REVIEW: Enemies at the Altar by Melanie MilburneMonday, August 20, 2012 1:00
LynneC’s review of Enemies at the Altar (The Outrageous Sisters, Book 2) by Melanie Milburne
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Presents 21 Aug 12
I’d forgotten I’d read the first book in this series until a few reminders dropped in the text reminded me. I’m writing this review quickly, because it, too, will pass into the dimly remembered past fairly soon.
Although Enemies at the Altar starts with an illegal premise, I carried on reading, because Milburne is a solid writer with a nice style, but this one doesn’t really get going for me. The story starts at the reading of a will. Outside fiction, I’ve never heard of that happening, and I’ve been a beneficiary in a will more than once. They just call you on the phone and tell you what the departed has left for you. It does make for a dramatic scene, but a more informal meeting would have worked just as well in this story.
Andreas’ father has died and left him everything after other natural bequests, except for the chateau in France where Andreas spent a lot of his childhood. Instead, he’s left that with a proviso—that he marries Sienna Baker, the woman he hates most in the world, and lives with her for six months.
That’s the illegal bit. Under European law, it’s legal, as long as the property is free and unencumbered, to leave someone something in a will as long as they marry or marry by a certain age. But the other party cannot be named. That’s a violation of human rights and is illegal. When the lawyer assures Andreas and Sienna that there is no way around it, I wondered if he was just a stupid lawyer or he was kidding them along. Because it’s a very easy thing to have the whole will set aside, because of the violation of human rights outlined in the will. Actually, no lawyer worth his hire would allow a clause like that into a will, because it would invalidate the whole thing. No point.
Andreas watched his mother die of cancer and his father take up with the housekeeper during her illness. Sienna is, of course, her daughter. He wanted Sienna, only to be scandalized when a sex video of her appeared online a few years back. Sienna watched her mother tear herself up over Andreas’s father, the only man she ever truly loved, while he was using her for sex. After he dumped her, she died of alcohol and drugs. Whatever, one presumes. Then Sienna went wild, then she married a much older manfor his money. And because she cared for him.
So these two detest each other for what seems like good reasons. Welcome back the Big Misunderstanding. Especially the one that could have been sorted out by a sit-down chat. Not that they ever needed to get that far if one of them hadn’t understood basic testatory law or consulted a decent lawyer. For a wealthy man surrounded by bodyguards, Andreas seems amazingly clueless.
There is, of course, the sexual attraction. So they argue a lot, climb into bed, argue some more, rinse and repeat, and then, finally, do some research and try to understand each other. They do a lot of flouncing, especially Sienna.
I didn’t really get the feel of the wild child in Sienna. All her bad past evaporates into steam and while it’s believable, it’s also very disappointing. I’d have loved her to have b
Andreas tries to understand, once he gets over his hatred of his wife, which takes most of the book, and eventually is the strongest character, but not by much. The end is very rushed and the conclusion not terribly satisfactory. But Milburne’s style, her way of telling the story, is smooth and accomplished, and this might be a good airplane book.een a real wild child, not a victim, which, of course, is what she ends up being. Someone with a bad girl past and the scars to prove it. I’m tired of the seemingly bad girl who turns out to be the put-upon victim.
The last woman he would ever marry…
The last time Andreas Ferrante saw Sienna Baker she was naively trying to seduce him. Whilst her provocative sensuality is emblazoned on Andreas’s memory, the terrible consequences torment him. So the news that they must marry to secure his inheritance is unthinkable…Once devastated by his heartless rejection, when she sees Andreas again it makes Sienna’s humiliation burn brighter. And as for marrying him…? They’d be lucky to last the ceremony without killing each other! But there’s a fine line between love and hate…Will the flames of anger turn to white-hot passion on their wedding night?
Read an excerpt.