Expecting Brand's Baby

A Passionate Proposal

 
Bending to the Bachelor’s Will
by Emilie Rose
(Silh. Desire #1744, $4.50, R) ISBN 0373-76744-7
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Bending to the Bachelor’s Will is one part of a trilogy that seems to be going on at the same time as the other two tales in the series. It is the story of three friends, all of whom have trust funds they are due to inherit and who decide to use some of the funds to secure bachelors for themselves in a charity auction. None of the three choose the bachelor they were originally thinking of buying. Bending to the Bachelor’s Will is Holly Prescott’s story.

Holly, unbeknownst to her friends and family, has already invested her trust fund in a risky venture, and hopes to fool her friends by acting as if she is going to bid but choosing someone who will eventually be auctioned off above her limit, thus allowing her to save face and end up with no bachelor in tow. But one of her friend’s brothers, Eric Alden, hoodwinks her into bidding and winning him. Eric has been coerced into this auction by his mother. Having recently survived a rather public scolding while being dumped at the altar, the last thing Eric wants is publicity about his dating and having to deal with women who are only interested in his money. Eric even offers to pay Holly back all the money she spends and that seals the deal.

Eric is the V.P. of Alden Bank. He has always found Holly to be attractive, but since she is his sister’s friend, she has always been off limits. He figures they will get away and he will not have to go through with the eleven dates that are part of his package. And he gets the bonus of keeping his mother happy. But the charity wants the publicity to continue and hires a reporter to follow the couples on their dates and write a series of articles to maintain the interest, and hopefully, the donations. The dates must go on.

With Holly and Eric, both the pages and the sheets sizzle as they fight their almost instantaneous connection and attraction. What sets this apart from so many other categories with this premise is the depth that is brought to the characters in just under 200 pages. Eric is a staid banker who is proud of his workaholic nature. He has grown up watching his father being “shoved around” and “dominated” by his mother both at home and in the bank. He sees being in love as a weakness because his father never seems to stand up for his own rights. He is determined to show everyone that he is more of a man than that. But Holly remembers him as a teenager and college man; a man who was much more open to having fun and was much more charming.

Holly, on the other hand, is the highlight. Born to be a debutante, she has broken from her past and upset her family to become a woman who knows her own mind and established her own stained glass window business. Holly is a true bohemian – reveling in spontaneity, color, sunlight and finding enjoyment. She has sworn off anything that reeks of money and status. She doesn’t fit in with the society crowd, yet she has maintained friendships and has been designing windows in their homes for quite a few years. She is quite talented and is sad that her parents downplay her business as her “hobby.” Eric is one of the few wealthy people she knows who truly appreciates her business acumen and the talent that she uses every day.

Eric and Holly complement each other and it is a delight to read their story of coming to know who they are and realize that their hotter-than-hot lust has turned to love. Bending to the Bachelor’s Will is one of those few categories that might even call for a visit back. I definitely want to seek out the two friends’ stories and see if they have just as good a time with their bachelor as Holly did with hers.

--Shirley Lyons


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