Wednesday 18 September 2013

Marriage at a Price (Harlequin Presents) by Miranda Lee - Book Review

From The Blurb:
Discovering the stud farm she inherited is deeply in debt, a beautiful woman agrees to take on a silent partner. Having this partner’s representative in residence is a challenge, since she can't find the willpower to resist him. But when the bank is ready to foreclose, her silent partner makes his identity known and agrees to cover the loans in exchange for a marriage of convenience and a child.
The Review:

In a lot of ways, "Marriage at a Price" is your typical Harlequin Presents, with that precise amount of sex and romance. But in other ways it is even more than you might expect.

Courtney Cross is a strong and driven heroine who knows what she wants. Unlike many heroines, she is sexually experienced and boasts that the only reason she would marry is for the sex. But what about when money comes into play and she needs to marry for financial reason? That's ok by Courtney as long as the sex is good too.

Of course, nothing is that simple and Courtney falls in love with her would-be financial partner Jack, a rich man who separated from his ex, but is he still in love with her? Courtney might be willing to marry Jack for money and sex, but when she falls in love, things get complicated.

I really liked the fact that Courtney wasn't the inexperienced bride. She wanted Jack because she loved him (eventually) but she was also driven by a lust that wasn't without sexual knowledge or experience. She was also keen to maintain her career as a priority. 

I also loved Jack for respecting Courtney's work-drive and wanting to support her to maintain her business. He is an alpha, for sure, but he is also caring and respectful of Courtney. He loves her, but he understands that for her to be happy she needs to keep her family stud farm up and running. And he helps her achieve that.

The downside of this story was mostly personal. I'm not at all interested in horse racing or stud farms and found the whole concept a little boring. The scene where our hero and heroine become turned on when the horses are mating was also a little gross. Possibly if I was more interested in horses, I might have liked it that bit more.

I was also a little unsure about Jack's motivations. Unlike many Harlequin Presents titles, there is no PoV for Jack, and while I prefer it when the point of view stays the same throughout a book, I found myself confused by Jack's motivations. For example, we know he wants a child enough to arrange a marriage of convenience just for the purpose of having a child, but it isn't clear why he is quite so desperate.

All in all, this was a good title from Harlequin. Nice to have an Australian setting as well.

I read the Audiobook, so what about the Narrator?

Unfortunately the narrator of this book, Suzanne Toren, was American. I don't know why Harlequin did it this way, as with an Australian setting it meant that the American narrator put on incredibly painful Australian accents. It was a bad move, to say the least. Luckily the narrator was not that bad in her general narrative, but you have to learn to ignore the accent issue to enjoy this audiobook.

Marriage at a Price was published in 2001 by Harlequin and is available from Audible and Amazon.