A Night of Living Dangerously by Jennie Lucas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jennie Lucas is the author to reach for when you want the high drama quotient and the fairy tale vibe to your Harlequin Presents. Lilley is so starry-eyed, it will probably make a more cynical reader roll her eyes. I didn't mind it so much. I think that if I'm in the mood, it works for the story. I felt that she definitely deserved better than she got with Alessandro, but in his defense he did try to push her away initially to protect her. I didn't want her to go back to him when she has important news. I wanted her to go in the other direction. I think it's because I strongly like when the hero has to do the chasing. I don't like when the heroine falls into his arms so easily. Lilley is a true love believer. She has a heart that is so sweet and kind, I just wanted to protect her from the world. I could identify with her fear about taking risks. I think we all feel like that sometimes. Especially when the root is a sense of inadequacy and that no one truly accepts you for who you are. I hate that Alessandro contributed to that feeling of inadequacy in how he treats her when they are married. He needed and did receive a hard wake up call, but it came at a high price to Lilley.
Jennie Lucas can be a bit over the top sometimes, but in a way, I like that. I think the best Harlequin Presents are the ones that don't feel like real life, but take you away to 100% escapism. When that's combined with a story full of emotional genuineness it's a great combination. While I won't ever hang out with billionaires, I can identify with the human emotions that both Lilley and Alessandro feel, and their struggles with family and a sense of meaning for their lives.
I would have to give this four stars because it kept my eyes glued on the page, the sensuality was sizzling, and the character's emotions felt real and powerful and their story unfolded in a way that I was entranced with and didn't want to stop reading. Plus, the Cinderella vibe is very well done.
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