Posted in: AztecLady Reviews
Tags:Down Under authors
Published in Australia by Harlequin’s Sexy Sensations (and as a Harlequin Presents in North America), Confessions of a Millionaire’s Mistress is pure contemporary romance. There’s no murder, no explosions, no intricate subplot to distract the reader from the development of the relationship between hero and heroine.
It is not without some troubles—first and foremost in the packaging. That title? Nothing whatsoever to do with anything in the novel, as far as I can see. The blurb is not much better:
Scorching passion, frozen feelings
When Celeste Prince discovers her beloved family business has been sold to millionaire Benton Scott, she’s determined to get it back. But gorgeous Benton sets her pulse racing, and her carefully laid plans lead her to just one place… his bed!
Benton makes it clear right from the start that he can’t offer more than a steamy affair. Though the passion is scorching, Ben’s emotions are still in the deep freeze, and Celeste knows that only a dramatic collision course with his troubled past can thaw them. Is it worth the risk?
The night Celeste’s father drops a bomb on her (not only is she not the company’s new CEO—in fact, she was never in the running in his mind) she discovers that the man she was ogling is the future new owner. For the first couple of chapters it would seem that the plot would run a fairly predictable course, wherein Celeste is fixated on the sentimental and symbolic value of the company beyond reason, and therefore jumps head first into some sort of idiotic stunt to “get it back.”
Fortunately, Ms Grady doesn’t go there, at all. The novel itself is not about the fate of the family business, but focuses on Celeste’s and Ben’s individual growth, as well as on how their interactions with each other affect them.
It was engaging to read a contemporary romance again, and more so because there were no big misunderstandings or epic revelations or sudden about faces. The characters’ reactions to each other and their circumstances were very much normal, natural, mundane even, and the development of their relationship was quite believable to me.
There were, to be sure, a few moments when I wondered at Celeste’s age, because her internal dialogue came off a bit young for a twenty five year old woman, but it wasn’t marked enough to put me off, and it could always be put down to having focused on business for well over a decade.
In the same vein, Ben’s idealization of families, and his slightly chauvinistic attitude, are explained away—a bit too easily for me—by his personal history. Orphaned shortly after birth, raised in foster care, knowing his father is alive but “not interested” in him.
Later, his father’s (and his family’s) reaction to Ben’s existence felt… well, slightly too healthy and grounded, as did Ben’s change of heart near the end—but then so had Celeste’s decision to put her past obsession with the family business behind her and move on with her life.
Perhaps what bothers me is that I prefer more tortured characters? Probably. Either way, while not engrossed by the novel, I liked it well enough, and will be on the look out for more of Ms Grady’s work.
Confessions of a Millionaire’s Mistress gets 6.75 out of 10