Tuesday, 4 October 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #183
The Italian's Virgin Bride - Trish Morey
Mills & Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills & Boon, 2004
From the back cover:
"Opal Clemenger's facing bankruptcy, and the only man who can rescue her is ruthless tycoon Domenic Silvagni.
Domenic's filthy rich, and he thinks money can purchase him anything--including a wife. So he agrees to help Opal, but only if she consents to his marriage ultimatum.
Opal has no choice but to marry Domenic, but then he makes another demand: she must provide him with an heir. But Domenic quickly realizes that there's one thing he can't buy--his wife's love..."
This is an oldie I found in the library, I picked it up as I like a lot of Trish Morey's books.
The heroine Opal is hoping that she can convince the hero Domenic to invest in her hotel business. Although the hotels are successful she has been left with some tax debts from her father and she doesn't want to have to sell her women's shelter. Domenic is interested in Opal's business deal as well as being very intrigued by Opal herself. He has been getting pressure from his family to marry and settle down so he offers Opal the deal of him investing in her business if she marries him. After witnessing her mother's unhappiness in her marriage, Opal had never planned to get married. But she agrees only for the chance to save her business and knows that she will never fall for Domenic as he will no doubt continue with his playboy lifestyle. This seems true when he leaves her on their wedding night after telling her that he wants an heir as soon as possible. When he returns they begin to get to know one another and Opal finds she begins to trust him, as well as finally giving in to the fierce desire between them. However she never lets him too close, which Domenic finds frustrating, as she is afraid that it won't be long before he hurts her.
I enjoyed this book, it has a nice blend of tenderness and traditional romance novel elements. However there were a few 'holes' in the story and certain parts that really dragged it down. Opal is a really well developed heroine; independent, clever and strong - right up until the moment she sleeps with the hero. She is under the impression that he spent their wedding night with another woman yet she gives herself totally to him, this seems at complete odds to her character and I couldn't really warm to her after this. The subplot of Opal's mother being found was introduced far too late that it had no real effect on the plot and didn't really seem worth it. I also found that I didn't understand Domenic's motivations, especially in relation to his feelings for Opal. His POV was non-existent after the first chapter or so.
However despite all that, I enjoyed this book. The writing is flawless and the development of the relationship is nicely done.
Not perfect, but an OK read.