At last, a book I enjoyed thoroughly and lost time in. I thought this year was a plethora of C reads. Had I lost my enthusiasm for Presents and Desire books? Perhaps not, if this one is anything to go by.
Stella is the daughter of a wealthy magnate who owns the media company that the Bolton boys biker reality show is on. Therefore, it’s unfortunate that she spends quality time with a gorgeous man called Bobby in the back of a limo with a bottle of champagne and a pack of condoms. Bad that Bobby is a Bolton, something she didn’t discover until later. Worse that the condom fails.
There are many of the usual Harlequin Desire tropes here—the more experienced heroine, the unexpected pregnancy, the urge to marry, but they’re freshened by making them relevant to the characters. Bobby wants to marry her because that’s what men do, but when she rejects him, he doesn’t yell, sulk or blackmail her into it. He accepts her decision and says he still wants to be there for the baby. Even though he has signed a morality clause for the show, which effectively he is breaking by getting a woman pregnant. Worse still that she’s the boss’s daughter.
Bobby has a dream. He’s building a resort with the proceeds of the reality show. I thought I wasn’t going to like this, since biker reality shows aren’t very interesting for me—on the other hand, I know someone who spends hours watching a man in overalls taking a motor bike to bits and putting it back together again. I got him a Triumph stand for Christmas and he’s very excited about it.
But the Bolton boys are irresistible. And they are not perfect. I love that they spend most of their time arguing and that they had their own lives. Bobby was living in a scruffy trailer onsite before she came along to see him, but he takes her back to his very nice condo.
She wants to be a fashion designer, and, praise be, the clothes described are something I would actually wear. Lace made in a tiny skull pattern (I have star lace, and, yes, skull lace), leather trim, corsets, clothes a person might actually wear instead of some kind of classic. And the author has some knowledge of what it takes to make clothes. I do dislike dress designer heroines who run up a collection in a few days, and then show it to great acclaim. In Paris. Stella knows she can’t, and she has some idea of construction and design.
The details often add to a story and the believability, and, let’s face it, most of Harlequin Presents and Desires are a bit odd. Fairy tales. But I like my fairy tales to have substance, and this book does.
By the way, the heroine is three months or so pregnant for most of the book. She’s described as having a sharp, uneven blonde bob, longer one side than the other. I don’t know who the cover model is, but the heavily pregnant, conventionally attired woman on the front isn’t the heroine of this book.
Anyway, I don’t care, I don’t have to look at the misleading cover for long. Bobby is a very understanding man, but he tends to take chances that drive his brothers crazy. I can see why. Bobby comes across as a real person. We spend significant time in his head, and Anderson helps the reader to understand him and his motives. That makes all the difference when it comes to setting up a black moment or a decision point.
In this Bolton Brothers book, first comes the baby…and maybe then comes marriage?
He’d never expected to see Stella Caine again. After one wild night, she’d walked away—right after revealing that her father was the one man who could threaten the biggest business deal of Bobby Bolton’s career. So Bobby left her alone.
Now Stella is pregnant and staying in his condo. This is a complication that can be solved only one way: marriage. Bobby wants to do the right thing. Hell, he wants her—has never stopped wanting her. Surely he can convince her to say yes, even without those three little words….
Read an excerpt.