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Parker’s Price, by Ann Bruce.

First things first. Reader beware: I received a review copy of this book directly from the author. Further, I’ve reviewed only one other story by Ms Bruce, “Rules of Engagement,” and I liked it—a lot.

A contemporary romance with a hint of suspense and just shy of 200 pages, Parker’s Price is longer than a novella yet still shorter than most novels. One of Carina Press‘ launch titles, this is an ebook only story. Here is the blurb:

She was sexy, smart…and not for sale. But that won’t stop him.

When Parker Quinn is forced to accept an outrageously high bid at a charity auction, she has no choice but to go out with the last man on earth she wants to spend time with. Dean Maxwell may be one of Manhattan’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s also the man who had an affair with her sister and abandoned her when she became pregnant with his child.

Dean doesn’t know why Parker hates him so much, but he’s determined to show Parker the type of man he really is. Whisking her away to a private island in the Bahamas for a sensual, sun-drenched week together, Dean leaves Parker’s preconceptions shattered and her desires inflamed.

But even as their passion reaches irresistible heights, Parker has a decision to make. Can she allow herself to fall for the seductive magnate, or will family secrets and a dangerous ex tear them apart?

Since its release about a month ago, I have read a number of reviews of Parker’s Price, often contradictory (Wendy the Super Librarian thinks Dean is too sexy for words, while Mandi at Smexy Books thinks he’s too alpha). Having read the novel, I have to tend to agree with Wendy, while sorta understanding where Mandi is coming from (I think… please do feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong).

The story begins during the auction mentioned in the blurb. (more…)