Belated TBR: The Bellini Bride by Michelle Reid

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.

Wanted: a suitable bride…

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.


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One response to “Belated TBR: The Bellini Bride by Michelle Reid

  1. Anonymous

    “Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela Choi. I think limecello recommended this on Twitter. Or maybe someone else?”
    Heheh. Yeah, it was probably limecello. Avidbookreader mentioned HKMD to me, which got me talking about trying to buy HKMD (due to geographical restrictions), prompting SarahTanner and Limecello to ask who wrote HKMD. Once we all figured out how to get our mitts on a copy, we bought copies. I think limecello actually downloaded a sample first and she liked it enough to buy a copy. It was a long discussion if I remember right.
    I have mixed feelings about Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. On one hand it tried too hard and on the other, it’s typical of an English village novel. Even with the hero being crotchety (a classic or stereotypical trait in an Englishman).
    It’s an old and still popular genre in the UK. Popular authors include Mary Pearce, E.F. Benson, Barbara Pym (favourite), Rebecca Shaw, H.E. Bates, Miriam Wakerly, Joanna Trollope, Angela Thirkell (also a favourite) and more. The Queen of all is, IMO, Miss Read; even though I’m not that keen on her novels.
    The best known authors, though, would be Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, E.M. Forster, Laurie Lee and D.H. Lawrence. There are more, but my brain is flatlining at the moment.
    So yeah, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand isn’t that exceptional to me. I suspect the DA author and others aren’t familiar with the genre, hence the positive reaction? Maybe I’m wrong.
    FiaQ (M)

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