where did I get that idea? Wishful thinking, I guess.

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  3. Gail Dayton
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 17:03:08

    I like stroppy, sarcastic heroines too. This one seems not the usual jerk hero-doormat heroine of the Presents. Think I shall look this one up at the sony store…

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  4. Jennie
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 17:14:41

    …her wide, child-bearing hips…

    Wow, that’s some sexy interior monologue. “Honey, do you love me for my lush bosom?” “Well, that and those wide, child-bearing hips of yours…perfect for dropping my babies and then going on with your day as if nothing had happened…”

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  5. SonomaLass
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 17:37:44

    I don’t think I enjoyed this one as much as Jane did. I am not a regular category reader, and haven’t read a Presents in over 30 years, but I gave this one a shot, and for me it was more in the C range. I liked the Australian setting and the looks we got at various areas of New South Wales, as well as some of the little differences in language, food, et cetera. I liked Kathryn being curvy, worried about her weight and how she looked naked compared to the models that Hugh had dated, and I loved that she had previous positive sexual experiences — she knew she liked sex already, although of course the sex with Hugh was OMG better than anything (hey, has to be, this is romance!).

    I didn’t like the manipulation, though. I didn’t like how easy it was for Hugh to say and do things that hurt Kathryn, or to use her feelings or desires to make her do things the way he wanted. Of course this was all while he didn’t admit that he loved her, but he claimed to respect her, and IMO his treatment of her a lot of the time was selfish and cruel. Not as cruel as some Presents heroes, from reviews I’ve read — maybe it’s just part of the whole alpha tycoon thing, and maybe those just aren’t for me. It’s what I remember most vividly from the ones I read as a teenager: the hero would get angry at the heroine for being so attractive, irresistible, innocent, or whatever else turned him on, and he would punish her for it. This book doesn’t take it that far, which is why I could give it a C.

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  6. willaful
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 18:18:23

    I don’t always enjoy Miranda Lee’s books but I do appreciate the way she regularly breaks HP tradition – as in, OMG! having a heroine who enjoyed sex with someone else besides the hero, usually a huge no-no.

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  7. maddie
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 19:26:06

    I love Miranda Lee she is one of my auto buys from HP, I hope you do the 3rd book from this series.

    I liked this the second book better than the first book, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the third.

    From what was implied in the other first and second books, sounds like the hero needs some butt kicking to mend his alpha dog ways.

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  8. mq
    Oct 03, 2009 @ 00:30:02

    @Anne Calhoun:

    i have trouble taking my eyes off the cover too! i think it’s because he doesn’t have the usual harlequin hero hair. And he doesn’t seem tall and buff- but really compact and sleek. and the heroine is almost his height so they can really look into each other’s eyes without neck strain. and they’re both clothed and he doesn’t look like he’s going to dry dump her or grab at her boob. it’s just a really romantic looking pose

    i might pick this up one day. the part with him nearly salivating over how hot she would be pregnant sounds a bit like fetishism to me- but the heroine seems cool.

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  9. Claire
    Oct 03, 2009 @ 08:37:52

    I haven’t bought a HP in a while but think I might get this one. I like “affair under the marriage of convenience” story plots and the guy doesn’t sound like a complete jerk like so many HP hero’s. THe dialogue looks interesting too. The cover is very nice. Something about the guy doesn’t look like the typical cover hero and thats a nice change.

    ReplyReply

  10. Dear Author Recommend Reads for October 2009 | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 11:24:25

    [...] Bride of Covenience by Miranda Lee recommended by Jane (I bought five copies & gave them away. Does this mean I can talk about the book without a [...]

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