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REVIEW: Captive at the Sicillian Billionaire’s Command by Penny Jordan

Dear Ms. Jordan:

160236e1-4872-4175-be52-cbc5999db2b1img100I’m an admitted fan of the HP line. I think its the length of the book, the emotion impact you get in a short time, and, well, for the lulz. Julie Simmonds is accosted in the street by an expensively clad man standing next to an expensive car. He claims that the child she has been taking care of was fathered by his brother.

Julie is your standard self sacrificing HP heroine. She uses all her money to pay off her dead sister’s debts. She leaves her good job to take on a new one that allows her to parent Josh. She is so close to the edge of poverty that she cannot even eat properly. She even let go of her lover, James, when he fell in love with her sister. James, her sister and their parents all head off to view a place in Scotland that might be the perfect locale for a wedding. The sister’s baby, Josh, is left in Julie’s car. The entire family is killed in a freak accident leaving Julie with tons of debt, little money, and Josh.

Rocco Leopardi does as his family requests. In this instance, he is directed to make contact with Julie, determine the child’s parentage. Rocco obtains Julie’s agreement to bring the child to Siciliy and submit to a DNA test. Apparently staying in London to obtain test results is not an option.

Rocco believes that Julie is Josh’s mother and that she a) is a neglectful one and b) a woman without morals. After all, that she is morally suspect can be the only reason that there is a need for DNA testing. But Rocco finds himself attracted to Julie, particularly when Julie is often ill and frail. Because ill and frail women can’t also be morally suspect.

This is standard HP fare that has a mildly assholic hero and a very doormat heroine (but not a virginal one). If one likes HPs, this story won’t disappoint but the lack of fire to either the characters left me hungry. C.

Best regards,


This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Jinni
    Mar 30, 2009 @ 16:57:43

    Oh, this is one of those books I would toss at the wall. Since you’ve introduced me to so many great single title contemporaries – I’ve really started abandoning the categories, and the frustration they continue to impart.

  2. Ann Bruce
    Mar 30, 2009 @ 18:53:14

    I don’t know about the laws in the UK, but in the US, survivors are not required to pay a dead relative's bills from their own assets. That, however, does not seem to stop way too many unscrupulous debt collectors.

  3. DS
    Mar 30, 2009 @ 19:26:13

    I seem to remember at one time the heir might end up with the debts– although I think this was from the same period when publishers treated bankrupt like it was a dirty word– b——t.

    I never understand the situations where the mother/caregiver would rather starve than seek readily available social services. And when the story is set in the US you would think the beleaguered young woman had never heard of Social Security when a child’s parent(s) dies.

  4. Ann Bruce
    Mar 30, 2009 @ 20:54:56

    @DS: Collectors can go after the deceased’s estate, so the heirs might be required to pay the debts from the inheritance. However, collectors have no right to the survivors’ personal assets.

  5. Kaetrin
    Mar 31, 2009 @ 00:43:13

    this sounds a bit like the “Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire’s Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride” by Tumperkin & Co. which can be found here:

    except not funny.

  6. Pai
    Mar 31, 2009 @ 14:35:16

    I could never read a HP romance, just because of those ridiculous titles. I’d be embarrassed to be seen with it.

  7. MaryK
    Mar 31, 2009 @ 15:06:10

    Shouldn’t it be about time for a new release from Susan Napier? I keep looking at the Upcoming Releases, and she’s never on it. :(

    Harlequin’s crappy e-newsletter options won’t let me choose her as an author I’m interested in. She isn’t on their very limited list.

  8. cecilia
    Mar 31, 2009 @ 20:06:35

    @Pai: I think that’s reason #251 for buying an ebook reader. Never be embarrassed by the silly cover/title again.

  9. Rebecca
    Apr 02, 2009 @ 15:32:27

    Ok, I initially read that title as Captive at the Silicone Billionaire’s Command.

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