Bride of Fortune

The Doctor Wore Spurs

Expecting His Child

Footloose

His Majesty, M.D.

The Secretary &
the Millionaire

Some Girls Do

Underfoot

When She's Bad

 
Bedded by the Billionaire
by Leanne Banks
(Silh. Desire #1863, $4.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76863-X
***
Leanne Banks has a knack for taking a rather tired plot and making it enjoyable. Bedded by the Billionaire is the old protection demand on the male’s part and fear of being alone on the female’s. Throw in a nice marriage of convenience and some strong lust and we have a decent story.

Lilli McCall tried to break it off with Tony DeLuca, but he drugged her, had sex with her, and left her pregnant when he died in an auto accident. A few months later, she is just trying to make ends meet on her dental hygienist salary.  But Tony left some debts and she is starting to get visits from some unsavory looking men. One of the men who visits, however is anything but unsavory.  He is tall, handsome and richer than sin.  He is Tony’s brother, Max DeLuca.

Max feels responsible for Lilli and the baby, since his brother left a lot to be desired in his personal life.  Max tries to buy Lilli off, offering her lots of money on the condition she sign an agreement giving him the right to remove the child if she is unfit.  Lilli is outraged and refuses.  After all, this was a one night mistake, one she doesn’t even remember.  And she refuses to give up her child.  Despite his unlikely conception, she is excited and ready to love this baby.

Max coerces her, politely, into living with him when the men start really harassing Lilli for money for Tony’s debts.  They mistakenly believe he had to have left her some money.  Lilli is reluctant, but sees the need when they follow her home one night and scare her.  The stage is set.

Max and Lilli are attracted, despite Lilli’s pregnancy.  Max has sworn off romantic love as something in fairy tales, yet he finds Lilli fascinating and not just due to lust.  Lilli, meanwhile is bowled over by Max, finding him larger than life and filled with multiple dimensions.   There romance is fun, engaging and at times, very hot. It is a little outlandish that they end up married but hey, that is part of the familiar plot – a marriage of convenience with sex included.  However, they actually wait until the appropriate time to realize they have feelings, and then wait until after the baby is born to consummate their love.  Max is tender and has a nice side that the reader can feel good about.  Lilli is a little angelic, but overall is a solid character.  Their scenes with the baby are cute and help to cement the sense that these two can fall in love for real and make a life together. 

The plot about Tony falls apart and never really comes together.  The “crisis” that really pulls out the heartstrings is rather predictable and the ending feels a little rushed.  But the way to the happy ending is filled with sensual activities and tender moments.  Max is really likeable and Lilli is someone that you just can’t not like.   Together they keep the reader engaged.

Despite the fact that I hate this title, as it really has little to do with the plot, I found this entry in the Billionaire Club series to be a nice interlude.  Bedded by the Billionaire doesn’t break any new ground, but in Banks’ capable hands, the story is worth an afternoon. 

--Shirley Lyons


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