Saturday, January 29
Title: Yours for the Taking *
Author: Robin Kaye
Series: Domestic Gods #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: mass market paperback, digital ebook
Date/Year: January 2011
Reviewed by: Booklover1335
*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review
Summary from the publisher:
Ben Walsh shouldn't be single. Handsome and wealthy, Ben is equally at home in Idaho where he grew up and in Manhattan where he's now an art dealer. Suave and successful with impeccable taste, he normally has women beating down his door. But the one woman he wants can't be convinced that he's for real...
She isn't sure if she has time for fairy tales...
Gina Reyez has fought for every bit of her success, and it's about time for things to start going her way. So when Ben makes a proposal that will allow her to take care of her family the way she wants to, she agrees. Besides, a guy this perfect would never be interested in her...right? By the time Gina figures out that she's read Ben all wrong, the arrangements are made, the papers are signed...but what exactly are they getting themselves into?
Ben is a cowboy at heart, but also a Manhattan metrosexual who enjoys women...lots of women, just without any complications. His grandfather, a wily though manipulative loving relative, has given Ben a short period of time to marry, otherwise his grandfather is going to sell Ben’s childhood ranch in Idaho where he holds cherished memories of his mother and father who died when he was younger. He’s a driven, but caring person who is determined to have the ranch, pretty much at any cost....to the tune of many millions of dollars. Just as long as the woman he marries knows that it is a marriage of convenience only...no emotional strings attached.
Gina is a survivor who grew up feeling responsible for the care and nurturing of her siblings. She’s a fighter, who has learned the hard way to only rely on herself. Consequently, she is at times abrasive, off-putting and needs to have control of her own destiny so that she won’t ever have to be reliant on someone else for her wellbeing again. She came from nothing, but through hard work and diligence she’s made a good life for herself and her sister. She’s all work and no play, with just a few friends and no long term relationships. So when she’s offered a chance to marry a man she knows only through mutual acquaintances, for which she will be paid a substantial amount of money, she thinks not of what it will gain her, but how she can in return help those she loves the most.
Both have admirable, though self serving intentions that get thrown off track by their mutual desire for one another, which eventually leads to their happily ever after...sorta.
I didn’t really know what to expect from this modern day take on a marriage of convenience. I was somewhat skeptical about what would motivate two people who barely know each other in a contemporary romance to marry, but the circumstances that the author places each character in makes it believable that they would both benefit from the arrangement.
Ben is a very likeable hero, and despite his need for a wife that he has no emotional entanglements with he quickly falls in lust and love with Gina...but for the life of me I couldn’t really tell you why. Because you see, Gina isn’t really a likeable person...at least that is the way she comes across. She’s hard and because of her situation growing up she trusts and relies on no one. She has a hard time asking anyone for help, and isolates herself and her feelings to protect herself from further hurt and disappointment. She’s always looking for people to fail her, so in the end she gets exactly what she looks for because if you look hard enough you can always find fault.
Normally, I am all for flawed and wounded characters because I love to see their growth as they learn to love and trust, but with Gina the reader finds little for Ben to fall in love with, despite his many declarations and magnanimous gestures. Ben is certainly not perfect, and in fact proves her right by betraying her trust at one point in the story, but he does everything that he can to show how sorry and wrong he was. He grows as a character because of his love for Gina. At that point I did feel sorry for Gina, because Ben accused her of some terrible things, but at the same time I don’t know how fully she forgave him because at the end....I felt like she would be anticipating him failing her constant tests of his love for her.
I never really liked Gina as a person and felt that her character never progressed from someone who needs no one, to someone who needs the man she loves in her life. I never really got why Ben loved Gina, but I certainly understood why Gina could fall in love with Ben. To give some credit to Gina’s character, I don’t think the reader is really supposed to like her very much at the beginning because at one point in a conversation Gina’s best friend says to her, “Look why don’t you get off the phone with your best friend and go apologize to your very cute but temporary husband. You might as well enjoy him while you have him. Oh, and be nice. You need to practice being nice.” However sympathetic you may be to Gina at some points in the book, you never come to like her. At least I didn’t, which is why I had a hard time understanding why Ben loved her. As a result their love story seemed very one sided and that was a big disappointment.
Despite my feelings about Gina as a character I did enjoy my first Robin Kaye book. I loved Ben. I loved the cast of supporting characters, the interaction and dialogue between the characters, and the overall plot and writing style. I just wish that Gina’s character would have evolved more from beginning to end because that would have made this 3 star read a definite 4+ star read.
Overall: 3.25 stars
Sensuality Level: 3.25
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