Monday, 30 May 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #63
Too Proud to be Bought - Sharon Kendrick
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
"The humble waitress and the Russian billionaire...
Waitress Zara Evans doesn't belong in glittering high society. That is until she finds herself unexpectedly at an exclusive party and manages to captivate the most sought after man in the room - Russian oligarch Nickolia Komarov - by attracting his undivided attention...
For Nikolai, there's something about Zara's beauty that makes her stand out from the first class crowd. Experience has taught him all women have their price, but he has never encountered anyone like Zara - a young woman who is too proud, too independent, too wilful to be bought..."
I'm a big fan of Sharon Kendrick's books, she is master at writing romances and her books are fantastic examples of what the 'Modern' line is all about. This is another classic and brilliantly written example.
The story begins with the heroine Zara being persuaded by her friend to gatecrash a high profile party in order to try and get her friends clothing designs noticed by Russian millionaire Nikolai, the hero. Nikolai is immediately intrigued by Zara as she is so different in comparison to all the high society people at the party. He tries to seduce her but Zara refuses and leaves. Even more intrigued, Nikolai tracks her down, thinking she is a gold digger he offers her a job hoping to expose her motives. Zara turns out to be nothing like his expectations and they begin an affair. Nikolai is shocked by the feelings Zara creates in him, he tries to retain control over both his feelings and Zara by attempting to shower her with expensive gifts and make her quite her low paying waitress job. Zara refuses both these things needing to keep her independence, this creates even more turmoil for Nikolai. He tries to push her away but finds it difficult to fight his desire and need for Zara to be in his life.
This is a very traditional plot line for a book from the 'Modern' line; rich man meets poor woman, he thinks she's a gold digger, they have an affair etc. However in this book Sharon Kendrick has managed to make this a much more interesting story by changing and updating certain elements. I particularly liked how Zara kept hold of both her independence and her principles, she was a fantastically written female character - hones and feisty without being silly. Nikolai was a little more difficult to like, he was quite cold, he started off being the typical judgemental Alpha-male type character but he grew as the story progressed, which was mainly down to the strength of the female character.
This is a beautifully written romance with a fast pace, great characters, passion and a nice HEA.