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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
You may think that this is just another one of those rich guy shows innocent girl "the ropes" books so common today. You would be wrong. Initially introduced to readers as the "book within the book" in a book in the Escape to New Zealand series, Just in Time, the story can be read as a stand alone and thoroughly enjoyed without knowing any background. However, for fans of the NZ series, it's like watching the heroine of Just in Time (Faith, the fictional "author" of Fierce) fall in love with Will all over again in this book as she works through her feelings by writing a love story. Once again, Rosalind James has given her readers with a little extra gift while crafting an engaging tale that also stands on its own.
Leaving Will and Faith behind in their book, this story of Hemi, Maori multimillionaire who only has arrangements, and Hope, sweet yet strong, quickly moves from that common trope into a story with depth and many layers. The conflicts are not simple and the work and life situations are not simple. Although it is told in first person and has a lot sexual situations, I don't think this book could be characterized as erotic romance. In erotic romance, the sex typically moves the story forward. In this case (because this is what this author does so well), the emotional connection moves the story forward and the very hot sex scenes are the result of that.
If you are a fan of erotic romance, I think you would find this a satisfying read because it delivers on the promise of that genre. The bonus is that it delivers so much more.
As a narrator, Claire Bocking has spoiled me for anyone else. She is amazing. I don't know what else to say about her, other than she nails it every time.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
What an enjoyable, well written and wonderfully narrated book this was as Hemi Te Mana, the handsome, charismatic and filthy rich fashion tycoon, finds his very own virginal Cinderella when he meets Hope Sinclair. But, because of past painful personal issues, Hemi has absolutely no intentions of a) getting emotionally involved, b) opening up to her, c) letting her in.. and never d) keeping her. And yet the more he got to know Hope the harder it became to get the tiny, tempting, frustratingly persistent, strong-willed, courageous and kind hearted woman out of his system.
Hope had a difficult childhood - from an early age she'd been responsible for her younger sister and, now that it's just the two of them, she's the sole provider and care giver - so her responsibilities and commitments are high. And yet Hope never complains - she just gets on with things, buys knock-off or goodwill clothes and works on the bottom rung of the fashion industry's ladder - until, out of the blue, she gets a new and very favorable job offer. But behind the scenes Hemi is pulling all the strings and is about to make his move - one that he's done many many times before, one that is strictly short-term and comes with strings, secrets, written agreements.. and absolutely no promises. However, his new employee (and potential new sexual 'arrangement') wants a Prince not a Playmate and is about to uncover a sweeter side to Hemi - one he has successfully buried for years because there's a past and present that he's just not willing to talk about or reveal.
This leads to Hemi and Hope slowly getting to know each other as they both experience firsts.. ones that lead to vulnerabilities, sex, a soul-connection, deep feelings, emotional ties and even love.. but Hemi only wanted one of those things and Hope was.. well hoping for all of them. There was good character development as Hemi eventually let SOME of his barriers down however this is a TRILOGY folks and, even though there's a HEA to this book, Hemi and Hope's journey (and trials) are far from over because Hemi's well hidden past is about to turn up - and the fallout will be bad.
Worth a credit? This dual POV romance was great.. Hope wasn't a sure thing and made Hemi worthy of her V card first.. and on her terms, the characters were likeable, some sex scenes had very lite bdsm play and the book was well described and well written. But what made this such an entertaining and smooth running story was Claire Bocking's awesome narration which had me looking for the name of the second narrator it was THAT good. Genders, nationalities, accents and emotions were absolutely no problem for this talented narrator's vocal abilities. So, YES a very very creditworthy listen and I hope the next two books in this trilogy will be available soon coz they've been written and published already.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful
I’ve read a few of Rosalinds books for review purposes so I knew basically what to expect however after 20 chapters of little else but titilation it got too tedious . Sorry but it is boring after a while