Millionaire's Calculated Baby Bid by Laura Wright
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a pretty good book. I think Ms. Wright has a way with words. However, I did have some issues reading this book that knocked the rating down quite a bit.
The big lie that Mary told was NOT OKAY. I know that technically Ethan was in the wrong, but it was vicious and wrong how she lied. She was very underhanded in what she did and she hurt him pretty bad. I can understand to a certain degree why she did it, but I didn't like this decision that she made, and how she dragged it out until she had to come clean. Yes, he blackmailed her, but she had a choice to say yes or no. And he was upfront about what he was doing. I think any moral high ground Mary had was lost with the lie that she told.
That lie really bothered me, but I suppose I could have gotten past that, but what started as a compelling book, sort of changed into a run of the mill modern relationship drama. Nothing wrong with those, but generally they don't interest me the way the blackmail, revenge, enemies to lovers themes interest me. I read romance to get away from the mundane. And frankly, relationship drama is very mundane to me.
I thought the love scenes were well-done, and there was intense chemistry between the characters. Mary was a little cold and detached for my tastes, although that didn't seem to extend into the bedroom. A cold heroine doesn't bother me most of the time, but the execution makes the difference for me. Even though the author planted seeds about Mary being a caring person and putting others first, I didn't really see her as being that warm and caring, although she did show some warmth with her father. I liked Ethan. He definitely had issues, but I found him compelling and interesting. It was clear that he was a decent human being, although Mary didn't seem to think so at first, and maybe he didn't want the world to see him that way.
I had issues with the fact that Ethan seemed to do a lot more grovelling than Mary did. He apologized and made amends for the blackmail attempt, and was upfront about his issues with being born on the wrong side of the tracks. But I'm not sure that Mary really met him halfway. I would have liked to see her open up more and admit to her issues, and apologize more for the lie she told. The unequal feelings and emotional vulnerability level between the hero and heroine is a big sticking point for me. I don't like to see one person eating their heart out, while the other just selfishly sucks up the affection and love vibes. I got a bit of that from this book.
All in all, a decent read, but this book wasn't a keeper for me. Maybe if it had proceeded in the intriguing way it started, I might have felt differently. This is more of a 2.5/5.0 star read, but I'll bump it up to 3 stars.
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