Author: Tessa Radley
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 1, 2007
Hell-bent on revenge, Italian businessman Rico D'Alessio would stop at nothing to destroy the Sinclair family. Taking eldest daughter Danielle Sinclair as his bride was a start. Making her pregnant with his heir would prove the ultimate payback. But falling for his bride of revenge? Even this most cunning of rich men had not counted on that turn of events or the secrets such a shocking union would reveal.
I’m not really into SD stories, but this one was a truly nice surprise. It was a nice combination of a little bit of everything I like in a story – drama, suspense, romance, laughter, tears, steam (that last bedroom scene was hot!), and a nice little revenge scheme thrown in for the fun of it.
I don’t particularly like revenge-driven plots in HQ and S books, because they’re usually pretty shallow and fall short. This was different, the hero actually had a pretty good reason for wanting revenge and though his plan was cruel and heartless, I somehow understood him (if not condoned his actions). The guy had lost everything, his wife, his child, his home, his reputation.
But despite his rage and disdain for everything to do with the heroine’s family, there was that little spark, always hovering in the background. It turned him from cruel and heartless bastard intent on revenge into a man that had lost everything, wanted to make the heroine and her family pay, yet he somehow still couldn’t bring himself to go all the way.
Danielle, the heroine, wasn’t your typical SD chick (though, I’m no expert on what makes SD heroines tick). Under her father’s thumb for years, she desperately wanted to get free and took the opportunity Rico offered with both hands. Yet, she was no pushover. She had her goals, she had her vision, and she wanted to live her fantasy life for as long as she could. Because her secret, the last lie and ultimate betrayal, would surely drive him away sooner than he expected.
Their romance was sweet, tender, and slow-blooming, covering all ranges from traumatic-events-inspired friendship of four years ago, to disdain and hate (thanks to Danielle’s little sister), to fury and revenge-driven rage, to tentative companionship and friendship, and ultimately love…With the requisite happy ending of course.
The only thing spoiling this was the predictability of the resolution to the heroine’s dark little secret (like we didn’t see that one coming a mile away!), the villain (though the suspense undertone set everything in motion, the villain and his motivations just didn’t convince me), and the extremely poor editing on some pages (I usually don’t notice that, small and few mistakes don’t bother me, but the sometimes sloppy editing in this story really caught my eye).
A really great story, with two wonderful – and realistic – characters with amazing chemistry. A keeper! 4 ½ stars