I have to say is that Silhouette Desire’s Dynasties: The Ashtons is proving to be a big yawn. The first book in the series, Eileen Wilks’ Entangled, wasn’t bad at all, but it’s been downhill ever since.
Megan Ashton is the daughter of Spencer Ashton, the clan’s evil patriarch. The Ashton’s vineyard is a popular site for parties and Megan is an event planner. Her latest party is the wedding and reception for Simon Pearce, a millionaire entrepreneur who is marrying because the CEO of one of the businesses he is courting is suspicious of single men. Simon has planned everything, but he didn’t plan on his bride leaving just before the wedding.
Simon proposes that Megan marry him – it will be a business deal pure and simple, and after a bit of hesitation, Megan agrees. Her father is trying to force her to marry the geeky son of a politician and Simon is much easier on the eyes. They agree to give it a year, but Simon insists that it be a real marriage (he wants sex).
They marry and spend the honeymoon in Simon’s beautiful home. They end up making love, and it’s great (of course). Simon faces down Spencer when he tries to browbeat Megan, and she falls in love with him. But scandal follows the Ashtons and pretty soon there are a couple of problems brewing on the horizon (groundwork for succeeding books in the series). Megan angsts over causing scandal to Simon and admits to herself that she has fallen in love with him. But in true series romance style, she swears she Must Never Let Him Know, and leaves him.
Will Simon come after her? Need I ask? Frankly, I would have been thrilled if he had dumped her and gone away. At least that would have been original. This book is a total cliché of series romance conventions and the only reader who could find it interesting is one who had never read a series romance before.
Both Simon and Megan are characters who are as insubstantial as gossamer and totally lacking in interest. Simon’s reason for marrying is silly. I could not believe that a man who is handsome, successful and rich, and who has loving, happily-married parents, could enter into a cold-blooded business deal of a marriage, especially since the reason he did so in the first place turned out to be irrelevant. Megan has some family issues that are introduced and then swept away. She’s a cipher, and that’s all I can say about her.
I’ve committed myself to following Dynasties: The Ashtons for the year, so all I can do is hope it will improve. So far it’s a major disappointment and dull as can be. But hope springs eternal, and maybe the next installment will be better. I’ll let you know.