This past Wednesday was TBR Challenge day. I’ve been negligent about the TBR Challenge lately, but I did pull a book off the TBR this month, so here’s my belated report.
Title: The Bellini Bride
Author: Michelle Reid
(c)2001 Harlequin/Mills & Boon
Why this book? I bought a bunch of used Harlequin Presents a while back, part of the backlist of my favorite HP authors: Robyn Donald, Michelle Reid, Helen Bianchin. Reading them in bulk is a bad idea, though, because too much of a particular trope (rich Greeks! vengeful Spaniards! secret babies and virgin mistresses!) wears out fast. So a bunch of these were languishing on my bookshelves until Jane at Dear Author reviewed The Bellini Bride and reminded me of what was sitting there.
Marco Bellini thinks he has it all: success, wealth…and Antonia — his beautiful, sensual mistress.Then his father becomes ill, and Marco feels bound to marry and produce an heir to the famous Bellini fortune.
But who should Marco choose as a bride? Antonia isn’t suitable, but she’s the only woman he wants in his life and his bed. Dare he take his mistress to be his lawful wedded wife?
What do I think about the cover art? It’s pretty standard Harlequin Presents cover art fare. More interesting to me is the title: although it has bride, at least it doesn’t include virgin, lover or mistress. Which sort of makes sense, because I believe they became much more common title elements after 2001.
What did I think of the book? It was pretty good on the Presents scale. Set among the uber wealthy, with an emphasis on social class and the propriety of place that seems alien and kind of ridiculous to me but is nevertheless the standard European HP milieu. Secrets and failure to communicate. But the heroine wasn’t a doormat: she recognized when the hero was being an asshat and called him on it. Often HP heroes never really apologize for their asshatery, but in this case he did and he acknowledged it in public.
Would I read this author again? Sure. I’ve read her books before, I’m sure I’ll read more in the future.
Keep or pass on? Eh, I don’t know. Although I enjoyed it, I’m probably not going to read it again, so in an effort to reduce clutter, I’ll probably donate it in my next big UBS/PBS/GoodWill purge.