Claiming His Bought Bride
While Rachel Bailey’s debut romance has some interesting aspects, overall, it didn’t work for me.
Lily Grayson and Damon Blakely were together for six months when Lily ended their relationship because she felt Damon was emotionally unreliable. He was never there for her when she needed him; his work always came first. They haven’t seen each other in nearly three months, but suddenly, Lily appears at a party to tell Damon she’s pregnant.
I appreciated that this wasn’t a secret baby book. Lily just received confirmation that she was pregnant and wanted to do the honorable thing to let Damon know that he’s the father, expecting nothing from Damon in return. Clearly, despite being involved for six months, Lily didn’t know who she was dealing with. She also didn’t realize that she had just stepped into a very convoluted situation.
His cruel, wealthy uncle raised Damon after his parents died. In contrast, Lily was raised by her loving, but poor, grandmother. Lily’s grandmother is now ailing, and Lily’s main focus is to raise her child and help her grandmother. Damon, now a multimillionaire corporate raider, has made destroying his uncle and taking over all of the uncle’s assets, his main goal.
For some reason, Damon’s uncle disinherited him when Damon and Lily broke up. His uncle recently learned he has 12 months to live, and offers to leave all his money to Damon’s children, provided he’s married to the mother, and the child is conceived before he dies. Yep, you can see what’s coming a mile away. Damon tells Lily he’ll set her grandmother up in a house with proper care, if she marries him.
Despite the fact that Lily thinks Damon is self-serving and morally bankrupt, she agrees to the marriage so that her grandmother can be properly cared for and her child financially secure. However, Lily insists on a marriage of convenience, with separate bedrooms and separate lives. That lasts for about 30 seconds into their marriage.
Once they’re married, we’re treated to page after page of Lily thinking how she must be firm and not let Damon seduce her. Then, Damon takes one look at her and she’s craving sex with him. Once they have sex or kiss or touch, we’re back to more of Lily’s thoughts about how she must be firm. I got tired of it very fast.
The author did a good job of quickly conveying Lily and Damon’s backstory. While I felt for Damon as a child, I never really warmed to him as an adult. I found Lily to be more likeable, but felt that she was too wishy-washy where Damon was concerned.
Lily had the potential to be rather interesting. She has a PhD in Fine Art and manages exhibits for a major gallery in Melbourne. I enjoyed several discussions about art. I particularly appreciated a discussion between Lily and Damon in which they disagreed about the best Monet series – Lily liked the water lilies while Damon preferred the cathedral series. Their preferences in art said a lot about their characters.
This wasn’t an awful read, and I enjoyed parts of it. However, with a hero that I couldn’t warm up to and too much time spent inside Lily’s head, rather than in dialogue between the hero and heroine to demonstrate why they really loved each other, I just can’t recommend it.