At the Billionaire's Bidding

Prince Charming's Return

The Billionaire is Back
by Myrna MacKenzie
(Silh. Romance #1520, $3.50, PG) 0-373-19520-6
The Billionaire Is Back requires a willing suspension of disbelief on a few items including that a woman widowed for five months and who is three - four weeks from having a baby can handle, without discomfort, a full-time job as a cook and housekeeper and that a man basically raised on the streets until he was twelve can become a billionaire. If the reader can handle these ideas, Helena and Jackson's romance is enjoyable.

Helena Austin agrees to help out her friend who owns a temporary agency by taking a three - week job working for Jackson Castle. He requires housekeeping and meals for several parties of various sizes. She is glad to take the job because she writes cookbooks and wants to test some of her new recipes at his parties.

One obstacle to the job is the concern of her four protective brothers. Jackson has a reputation as a playboy and they don't want her around him. Helena, however, is very independent and nicely tells them that she can take care of herself. Her twin sister agrees with her.

Jackson is reluctant to give her the job because Helena is very pregnant and because he is very attracted to her. He has had bad experiences with his negligent mother and his straying ex-wife and does not plan to get married again. He is afraid that he might be tempted to get involved with her and does not want to hurt her, but he is in a bind and Helena goes to work for him.

Jackson is in the tourist town of Sloane's Cove, Maine, to memorialize Oliver Davis, the man who saved him years before. Jackson had met Oliver in Sloane's Cove and Oliver sent him to school and on his way to success. He also wants to give something back to the town and discovers that he needs Helena's help to find the people who deserve the help and recognition.

Jackson and Helena are very much alike. They are both independent and kindhearted and they both quietly help people around them. Both marriages had a spouse fall in love with someone else causing each of them to decide not to marry again. The attraction that turns into something deeper is plausible.

I did have trouble with a very pregnant woman being up to all the activity mentioned. (I polled colleagues to see how many of them thought it was possible to handle such a job at that stage of pregnancy. Half thought it was possible while the other half disagreed.)

Jackson's nemesis, Barnett Richards, appears to stir up trouble. He's a bit over-the-top with his smarmy attention to Helena and total lack of subtlety. Helena's four brothers are presented as a unit without much to distinguish one from the other. They just register as the "overprotective big brother unit." Her sister Lilah is more defined, probably because she's the subject of the next book.

This is not a book for anyone who wants to avoid the pregnancy/babies story line or the super rich hero story line. If you can handle or ignore these points, the love story of two kind and lonely people finding each other is likely to leave a smile on your face.

--B. Kathy Leitle

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