Thursday, 5 May 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #45
The Italian's Defiant Mistress - India Grey
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2007
From the back cover:
"The Italian billionaire's inexperienced mistress
Eve Middlemiss has come to Florence desperate for information. And only darkly good-looking multimillionaire Raphael di Lazaro, heir to the Lazaro Fashion House, holds the answers she's searching for. Surrounded by glamour and decadence, Eve is totally out of her depth - until she realises she is the one Raphael wants!If becoming the Italian's mistress is what it takes to find out the truth about her family, Eve realises she must feign the sophistication and experience she's sure Raphael is accustomed to - but that means making herself available to his every desire..."
I have read quite a few of India Grey's books in the past but I have never got round to reading this one, her debut novel. So when I saw it just sitting there on the shelf of my local library I thought it must be divine intervention and immediately grabbed it!
The heroine Even has travelled to Florence under the guise of writing an article on a famous model for the di Lazaro fashion house, however she is really there to find the person responsible for supplying her twin sister with drugs that lead to her death. From details found on a scrap of paper in her sisters belongings Eve believes this person to be Raphael di Lazaro, when it is actually his half brother Luca. Raphael has been away from the family for a while, and is now back with the intention of bringing Luca to justice. When Raphael and Eve meet there is an immediate attraction between them. Eve tries to fight this but knows she has to stay close to him in order to expose him and Raphael feels the need to protect her, especially when Luca takes an interest.
As they spend time together they both valiantly try to fight against their growing feelings for one another but eventually a passionate affair begins. But when secrets are revealed and two perfectly timed misunderstandings happen they are both left broken hearted.
If I hadn't already known this was India Grey's debut book then I wouldn't have believed you if you told me! The book is written just as well as any seasoned pro, and I loved it from start to finish.
First things first, I'm obsessed with the fashion industry so to read a book based on this was always going to be popular with me, and even though the industry is not shown in the best of light it was really interesting and very well researched. The look into the lives of celebrities and the unfortunate drug culture within this is a controversial yet very hot button issue and it was executed really well.
The hero and heroine were both fantastic characters; Raphael was the perfect Alpha-male and managed to be both confident and caring without being cruel, and Eve was a fabulous feisty female character.
When the big conflict happened it was so intense and heart breaking that I actually had no idea how these two could ever make it work. I'm desperate to tell you what happens but I'm not going to, you will have to read it for yourself!
India Grey fits perfectly into a class of some of the more recent Mills and Boon writers (e.g. Heidi Rice, Abby Green, Maisey Yates, Lynn Raye Harris and many more!) that have brought these books up to date and really made them their own and far more appealing for the 21st century women!
I look forward to reading many more India Grey books to come!