A Trip with the Tycoon
With a large part of the action set in India, A Trip with the Tycoon seemed like a perfect fit for this travel fan. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the descriptions of various sites, I never warmed to the hero and found the romance lacking.
Tamara Rayne’s famous chef husband died over a year earlier. Everyone thinks she’s still grieving, but instead she’s furious at the way he treated her and the things she’s found out since his death. Tamara, a food critic, hasn’t worked in a while, but has plans to return when she bumps into Ethan Brooks.
Ethan, the tycoon of the title, is Melbourne’s most eligible bachelor, a well-known playboy, and a successful businessman. Ethan owns the restaurant where Tamara’s husband – and his friend – worked. She has only seen Ethan a few times since her husband’s death, but this time, he kisses her unexpectedly, and tells her she needs to do something for herself before returning to work. Tamara mentions a trip to India – a place she had once planned to visit with her mother – and then decides to go.
Lo and behold, as Tamara boards a train in New Delhi, there is Ethan, who claims to be on a business trip. Of course, we know better. Ethan has wanted Tamara since he first met her, but kept his desire a secret from his friend. Now, he intends to get her.
I really didn’t like Ethan. For most of the book, he’s only out to have sex with Tamara, totally backing off from an emotional connection. Ethan knows this is her trip of a lifetime, has listened to her talk about how important it is, and despite that, tricks her at one point and disrupts the trip.
The book has a very choppy feel, with a lot of action occurring off page. Tamara and Ethan have a brief interaction, exchange just a few lines of dialog, and then we skip ahead hours when one of them would be thinking about what occurred during the intervening time. I realize that this is a short format, but too much occurred off page.
I also quickly tired of Tamara and Ethan’s push and pull. The minute Tamara would respond positively to Ethan, he would back off. Then, when Tamara would back off in turn, Ethan would try to seduce her again. This happened repeatedly.
So much occurred off page, that I never saw a real relationship develop. At one point Tamara was trying to decide whether to try for one but she hesitated, afraid she would lose the tentative friendship they had built. This threw me. They had so few positive interactions on page, I had no idea they were friends.
I was interested in some of the sites Tamara and Ethan visited in India, and the descriptions of Indian food made my mouth water. The Palace on Wheels, the luxury train they took through India, fascinated me.
Perhaps the author was trying to do too much here, but it just didn’t work for me. With more actual interactions, and less thinking about actions that occurred off page, A Trip with the Tycoon might have worked. As it is, I simply can’t recommend it.