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REVIEW: For Blackmail…or Pleasure by Robyn Grady

Dear Ms. Grady:

I thought that I had read you before and that you were jmc’s secret pleasure which was why I bought this one. Unfortunately, this was a case of mixed up names. I was thinking of Robyn Donald but must have fixated on Robyn, forgetting the last name. It’s not the first time, I’ve gotten authors’ names mixed up and it won’t be the last.

Donna Wilks is a psychologist who does work for the criminal justice in Sydney including giving profiles of accused individuals. She is appointed by the courts to be an impartial party.

Tate Bridges, Australian broadcasting mogul, is thrilled when Donna is assigned to his recently arrested brother’s case. He comes to a fundraising party to seduce Donna into giving his brother a favorable report. Bridges is not shy about the fact that he’ll use whatever power and influence he has to game the system.

Donna and Tate were engaged five years ago but Donna broke it off after realizing that she would always come second to Tate’s business ambitions. Tate begins by blackmailing Donna into giving a positive report. He bought a story of an unhappy former client of Donna’s and airing it could potentially harm her career. If she goes along and gives his brother a positive report, he’ll kill the story.

Now, my eyebrows raised a bit here because this implies that no one else in Sydney has any investigatory chops and that Tate’s media empire is the only one that could possibly publish this story. Not knowing Australian law, I went with it (along with other things) but I know if this was set in the US, the details of the law, reporting, and so forth would have bugged the ever loving crap out of me.

Apparently the former sexxoring was so good that even though Tate is blackmailing her, or attempting to, Donna is seduced by Tate’s purported charm. And it really must be some charm because the possibility of someone ruining one’s career never seems very sexy to me. Donna’s vaunted ethics also takes a slide when she agrees to go off on a weekend holiday with Tate and Tate’s brother so that Donna can get a good assessment of the brother’s behavior.

I thought the way that readers are treated to a series of scenes in which Tate’s brother could get all angry but remains calm and unruffled including getting something spilled on his shirt, his car getting scratched up, all in the space of a couple pages to show that he’s not a ‘roid rager was kind of an example of the contrived quality of the whole book.

I didn’t believe that Donna was a psychologist. She evinced no ability to analyze her own relationship with Tate let alone provide an impartial and unbaised report to the court about Tate’s brother. Donna had no backbone. Tate had no moral fiber. In all, the main characters weren’t appealing and their lack of appeal made me wonder what each saw in the other.   C-

Best regards,


This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

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. Teddypig
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 16:52:51

    Jane Jane Jane tsk tsk tsk

    Risking a maximum 14 years jail time for blackmail if my googling fu is good.
    Now this is for services rendered so I think if they were in Victoria the law covers that.

    Anyway, it’s for Lurve! Illegal for Lurve is the new hotness since the Rape for Lurve is not doable, all those unreasonable readers made that a no no.

  2. Maddie
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 20:32:14

    I do wonder if any of the serial romance writers understand that when they write plots like this and do it so horribly wrong that we women cringed on their behalf and on the so called strong herion that is so weak and enthralled with the hero that he could be a reformed serial killer and still his kisses would make her swoon and take off her panties, and I know there nothing like someone threating your livelyhood and smearning your good name to all, who you once knew and was engaged too Wow that speaks of true love and a happy ending.

    I do think he has some NPD going for him.

  3. Jane
    Feb 22, 2008 @ 22:53:20

    I agree with you, Maddie. I simply don’t get it. Maybe an author could sell it to me, but this one didn’t.

  4. Robyn Grady
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 20:08:50

    Dear Jayne, Thanks for taking the time to read my book. Sorry it didn’t appeal to you.


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