Friday, 10 February 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #314
His Penniless Beauty - Julia James
N.B. The above details refer to the North American release of this book.
From the back cover:
"Four years ago, Sophie loved Nikos Kazandros with all her heart. What she didn't know was that Nikos would take her virginity and then move on…
Now, not knowing where to turn for money, Sophie has taken a job she wouldn't normally have considered. But on her very first night things go disastrously wrong when she bumps into…Nikos. He's outraged to see how she's earning a living and knows he needs to stop her immediately. But the only way to do that is to keep her close and pay for her time…"
I am a big fan of Julia James's books, you probably know this by now!
The hero Nikos is at a party that he really doesn't want to be at when he sees Sophie, the heroine, dressed up like a tart and on the arm of a lecherous businessman. He is reminded of how Sophie and her innocence were once his, and now she seems anything but innocent, and his anger gets the better of him. Sophie is devastated to see Nikos for the first time since he abandoned her and her whole world had come crashing down. She especially hates that he has to see her now, in her lowest moment, acting as a sort-of escort in order to get the money she so desperately needs to keep her gravely ill father in a care home. Nikos only thinks that Sophie has become like every other avaricious woman, but can't stand the thought of her virtually prostituting herself and offers her money providing she leaves town for a little while. She accepts, which only makes Nikos think he is right about her however after she has gone he can't stop thinking about her or stay away. When the passion between them erupts Nikos wants to hate Sophie, but only ends up learning the truth about her situation and the role he played in ruining her life.
There is something about Julia James's overly dramatic stories that really appeal to me, and I very much enjoyed this one. The gradual retelling of the shared history between the hero and heroine is incorporated into the story perfectly, and really well written - the author really did show how both the characters felt about everything, so the conflict felt three dimensional. As usual in a Julia James book, there is that one great big misunderstanding, but you know what, that is what she does best and it works.
There book is over the top, and emotional yet very compelling. A great book.