Review: The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain by Lucy Monroe

Format: E-bookthescorsolinimarriage
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Royal Brides, #5
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Principe Claudio Scorsolini
Heroine: Therese Scorsolini
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 1, 2006
Started On: July 9, 2013
Finished On: July 10, 2013

Principe Claudio Scorsolini is the crown prince of Isole dei Re and for him his duty to the country and its people comes first. Therese Scorsolini is the wife of Claudio who marries him under the terms of a marriage of convenience.

Though Therese gets married to Claudio out of love, for Claudio it is an arrangement that guarantees that he can focus on the more important issues of his country rather than undergo the emotional upheavals that are bound to follow once love enters the equation. However, Claudio is not as aloof as he would like to think he is and not at all ready to let Therese walk away from him when it becomes evident that that is exactly what she wants after three years of being together.

The¬†Scorsolini Marriage Bargain is the 5th book in the Royal Brides series and has a contemporary setting which is told from both Claudio and Therese’s points of view in third person.

The¬†Scorsolini Marriage Bargain deals with a very real issue that is faced by a lot of women of today. Therese is faced with the hardest decision of her life when she finds out that she might never be able to provide Claudio with a heir to the throne and for that reason alone, Therese is willing to be the better person and walk away. I could feel Therese’s conflicted emotions as though they were mine and understood her reasons for being unable to come outright and tell Claudio the reason behind her need to walk away.

I loved Claudio, one reason being, he stays true to his character throughout the story. He is committed, loyal and actually enthralled by the woman Therese is. Just how enamored he is by her is revealed slowly as the story progresses. But the angst that was a palpable part of the story was mainly due to Claudio being unaware of the shift in his emotional response to his wife and also due to the lack of proper communication between Therese and himself. Claudio remains clueless about a lot of aspects of their relationship and it was endearing to learn of all his efforts to actually show Therese how much he cares about her. Loved the way he stepped up and took care of Therese when the time called for it. If there is a reason to love Claudio, for me, that alone suffices.

I loved the fact that what Lucy actually portrays in the story, i.e. the  issues that Therese and Claudio face in their marriage are the same as any other couple who might undergo such a difficult phase in their marriage; and especially if the communication barriers get broken down. There are underlying messages that Lucy conveys through the story that I received loud and clear.

For one thing assumptions is the mother of all evil where relationships are concerned. Its always healthier to ask and be certain rather than assume the best or the worst about your partner. But then again, relationships are never that simple are they.

Secondly, communication is an integral part of any relationship. If the proper channels of communication does not exist or get broken down along the way, even the smallest of things can get blown out of proportion and in the end might even be the leading cause of a breakup of a relationship. If Claudio and Therese had talked to each other and I mean really talked to each other more often, half of all the agony that both of them went through would have been avoided. But then, it wouldn’t have given me, the reader, all that angst that I absolutely reveled in throughout the story!

Thirdly, yes, there is such a thing as being far too independent. Being independent and getting things done on your own is all well and good, but then there are times that you have to lean on your partner and let him or her take care of you. If Therese had in fact let Claudio know what she was going through and let him help her along the way, they both could have discovered that there is much much more to their relationship than just a convenient arrangement on Claudio’s end.

The one thing that irked me a bit was the fact that Therese went so long without telling Claudio the actual reason behind her wanting to leave.¬†I felt that she dragged it on for a bit too longer than necessary which actually made Claudio draw his own conclusions which certainly didn’t help matters along. And then there were areas in the story that just seemed to rehash the same stuff over and over again which became a bit tiresome to read, but overall, the story managed to captivate me enough to lose a bit of my sleep over it in order to see how Claudio and Therese would fare in the end.

Final Verdict: The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain should come with the warning; “Emotional roller-coaster ride guaranteed!”.

Recommended for fans of Lucy Monroe and fans of angst-ridden romances. This one’s filled with just that!

Favorite Quotes

She opened her eyes to look at him and saw that his head was thrown back in abandon like hers had been, his face etched with sexual pleasure. She leaned forward and bit his chest in an act so primitive, even in her advanced state of passion…it shocked her.
He was not shocked, though, but merely growled and increased the rhythm, slamming into her with pounding force with every thrust. It was so intense, she felt like she was on the verge of shattering into a million over-pleasured bits.

He gripped her tighter and she wrapped her arms around him, pressing to his body, the only sense of reality in a universe exploding from pleasure. He was silent when he climaxed, his teeth bared in a feral grimace that said more eloquently than any words could have how intensely he was feeling.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Harlequin | Kobo

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!

Review: Valentino’s Love-Child by Lucy Monroe

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Valentino Grisafi
Heroine: Faith Williams
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 1, 2009
Started On: August 7, 2010
Finished On: August 8, 2010

Reading up on books of the theme where the hero has been previously married and his wife is dead, and the hero has to marry again whether by circumstance or not, landed me with this book. Although I usually refrain from reading the Harlequin romances that come out these days, I decided to give this title a try because this book seemed to have got raving reviews on Amazon as well.

The book starts when Valentino and Faith have been having a mutually satisfying affair for as long as one year. Valentino refuses to acknowledge the fact that Faith means more to him than any of the other women who have passed through his bed since the death of his young Sicillian wife Maura to whom he had promised upon her sudden death that he would never love another woman again. And things seem to be working out fine, just the way Valentino wants it to, until Faith becomes pregnant with Valentino’s child.

Since Faith had a lot of problems conceiving when she was previously married to her husband Taylish who died along with her unborn son plus with a tubal pregnancy that had gone awry when Faith first got pregnant, Faith never hoped that her dreams of having children of her own and a family of her own would ever realize until she gets unexpectedly pregnant with the child of the man she has fallen in love with. Though Faith knows that Valentino is wary of things changing between them, Faith can’t help but harbor the hope that Valentino does feel something more for her than just a casual lover of his.

Most of the conflict in this novel stems from the fact that Valentino promised his dead wife that he wouldn’t ever fall in love with another woman, nor give any woman the chance to creep into his heart. But as usual the best laid plans have a way of getting screwed up and this is exactly what happens when Valentino starts wanting more of the woman who has enchanted him in and out of bed for the last couple of months. And it certainly does help matters when his family seems to be equally besotted with her and seems to want their union as much as Valentino opposes the union.

For me this was just an okay read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Harlequin

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

Caliber Seal: FAVORABLE READ!

Review: 3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys by Lucy Monroe

Format: E-book
Read with: Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Mercenary/Goddard Project, Book 2
Publisher: Brava
Hero: Rand Alexander / Carter Sloane / Colton Denning
Heroine: Phoebe Garrison / Daisy Jackson / Fayre Cranston
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication:  March 1, 2005
Started On: July 29, 2010
Finished On: July 29, 2010

3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys is a collection of 3 short stories featuring Rand, Carter and Colton, all 3 of them sons of Hoyt Salone. Hoyt had married Carter’s mother Cassandra whilst Rand’s mother was already pregnant with him. Cassandra had discovered this fact after she got pregnant with Carter and had cut off marital relations with her husband. Hoyt had resumed his relationship with Rand’s mother, never having really loved either woman enough to leave one for the other. Hoyt had loved the prestigious upper class lifestyle that he could afford being Cassandra’s husband and as her husband he had remained till he died. Although Rand and Carter knew of each others existence (it was hard not to considering they lived in a pretty small town), they both come to know of Colton’s existence only during Rand’s story. I will review the 3 stories separately and give the book a final grade in this review.

A Deal is a Deal

Rand is a man who has closed off his heart upon the death of his wife and son. A man who witnessed what undying love did to his mother, the death of those two whom he held dear to his heart was the final lesson that taught him that love made you vulnerable in ways unimaginable.

Rand befriends Phoebe when Carter ends their engagement and goes off traveling, leaving a heartbroken Phoebe to pick up the pieces of her life. Before long, Phoebe finds herself totally in love with a man who has closed off his heart a long time back, and Phoebe knows that what she felt for Carter was nothing compared to the love that burnt fiercely deep within her heart for Rand.

Phoebe knows that she is not the type of woman who would hold the interest of the tall, sexy and enigmatic Rand. Opportunity comes calling when Rand wants an island bequeathed to her by her uncle, and Rand agrees to give her a week in his bed in return for the island.

Although Rand aches something fierce to take Phoebe in his arms he knows that his world would alter on its axes from that moment onwards. Rand doesn’t think that Phoebe would hold him onto his word and before he knows it he has tasted what Phoebe so beguilingly offers and Rand knows that there would be no turning back.

This story is highly explosive and I loved every passion filled moment of reading Rand’s story.

Carter’s Story

Carter’s story starts off when he proposes marriage to Daisy Jackson and promises to give her half a million dollars in return. Carter’s father had written up an airtight will that stipulated that he marry within five years after the death of his father or Sloane Electronics would go on the auction block and the proceeds would be put in a memorial fund at the hospital in his father’s name. Carter has other plans, such as sharing his wealth equally amongst his siblings and he has no intention of letting his father win just because a stupid will says so.

Daisy and his unwilling attraction towards her 4 years earlier had been one of the reasons that Carter had broken off his engagement with Phoebe thinking that he wasn’t much better off than his father if he couldn’t remain faithful to the woman he planned on getting married to. But 4 years of unfulfilled needs and celibacy has convinced Carter that he is nothing like his father and if he had to get married, it would be to Daisy who rocked his world on numerous levels.

Daisy cannot believe it when the president of the company she works for asks her to marry him. Though she knows that Carter’s proposal is far from the romantic one she had envisioned all her life, Daisy takes the chance to be with the man she loves and take whatever Carter is willing to give.

Carter’s story ends pretty quickly with him falling in love with Daisy soon after they get married. Even then, Ms. Monroe keeps the sizzling tension going which made this short story a memorable read as well.

Colton’s Story

Colton’s story is the third and final story in the anthology and features the all too serious Colton in a situation he never thought he would find himself in. Waking up with a beautiful sensual woman by his side and the father of all hangovers in Vegas, Colton has no recollection of what took place the night before. Not wanting to face the music, he leaves the sleeping woman and sneaks out leaving her a note to explain that he had taken off.

Six weeks later, a woman who looks remarkably like the woman who has been haunting his dreams and every waking thought walks into the Mexican bar and announces that she is looking for her husband, the husband who turns out to be Colton himself.

Fayre can’t believe that she succumbed to the lies that Colton had spouted off so easily the night they met and made her agree to marry him and then taken off after a night of mind blowing sex. Pregnant and pissed off to no end, Fayre comes looking for the no good man she married but finds herself hurting and humiliated when Colton seems to have no recollection whatsoever of the night that changed Fayre’s life so remarkably.

Though Colton has no memory of what happened that night, the fiery woman who stands in front of him so defiantly touches every corner of his heart and once he finds out that she is carrying his child, there is no way Colton would let her go.

If I were to pick a favorite from the 3 stories, I would have to go with Rand’s story because the story appeals to me on many levels. I bet I would have loved the book if the story had been drawn out and made longer.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

Caliber Seal: FAVORABLE READ!

Review: The Real Deal by Lucy Monroe

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Hero: Simon Brant
Heroine: Amanda
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication:  June 1, 2005
Started On: July 28, 2010
Finished On: July 29, 2010

Amanda is a woman who has been wronged on so many levels by her ex-husband Lance. Lance had taken away her confidence in her abilities as a woman, and that failure alone pained Amanda more than she lets on. With a family who blamed Amanda for the divorce, Jillian her best friend is the only person who has ever loved Amanda without any conditions. Amanda’s only intention now is to move ahead in her company Extant Corporation and her proposal for a friendly merger between her company and family driven Brant Computers, if it were to go through without a hitch would land her one step closer to her dream of acquiring a position on the Executive Management Team at Extant Corporation.

Negotiations with the company president Eric Brant had gone so well that Amanda didn’t think that there would be any further problems in going ahead with the deal. That is until she meets the dark, exotic Simon Brant who sets her heart racing and turns her body to mush, a body Amanda had no inkling knew how to behave in the wanton manner it was exhibiting in Simon’s presence.

Simon vehemently opposes merging Brant Computers with Extant Corporation though there is nothing more Simon would like to do than negotiate a different kind of deal with the woman who was so enthusiastically listing out all the benefits of the merger. Simon, a genius and a recluse doesn’t understand and conform to the usual standards of behavior. A man who spends hours lost in his creations, Simon lives on an island where he wouldn’t have to walk around on eggshells thinking he has offended someone with his behavior. Eccentric and with his crabby housekeeper Jacob as his only companion at the beautiful fortress of a house he has built for himself, Simon knows that he wouldn’t be swayed to saying yes to the deal no matter how much Amanda tempted his senses in all the ways imaginable.

Amanda is shocked when Simon walks out in the middle of her presentation without even looking back. But when Amanda realizes that Simon can’t help being the genius he is and gets invited to Simon’s home to complete the presentation, Amanda is determined that she would sway Simon’s mind one way or the other. But its tough negotiating with someone who continuously loses himself to his work and before long Amanda finds herself residing at Simon’s home for better access to Simon when he does surface from his laboratory.

Amanda doesn’t know what to do with the red hot desire that courses through her veins whenever Simon is around. Her marriage of two years with Lance had never really taught her the worth of her beautiful body and that the effect it has on Simon. Simon is determined not to give Amanda the opportunity to addle his brain with sex, sex he knows is going to be spectacular with the woman who tempts him beyond anything he has ever experienced.

But like an explosion waiting to happen, these two finally give in and Simon teaches Amanda¬† that her body is one worthy of worshiping and that her ex-husband has been the one who has been blind not to see what a treasure Amanda really is. Amanda’s boss Daniel has other plans in his mind and before long Amanda has to face her ex-husband Lance and find out the nefarious plans they have laid out to merge the two companies regardless of the cost personal or otherwise.

I loved this story from the very beginning. Its always interesting to read about men or women who are gifted geniuses and how they react when faced with the heady sensation of falling in love. Simon is a wonderful lead male character, totally alpha that made my insides melt every time. And Amanda is one of those heroines that you can relate to and root for every step of the way. With interesting side characters, red hot passion and a great storyline, this is a book that is not to be missed. Makes me wonder why I have never tried reading a novel by the author before, a fact which I will try and remedy asap.

Highly recommended!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!