The Billionaireís Bedside Manner
by Robyn Grady
(Silh. Desire #2092, $4.75, PG-13) ISBN978-0373-73105-3
**
Category romances often entail a quick love at first site or falling in love quickly. The Billionaireís Bedside Manner, however involved two characters who fell in lust/love within just a few days, even though they didnít trust each other. If you can believe their love despite the circumstances, you might ultimately like this tale. I just couldnít buy it.

Mateo Celeca is an obstetrician who grew up in an orphanage until he was seven, then he was adopted by a single father who had lost his wife and child. Ernesto loved him and Mateo always felt amazed that he had someone who loved him, even if only for a while. He also got a grandmother out of it, and to this day, he loves her. Mama Celeca is always trying to fix him up with women, though. So when Bailey Ross shows up on his doorstep, claiming Mama Celeca sent her, he concludes two things. One, Bailey is out for his money and two, Mama was taken advantage of by this seemingly downtrodden young woman.

Bailey is downtrodden, if you consider that she is broke, owes Mama money and wants to pay everything back. Bailey grew up rich, but when her mother passed away, she and her father just could not connect. She ultimately left school to backpack around Europe. It was in Italy that she met Mama Celeca. Bailey was working in a restaurant and was convinced by mistake to marry the proprietor. When she tried to break the engagement, he got angry and determined. She had no money and nowhere to turn, until Mama gave her plane fare and helped her escape.

In Sydney, Australia, Bailey looks up Mateo, hoping for a slight refuge while she finds a job. Things happen quickly. Before she knows it, she has a job cleaning houses for a friend of Mateoís who owns a real estate business. Then they decide to go to France to see ParisÖwhere they spend several fun filled romantic weeks and yes, they fall in love. But Mateo doesnít really trust Bailey, he just finds her wildly attractive and a real match in his bed. And Bailey just doesnít know what happened, but she knows that she first wants to prove herself and then she wants Mateo for her own.

This all occurs amidst the backdrop of the orphanage just outside Paris. Mateo has become its benefactor and one reason for his trip is his annual or semi-annual visit. He takes Bailey with him and here she sees a side he rarely lets anyone see. This visit also brings out her motherly instincts, which allows Mateo to see a side of her that few see or understand. Both have secrets and neither trusts the other or many other people. All of this leads to love.

This tale just developed too quickly to be believable. There were too many coincidences; too many situations that were too convenient and of course, too many circumstances that just fell into place. The lust turns to love story is rather typical, but in this case, the lust really didnít have a chance to develop before they were debating with their inner psyche about whether this was love.

Mateo is a nice guy, but at times was hard to pin down. Was he the soft-hearted benefactor or the lonely boy from the orphanage? Or was he the cynical hard-hearted doctor who didnít believe in love, only greed?

Bailey, too seemed uneven. She yearned for her fatherís love, but yet, was unwilling to compromise and give him the benefit of the doubt. She yearned for family but almost sabotaged her chances with Mateo.

Overall, The Billionaireís Bedside Manner had less to do with either of their manner or actions and more to do with a slimly written plot line that just never quite captured this readerís heart or mind.

--Shirley Lyons


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