Eligible bachelor Rafaelle Villani is used to loving his women...and leaving them. Until his freedom is compromised by a candid newspaper photo, which suggests he has finally fallen...for Rachel Carmichael. Soon the world's press is reporting their engagement!
Rafaelle claims his fake fiancee; twenty-four hours later Rachel has been passionately seduced--and fears she has conceived his baby. So, Rafaelle demands that Rachel pretend to be his future bride!
My Thoughts: I think I always start out my reviews for Harlequin type books saying I rarely read them. Maybe I don't, but I should. When I tally my books read over the course of the year Harlequins take up less than 2% of them. I don't read them all the time because I think they just don't give me enough of a decent story and a good enough romance. Not all of them of course but in general. This book is not an exception to that rule. It is an average offering from the Category Market.
The back blurb does not really do the plot justice because the potential baby scare is in the book but it isn't front runner in the plot. Most of the conflict comes from Rachel and her family's plot to get her picture taken with Rafaelle by the paparazzi in a somewhat compromising pose to save her sister's marriage. What ensues is him pretty much kidnapping her to find out why, her telling the whole story, her family abandoning her while she was in his clutches to continue their much more important lives, him twisting the scene to include their pretend engagement and a whole lot of hot monkey sex.
I was pretty amazed by the amount of sex in this book. I admit to still be under the (apparently) misguided impression that Harlequin Presents is the 'virginal' more prudish member of the Harlequin line. With that said the other stereotypes that category a Presents is still alive and kicking. Tall handsome foreign extremely rich older man--check. Inexperienced young shy not breathtakingly but still beautiful woman--check.
Anyway, lots of sex. I do have to say that there was a lot of passion in this book. The characters fought (verbally) with passion and had a lot of sex (passionately). With all the arguing and sex I was hard pressed to see much of a relationship blossoming but never fear the last 3 pages did have the I Love You's we all come to expect. I knew it was coming but just didn't see how they got there. I saw a lot of mistrust, accusations, arguing, and sex but little else.
As far as the writing, Reid, kept my interest with the conflict between the characters and her dialogue flowed well. There were a couple glaringly obvious typos that pulled me out of the story but overall this book kept my interest. I never once thought about throwing it against the wall and was glad that the couple managed to put their fighting aside to fall in love (despite that I didn't see how they happened along that particular emotion.) On the other hand I would have liked more romance and less sex. I would have liked a bit more character building from Rafaelle because he is still somewhat of a mystery to me and it would have been nice if Rachel's family learned a lesson about their selfish behavior for feeding her to the wolves (um wolf).
So that pretty much balances out to an average book. I'd read more from this author if I need a short book to add between my longer ones.