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The Tycoon's Bride (2000)

by Michelle Reid(Favorite Author)
3.42 of 5 Votes: 1
0373121067 (ISBN13: 9780373121069)
Harlequin Books
review 1: Emotion-filled, excellent example of Harlequin PresentsThis is a review of a Kindle re-release of the May, 2000, Number 2106 Harlequin Presents (HP) by Michelle Reid, The Tycoon's Bride. The book is well-formatted and well designed, making it easy to read. I downloaded a copy from my public library, and unlike some of the other big publishers, Harlequin allows instant download to a Kindle device or Kindle app, rather than the farce of downloading to one's computer through a USB port and then laboriously uploading it from there to the Kindle device.Twenty-year-old Claire comes from a previously wealthy family that has fallen on hard times. After his business failed, her father committed suicide, and her mother, who was only 44, recently died shortly after Claire's illegitim... moreate, three-month-old, baby sister was born. Claire abandoned her university studies and has been struggling in poverty to raise baby Melanie on her own. Her only living relative is her mother's older sister, a cold-hearted executive assistant who arrives at the start of the story to push Claire to give up her sister for adoption, so she says, only for the baby's own good. Claire is hit by a van while running into the street to catch her aunt before she drives away with her rich boss after the aunt accidentally leaves behind a credit card entangled in a small amount of cash she gave Claire for the baby's care. Her aunt's boss Andreas Markopoulou, a gorgeous, Greek tycoon, steps in and takes Claire to the hospital and brings Melanie, too. Fortunately, Claire only has bruised ribs and a fractured wrist, but because her wrist is in a cast and she is in a great deal of pain, Andreas brings her and the baby to his home to be cared for by his housekeeper.Claire is suspicious of his motives and confronts Andreas. He explains that he is a 36-year-old widower with no desire to remarry, but his adored, 92-year-old grandmother longs for him to marry and give her the chance to have a great-grandchild before she dies. Since she could die at any time, Andreas offers Claire a marriage of convenience in which he will tell his grandmother that Claire and he had a brief affair a year ago, and he recently discovered she had a child and wants to marry her. In return, he promises to adopt Melanie and help Claire adopt her as well. He states that Melanie will be his only heir and be cared for the rest of her life. In addition, the marriage will be a platonic one, and once his grandmother passes away, if Claire wants to leave, she can, only allowing Andreas, who from the first seems very bonded with the baby, to have regular visitation rights.The amazing offer seems unbelievably generous, but Claire ultimately decides to accept it both because she wants the best for Melanie, and because the alternatives are completely unacceptable--either to raise Melanie in abject poverty or give her up for adoption and never see her again.Unfortunately, two main aspects of her deal with Andreas seem impossible to pull off. First, she is a woman of integrity who has never lied in her life, and she hates lying to Andreas's grandmother, a crusty old lady whom Claire is immediately fond of. Second, the sparks between her and Andreas are incredibly hard to resist, but if Claire gives into her attraction to Andreas, it will drastically complicate their agreement and very likely break her heart.This novel excels in multiple ways within the goals it sets out to achieve as an HP romance:--Though it uses familiar themes that are evergreen in romance (marriage of convenience, Alpha male, Cinderella fairy tale), it adds an amazing twist to them. The hero is strong but emotionally vulnerable. The heroine is financially and emotionally vulnerable, but emotionally very strong. Though the latter is rather common in HP, the former in juxtaposition with it in such a clear way certainly is not, and it adds a real "wow" factor of intensity.--The author's descriptions of love/sex scenes are beautifully done. Every step of the way the focus is off boring listings of body parts and on emotional response.--It is inevitable that after sex is consummated, sexual tension is dissipated. Since HP is a "sensuous romance line," there are at least 3-6 sex scenes in every book, and the authors don't always achieve a viable, new source of intense conflict to antagonize the lovers from each other so that sexual tension can be re-established rising up to the next sex scene. This book does a great job of accomplishing that.--Though there are no real subplots in the HP books because they are so short, when one of them can introduce moving relationships other than between the hero and heroine, it is always a huge plus, and this book does an amazing job of the relationship of the hero and heroine with baby Melanie--one of the best uses of a baby in a short-contemporary romance I've seen, and that's saying a lot because Harlequin romances abound with babies. The relationship with Claire and Andreas's grandmother is also very moving and contributes wonderfully to the romance plot.--This book is entirely in Claire's point of view, which aids in making a lot about Andreas a mystery. There were two main mysteries in the book and though I generally guess the solution to virtually every mystery of this type in an HP romance or any other short contemporary romance, I didn't guess the solution to either one in this book, which is a terrific achievement for the author for this type of story.--Even the requisite epilogue is well done and extremely moving. Far too often it is simply boringly proforma in HP, but not here. Andreas is a wonderful, sensitive hero, and his evolution and emotional healing across the course of the book is extremely well done.For any author of YA paranormal romance, reading and studying HP romances is a great opportunity to understand the key elements of an exciting romance plot with a sexy, Alpha love interest who acts as the heroine's antagonist--a convention that is a major element of most current YA paranormal romance, and which is all too often inadequately done.
review 2: I wouldn't say it was amazing...but the story was gripping with traditional Michelle Reid angst and a very unique twist at the end that I never saw coming. What bothered me most was the heroine. At times, I thought she was a bit immature and naive. Other times I found her ungrateful. Most of the times, she just allowed herself to be easily manipulated by the hero. I guess this was partly due to her youth and the age gap with the hero. I found that I really liked the Hero in the beginning. I admired his tenacity and his caring attitude towards the heroine and the baby. However, as the book went on he started to lose points with me. Especially at the end with the big reveal and his part in the big reveal. less
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Couldn't finish this. I found heroine extremely ungrateful and a spoiled brat.
A 3.5 rating. It gets better towards the end.
3.5 stars.
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