Wednesday, 19 October 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #197
The Most Coveted Prize - Penny Jordan
Mills & Boon Modern
Harlequin UK, 2011
From the back cover:
"His latest acquisition...
Russian oligarch Kiryl Androvonov has one rival: billionaire Vasilii Demidov. Luckily, Vasilii has an Achilles’ heel – his younger, over-protected half-sister Alena... Kiryl’s master plan is to seduce the tantalisingly beautiful Alena. Then, once he’s had his fill, use her to blackmail Vasilii for the contract that will complete his business empire.
It’s a winner-takes-all situation for the Russian tycoon, as Alena herself might well be the most coveted prize of all. Until she discovers just how ruthlessly Kiryl has been using her..."
Be warned, this is not going to be a pleasant review. I'll be honest and say that I was a little apprehensive about reading this book. While I am a big fan of Penny Jordan's older books, I have found her more recent ones rather difficult to read. But, since I adore this cover I though I would give it a go...
The hero Kiryl is desperate to land a business deal that will cement his status as a powerful businessman, something which he has been working towards ever since he was cruelly rejected as a child by his powerful father. When he learns that he is competing with an enormously powerful businessman Vasilii, Kiryl vows to do everything and anything he can to force Vasilii out of the deal. He discovers that Vasilii has a young sister Alena, the heroine, and decides to use her as his pawn. Alena has been sheltered for the majority of her life by her older brother and is overwhelmed by Kiryl's attentions. As she and Kiryl spend time together she falls in love with him and gives him all of her, blissfully happy and unaware of Kiryl's true reasons for pursuing her. Kiryl planned to seduce Alena and charm her into falling in love with him then to confront her brother with the threat of Alena losing her reputation. He is pleased that she has done exactly as he hoped, but also finds himself feeling a little too much for her. Yet, he continues on with his plan and goes to see Vasilii with his ultimatum, not knowing that Alena is witness to this and how much she is hurt.
I really don't like being negative about things, so before I go further with this I just want to say that this is my opinion and I understand that what *I* don't like, someone else may love.
So first of all - The plot of this book revolves around dirty tricks (dirty and unethical business tactics), which, quite frankly, is unacceptable for a 'hero' to do. You may think that I'm being a little silly by taking offence to this (after all, it's only a book!), but I don't see how I could relate to a book that includes something that is so duplicitous. This immediately made me have an intense dislike for both the book and the hero. The hero, by the way, is a bastard, there is no other way to describe him. And as for the heroine, she was bloody naive that it was almost unbelievable.
I found this book VERY difficult to read, I almost gave up on it twice. Not only is the plot and 'romance' totally unappealing, but the writing is also quite frustrating. There is so much internal monologuing that I was expecting the characters to start quoting a Shakespearean soliloquy, or something!
Overall, I have to be honest and say this is a very bad book and has left me thinking that I will no longer bother with Penny Jordan's newer books, as compared to her brilliant older books they are just awful.
Apologies for the diatribe.