Title: The Tycoon's Rebel Bride
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher: Harlequin Silhouette Desire (2009)
Mystery Designation: #1944 May 09
Previous visitors (waddup y'all?) know that I loves me a good romance. It's probably clear at this point that I prefer those of the historical variety but I do occasionally make a foray into the contemporary. I doubled up my latest contemporary journey with a first: a Harlequin! I have to say that it didn't exactly go like gangbusters. (Not exactly a ringing endorsement, I know.) Before I get into the meat of it, though, can someone please explain to me the number thing? Are these released like comic books or something? What does #1944 mean?
Isabella Caplan (of rebel bride fame) has the humpin' hornies for Theron Anetakis (of tycoon fame) but she is a ward of his family and he sees her only as a kid that he is responsible for. He doesn't actually know her all that well since she's more of a fiscal ward than a live-in ward due to their parents' friendship. Isabella has loved Theron for most of her life and has decided her post college graduation goal is to marry him. He quickly realizes she's more than just a kid but he still thinks of her as a responsibility rather than a potential mate. Cue mood music...
What I Liked:
>It was short
>Isabella has a goal and is willing to work for it
>Isabella is comfortable in her own skin and with her sexuality
>Theron asked some dang good questions. For instance, what are your plans now that you have graduated?
>This is a follow-up to The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress (#1920) and how can I possibly not enjoy that? Very handy to not even have to read the back flap to know what one is getting into. (Note that the #1920 tycoon is brother to current tycoon not actual current tycoon.)
>Isabella's dress on the cover. I'd like to own it and wear it. Perhaps in a helicopter I've hired.
What I Didn't Like:
>Even though it was short it was still more wordy than needed (yes, actually, I do see the irony in this:).
>I realize we're dealing with the uber-rich here so they may not have exactly the same cares/worries as the rest of us but I couldn't stomach the main motivations of the two protags: Isabella appeared to think all aspects of her life would fall into place if only she got married and Theron was insultingly over-bearing. He was so over-bearing that at one point I thought I had misunderstood and was reading an historical but modern technology was mentioned so it was him, not me.
>Everything was too easy.*
side note: For a romance to work for me I absolutely must believe two things:
1) There's a chance the couple might not get together.
2) They will remain together after the book has ended.
Think about the wonderful romance that is Persuasion (or Seize the Fire or Bridget Jones' Diary); even though I know better I am genuinely worried things won't work out. But when they do I am convinced they really do.
*again, I realize with people that own jets things are probably a bit easier but, really, you got to make me believe it won't work out or else why I am here reading all these pages of them trying to work it out. There's no point if it's grossly obvious that things will be fine.
>That "gentleman's" club business was the best that could be contrived to bring about action re the true feelings of our protags??
>Unprotected sex in 2009????????????? Give me a fucking break!
In summary, this one was just too empty. The writing lacked even a hint of subtlety - as did the characters, really. I know what I was supposed to think and feel because it was painfully spelled out for me but I never actually thought or felt any of those things. If you're looking for a good romance I can recommend several, but you're definitely going to want to give this one a pass.
rating: 2 of 5 stars
Any Harlequin readers out there want to point me in a better direction?