Billionaire's Marriage Bargain (The Billionaires Club, #2) by Leanne Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a pleasant, lighter read. Although I wished for a little more depth from the characters, I did like Mallory and Alex. I prepared myself to dislike Alex, actually. I find I don't tend to care for the rich playboy type in contemporary romances. They can be a little too perfect for me: lots of money and power, lots of charm, lots of sexual skill, but where's the heart? Alex did have heart, even if it was buried. He really didn't intend to fall for Mallory. He got to know Mallory as a favor to her father, who he was courting to get investors for his latest resort venture. However, he found himself being drawn to the sweet, luscious young woman, who seemed so proper but had a wild streak. He was on the arrogant side, but it wasn't excessive or a turn-off for me.
I did enjoy the courtship between Alex and Mallory. I like when the hero does have to do some courting and convincing, instead of the heroine falling instantly into his bed (and in love that is not returned). It's more of an interesting read for me this way.
Mallory was a bit overly insecure. I wasn't sure exactly why. I suppose it was because of the loss her family had suffered. Her mother had withdrawn after the death of her brother, but her father was very doting, so she did get attention. She was treated more like an only child, so I would expected her to be a little more confident. She couldn't believe that Alex would be interested in her, especially long-term. That might be an issue for some readers who don't like insecure heroines. I like that Alex was attentive and affirming to her, even though he believed that his career would always be the most important thing to him, even his wife. His actions showed differently.
Leanne Banks wrote a charming book here. There weren't any major issues that got in the way of enjoying it, although I would have liked to see more character/emotional depth and development, and a bit of a pacing issue towards the end. It's silly to complain about that with a less than 200 page novel, so I won't quibble. Although I wouldn't reach for this if I wanted an intense, dramatic, meaty romance, this was not too fluffy; and the romantic and steamy moments were well done. This book fit in very well between my horror/dark fantasy picks for the month of October.
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