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REVIEW: Pleasured by the Secret Millionaire by Natalie Anderson

Dear Ms. Anderson:

book review Over time, the Australia/New Zealand Harlequin Presents (HPs) have become my favorites mostly because I feel that the women are slightly more emancipated in these stories (not always of course). Pleasured features the requisite millionaire but the heroine isn’t a virgin. Instead, she’s provocative and proactive.

Sienna, on vacation in Sydney, is drawn to a band practicing in a club. Inside she finds not only a band but “Mr. Utterly Attractive.”   She wants him and after seeing the mutual attraction in his eyes, she sets out to get him.   Sienna is determined to abide by her new motto of “living in the moment.”

The target is Rhys Maitland, millionaire in disguise.   He’s taking a much needed vacation from his medical career by hiding in this less ritzy, touristy part of Sidney.   Rhys is constantly pursued by women and  the tabloids as he is an heir to a large Sydney fortune.   His attraction to Sienna is surprising, a little unwanted but still invigorating.

Sienna and Rhys have  secrets that they keep from each other because neither of them want to divulge personal information but for differing motivations.   They both fear that the other will react differently if they knew the truth. Sienna fears pity from Rhys. Rhys  wants to get to know Sienna without the   interference of his money and  notoriety might cause.

The conflict rests some on their mutual secrets, some on a standard HP trope of mistrust and misunderstanding (Rhys accuses Sienna of selling their relationship out to the tabloids), but more interestingly on Sienna’s need to test herself and be autonomous and Rhys overbearing concern for her health.   Sienna’s trip to Sidney and parts far aflung was for the purpose of escaping the bonds of those who love her.   One of the things that I appreciate about this HP is that it took turns that I didn’t expect.   Sienna’s decisions regarding her relationship with  Rhys, in the end, were predicated less on the wrong assumptions that Rhys made about Sienna and more about her fear of ending up in the same type of relationship she had escaped.

Rhys was less interesting.   He plays the mistrusting, cynical alpha male role found in many of the HPs. Of course, the standard characterization is partly the reason that we read HPs but given that Sienna was a little unusual, I felt something more could have been done with Rhys.   He was quick to forgive and forget and there is a big dramatic ending which was enjoyable, but I felt there could have been even greater emotional connection had Rhys been a more vibrant character.

In the end, I found the reliance on the old HP tropes were unnecessary and leached away part of the uniqueness.   For all that Rhys’ standard alpha male shtick was mundane at times, Sienna’s vibrancy made up for it.   I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more Natalie Anderson books. B-

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. Gennita Low
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 06:51:34

    I’ve never tried this author’s books before but this sounds interesting. I’ve been unable to find replacements for my Presents authors who aren’t writing as much any more (I’ve been following some for 30 years!) but I’m going to check out Anderson.

  2. Heather H
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 09:18:16

    I love the title of this book. It makes me smile in that goofy, “wow it’s cheesy and they used the word pleasured *snicker*” kind of way. Which is enough to make me want to pick it up. (The review is just a bonus.)

  3. Anon
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 09:30:41

    No matter how good the book might be, I have to admit that I literally recoil from books with the words ‘secret’, ‘millionare/billionaire’, ‘baby’, ‘sheikh’, etc. in the title. The HP line is a particularly egregious offender.

  4. Gennita Low
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 10:40:54

    I’ve learned to ignore the titles ;-P. The titles from decades ago were so much more interesting, but I guess this concentration on “billionaire” and “mistress” has to do with branding. One can’t not know that this book is from the Presents line.

  5. ASable
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 10:50:15

    Thanks for the review, Jane. I’m with Anon on this– sometimes I can’t get past the ridiculous eye-roll inducing titles. But I’m always on the lookout for new authors so I’ll give this a shot.

  6. GrowlyCub
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:29:29

    Hey, at least this guy was only a millionaire! I had about decided that those were a dying breed, grin, since most titles now have billionaires.

    And the real ones are all as pretty and unmarried as Bill Gates…

  7. ASable
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:38:41

    @GrowlyCub — Even the heros are suffering in this down economy. :)

  8. Sam
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:25:35

    I totally agree with you praise of Australia/New Zealand Harlequin Presents writers like Natalie Anderson and Miranda Lee. I like their sexual confident heroines.

  9. Sam
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:28:54

    I totally agree with you praise of Australia/New Zealand Harlequin Presents writers like Natalie Anderson and Miranda Lee. I like their sexual confident heroines.@ASable:

  10. willaful
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 20:30:39

    I enjoyed this one; it was definitely not your run of the mill Presents. Although I enjoy those too. :-) I

  11. FD
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 04:20:57

    I have to agree too about the Aus/NZ authors – Susan Napier and Robyn Donald are on my personal hits list.

  12. Jane
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 07:59:50

    @FD I love love love Susan Napier. I think I’ve read Robyn Donald before but I’d have to check.

  13. wandergurl
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 05:44:30

    I suppose I am the only celeb gossip junkie that noticed the names are actually real people: Sienna Miller and Rhys Ifans, who dated for a while a few years ago…
    This does sound interesting and its set in the city I live in so we shall see if we can find it

  14. Bed Guard
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:08:42

    girls usually love to hear celebrity gossips, they are always into it ,.”

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