The Boss's Demand

Prince of Midtown

Bachelorís Bought Bride
by Jennifer Lewis
(Silh. Desire # 2012, $4.75, PG) ISBN 978-0373-73025-4
A dumpy, 29-year-old woman, who has always been told she is less than attractive except for her fortune, is swept off her feet by an advertising executive who is introduced to her by her father. In just weeks, they fall in love, even though it is hard for her to believe that he would want her. Okay, so she does get a bit of a make-over, starts wearing makeup and changes her hair. She even starts wearing clothes that are much more flattering and that show off her rather voluptuous figure. But hey, she is really just a nobodyÖa wanna-be photographer who still lives in her fatherís mansion.

But Bachelorís Bought Bride doesnít stop there. They havenít even shared a kiss yet. Several dates go by and only pecks on the cheeks. And yet, Bree Kincannon finds herself falling for Gavin Spencer and can only hope that he feels the same. She thinks he does, but who can know. A hunk like Gavin has never even looked at her twice, let alone asked her out time after time. And then comes the night when Gavin proposes, when he not only kisses her, but beds her as well. Itís wonderful, of course. Bree is so swept off her feet, she agrees to marry him right there, across the bay from her home in Sausalito, in front of a justice of the peace with witnesses from the hotelÖno friends, no family, just Bree and Gavin and their paid entourage. She doesnít even question it when her millionaire father, who only cares about appearances, doesnít bat an eye and encourages their elopement. Bree is convinced she is happy and this will last forever.

At least, thatís what she believes until three days later, after moving in to her new husbandís condo. Alone in the condo when Gavin is at work, her father calls and leaves a message on their answering machine. It basically consists of congratulating Gavin on working so fast, on duping Bree into believing they are in love, and assuring him that the million dollars he was promised has been wire transferred into Gavinís account. And, oh yeah, thanks for taking his daughter off his hands.

So, what more could any romance reader want? We have an heiress and her hunky husband. Gavin wants to start his own ad agency and needs start-up funds. At first, he was shocked to hear her fatherís proposal and he met Bree out of curiosity. After meeting her and realizing that she is not some damsel no one would want, he admits he feels a little guilty about the money. But he rationalizes his way into marrying her because he loves her and accepts the money because he needs it. He even convinces his conscience that it will be okay, and ultimately Bree will understand. It isnít her money; after all, it is her fatherís money.

As one might guess, Gavinís plans donít go as he suspected. Bree is hurt and angry and decides to show him a thing or two. She takes off. Yup, just leaves him high and dry. How they get back together is something that could only be found in a category romance. I found it insipid.

The Bachelorís Bought Bride did not appeal to me and for most of you, it probably wonít appeal either.

--Shirley Lyons

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