Series: Beauty and the Brit #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Allie Campbell is determined to take care of her family, no matter the cost. But when her father loses their home to British tycoon Trevor Blake, Allie finds herself forced to plead for more time to pay off the loan...and if she has to use her own body as collateral, then so be it.
Trevor isn't moved by Allie's story. But when Allie impulsively offers to do anything to keep the house, he's intrigued enough to raise the stakes: for the next two months, she must cater to his every need, no matter how depraved. To his amazement, she agrees.
Allie has no intention of enjoying her time with the arrogant, domineering Brit, but it doesn't take long before he's got her aching for his touch-and he'll do whatever it takes to make her beg...
Five years ago, Allie gave up everything to support her family when her mom was diagnosed with cancer. She dropped out of college, got a job, and became pseudo-mom to her two younger sisters and housekeeper extraordinaire when her father was unable to complete the simplest of tasks like pay bills and take out the trash. She comes home one day to find out her middle sister has run off with her new druggie friends and that her father defaulted on a massive loan that puts the house in jeopardy. Desperate, Allie puts herself – literally – at the mercy of the money lender, Trevor Blake. For two months, she agrees to cater to his every whim in exchange for wiping her Dad’s debts clear.
Interesting premise for an erotica novel, but surprisingly this turned out to be more like a contemporary romance instead. Yes, the plot was premised on sexual acts, but the real narrative focus is more on the family dynamics of Trevor and Allie as well as their developing relationship.
Allie is a “fixer.” She’s the kind of woman who steps in to pick up all the pieces after a meltdown and put them back together again. She sacrifices her own needs to put other first and strives to solve everyone’s problems. Even when doing so creates more problems for Allie. That’s not to say she’s a pushover though. When necessary, Allie stands her ground with great determination. It might even involve her unflappable “customer service face” – the face that lets nothing and no one ruffle her feathers and will calm even the angriest of customers.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like Trevor. When we first see him, he’s…well, he’s an asshole. Cold and mean-spirited, his dispassionate assessment and uncaring attitude towards Allie’s situation was not a pleasant introduction to what should be the Hero character. Thankfully, the very next scene jumps to Trevor’s POV and we’re able to see that he’s not as stoic and monstrous as initially presented. In fact, he can be quite charming when he puts his mind to it.
Although I really liked Trevor and Allie’s dynamic, it was a great cast of secondary characters that really rounds out this book. Trevor’s mom, Mags, is an absolute delight and plays an important role in both Trevor and Allie’s character development. Allie’s sisters, Brynne and Monica, bring some interesting counter-points to the narrative as well (Although I wanted to slap Monica from here til Sunday for her selfish, bratty nature).
There are many layers to this book, mostly centered around family dysfunction and relationship/intimacy issues. Trevor and Allie must struggle for their happily ever after, but it’s well worth the journey and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it. A realistic family drama with plenty of hot sexual tension between Trevor and Allie.