The Christmas Love-Child by Jennie Lucas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow. A really good Harlequin Presents novel is a great tension-releaser for me. This one counts on my list. Plus, brownie points for the sexy Russian hero. Okay, he was a jerk at times, but he was a jerk who fell in love, had to deal with his conscience kicking in after twenty years, and manned up when he was supposed to. That's my kind of jerk.
I've noticed that Ms. Lucas has the heroes who are really into the whole, "I'll fix you. I'll marry you and make you pay," school of revenge. Okay, I think that's hilarious. Why would you want to marry someone you can't stand to make them suffer? Because you're totally in denial and you want her to be yours, but you're having a temper tantrum until you get over yourself. Yup, that was Maksim, alright.
At times, I thought Grace was a little too wide-eyed innocent to be believed, but I went with it. This is high drama, soap opera. You have to suspend some disbelief. This is Harlequin Presentsland, where everything is larger than life. That's part of why I read these books, so I can't complain. She was a good person, definitely into self-sacrificing. I do have to admit when Maksim offered her a job, I would have said, "Hell, yeah!" Sorry for the bad language. I'm just keeping it real. Did I tell you I have a thing for sexy Russian heroes? This guy puts the Russian in sexy!
The love scenes were steamy. Not super descriptive, but very steamy. You could feel the sexual tension coming off this book in waves. High five, Ms. Lucas. Maksim was hot, in all his steely-gray eyed, hard muscled, ruthless because he was so poor that he almost froze one really bad Philadelphia winter, self. The man was always trying to buy outrageously expensive stuff for her, like oh, I don't know, a Maserati to go with her hair. He bought his sister a platinum tiara with diamonds, which she gave to Grace as a party favor. What's up with that? Reminder to self: Harlequin Presents novel. It's supposed to be over the top. Anyway, this was a hot book.
Did I mention that part of this book takes place in Moscow? Awesome! When Grace runs away the second time, she takes the Trans-Siberian railroad. How cool is that? Of course, Maksim shows up in his armor-plated SUV, swooping down on her like the angel of darkness to declare his love. They kiss at the train station surrounded by various eastern Russian peasantry. Sigh!
I really liked this one. Very enjoyable as long as you go into it remembering that Harlequin Presents novels are not real life, and they are not supposed to be. They are a few hours of entertainment where heroes give out Maseratis and diamond tiaras like you might hand your friend a pack of gum. Oh, I forgot to mention that Maksim has a Bugatti Veyron! (I didn't even know what that was before last year, but now I know that's a million dollar sports car thanks to reading Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole last year.
Nice job, Ms. Lucas. Thumbs up on this one!
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