Married for Amari's Heir by Maisey Yates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! I loved this book. Yates has always been a writer that struck me as having a lot of promise. I feel she nailed it far and away with this book. She has a written a romance between a Very Bad Man and a Hero Who Isn't a Good Girl. Oh she's a virgin, but that doesn't make her a good girl. I like that she flipped that around where virginity doesn't equate with innocence. I love when the heroine is a virgin, but I don't think that having a V card makes a woman more worthy. So yay to Ms. Yates for how she wrote this book with Charity showing some traits that make her less likely to qualify as a Disney Princess. Having said that, she's perfectly sympathetic. Her father was a con artist who raised her with his morals, which are very gray. She always knew deep down that something wasn't right about that life. But she didn't have access to another way of life to establish an alternate or better since of right and wrong so she could reject her father when he comes back and gets her help in pulling a con on Amari. When he runs off, he leaves her holding the bag and dealing with a coldly vengeful Amari who doesn't take kindly to anyone stealing what belongs to him. I loved how Yates sensitively depicts Charity's character evolution and identity crisis. It was excellent writing.
Oh my goodness! I loved that it's pretty obvious that Charity is biracial, if not racially mixed. Kudos again. It's nice to see brown skin as an object of beauty in a mainstream romance that isn't slated just for a multicultural audience.
Rocco Amari is a Class A villainous hero. In his own way, his morals are as flawed as Charity. His treatment of her is on par with an Anne Stuart hero. He is fearlessly cutthroat with Charity, but in a way that shows he's not as cold and lacking in feelings towards her as he would like. From the beginning, something about her gets beneath his armor and he can't dismiss her or deal with her in the way he would typically deal with his enemies. The reader gets a bird's eye view of this hero falling like a ton of bricks for his heroine, even though he can't allow himself to accept it. Amari also goes to an evolution. He realizes that Charity is not a possession, but a flesh and blood woman who he has to love in a deeper, selfless way and not like an expensive acquisition. Oh my goodness, some of his dialogue is priceless. Yates shows that she is a modern writer in how these characters express themselves. I've never heard a hero use some of the terms that Rocco does in this line before.
I could probably go on and on about how much I loved this book, but I won't. I like how Yates plays around with tried and true motifs in this line and breathes new life in them. I normally don't like the mistress storyline at all. The relationship between Amari and Charity doesn't feel like a rich man-mistress scenario, and while Amari seems to hold all the power, it's clear that he's equally vulnerable to Charity. I appreciate that very much. I definitely recommend this book to readers who either are Harlequin Presents fans or modern romance fans who like the billionaire hero or even Anne Stuart villain heroes motif.
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