I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beauty and the Bachelor (Entangled Indulgence) by Naima Simone
Published by Entangled: Indulgence on August 11th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
She may be the highest bidder, but this bachelor's price is blackmail and passion...
Billionaire Lucas Oliver is hell bent on revenge. And his plan begins when Sydney Blake-the stunning daughter of his enemy-is tricked into bidding on Lucas at a bachelor auction. Then he serves up a little blackmail...followed by a marriage proposal Sydney has no choice but to accept.
Sydney has been controlled by her family her whole life. When Lucas threatens to reveal her father's shady business, she is once again forced to do her duty for her family. But worse-oh so much worse-is the rush of lust that Lucas ignites in her blood. Lucas is determined to make Sydney suffer, but it's tough when he can't keep from touching her-or thinking about touching her-all the time. She's not fairing much better since she's engaged to a darkly handsome beast intent on destroying her entire family...along with her heart.
Beauty and the Bachelor is like a romantic retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. In this story, billionaire Lucas Oliver is the Beast. A man out who’s climbed his way from the mean streets of the South Side of Chicago into the upper echelon of Boston high society. However, Lucas did this as a means to an end, and that end is revenge. He will do anything he needs to in order to achieve his aims, even blackmail an innocent woman into marrying him as part of his plot.
Socialite Sydney Blake is the daughter of Lucas’ enemy. She’s lived under her parent’s thumb her whole life, but is utterly devoted to them. So when Lucas blackmails her into marriage, or else he’ll harm her father, Sydney agrees. I really enjoyed this story. The characters were pretty interesting, and I enjoyed the development of their relationship. I also thought Lucas’ motivations for revenge were well thought out and planned. Though, I wish the story began earlier in Lucas’ life for more character development. Even if it was only a week prior to the charity ball. Just for me as a reader to be more privy to Lucas’ mindset earlier on.
One aspect of the story, besides the romance, that I greatly loved was how diverse the characters were. Jason Blake, Sydney’s father, is African-American, making Sydney either black or mixed race. (We don’t learn too much about Sydney’s mom’s background.) I found this to be wonderful, as I assumed Lucas was Caucasian. I haven’t read many interracial romances, so this makes the book unique. Even if Lucas is African-American it’s still a win, as he’s a billionaire, and it’s not often you find wealthy African-American’s in literature. I always found that strange as there are a lot of successful blacks in America, but yet we’re often portrayed as poor, maids, or slaves. Even though the characters are diverse, I appreciated how Simone doesn’t really focus on it. She only briefly mentions the character’s appearance. I felt this was wonderful, because Sydney’s parents and their circle of friends didn’t look at their relationship as being a bad thing due to anyone’s racial background. Instead, any misgivings were based on other aspects of the characters themselves.
While I liked the general plot of the story, I wish the book had been longer. Sydney’s parents are introduced and have several scenes in the book, but I wish there was more to their story as a couple and as individuals. Especially since they have such a huge influence on Sydney’s life and self-esteem. I also believe a longer book would have allowed Lucas’ best friend, Aidan, to be better developed as well. They were all very intriguing characters and the opportunity to use them to more effect seemed lost with the small page count. And it would have been great if Sydney and Lucas’ lives outside their marriage were also shown more. This would have helped better the world-building.
One aspect of the book I didn’t like was how quickly the plot was resolved. I feel like Sydney’s father wouldn’t have acted the way he did based on what was previously shown of his character. Had the story been longer, we might have seen his character develop towards a man who would do the things he eventually did. However, the man presented to me until that point wouldn’t have behaved that way.
Do I Recommend?
I think you’ll enjoy this book if you’re looking for a hot romance that’s reminiscent of a classic fairy tale. The story isn’t as well-developed as I would have liked, but I still found it to be a very enjoyable read. The scenes between Lucas and Sydney were swoon-worthy, and in the romance department Beauty and the Bachelor delivers.