Yours for the Taking
Robin Kaye’s book first book, Romeo, Romeo with it clever dialogue and scrumptious house cleaning hero was a definite winner for me, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to review Yours For The Taking. Disappointingly, this book wasn’t quite as enjoyable for me.
Elegant, rich, and amusing, Ben Walsh seems to have everything except the one thing he wants the most, the title to his family’s ranch. Ben’s parents died when he was a child, sending him to live with his grandfather, Joe Walsh. Big Joe wants to see Ben married and he not above using blackmail to get his way. He has given Ben a year to get married or he will sell the ranch. The deadline is closing in, and Ben is running out of options. He has asked several women to marry him but they refused. Even though he has only met Gina Reyez twice, he believes that she is an excellent candidate. Sexy, unconventional, independent, Gina meets Ben for what she thinks is a business meeting. She is shocked and surprised when he proposes marriage especially since she believes he is gay. Accepting money doesn’t sit well at first. But when Gina realizes how much she can do for her family she reconsiders.
Big Joe wasn’t born yesterday, and the fact that Ben leaves his bride to visit right after the wedding tells him something is not quite right about this marriage. He soon throws a wrench in the works, manipulating Ben & Gina into taking a Idaho honeymoon.
Ms. Kaye’s writing is humorous and clever as ever, but I just couldn’t suspend belief on many aspects of the plot. Marriage of convenience plots are extremely tricky to pull off, and this one didn’t work for me. In the beginning of the book, Ben asks a childhood friend to marry him and she refuses. Friends helping friends out is a motivation that would have been easier for me to comprehend then monetary gain. Ben is extremely rich. So rich that he could easily fool his grandfather by hiring an agent to buy the property rather then pay a stranger ten million dollars to marry him. Plus,there is something almost emasculating about a grown man giving in to this sort of blackmail. Marrying to grant a beloved dying grandfather’s wish is different in my mind from surrendering to a tyrant. Gina has been hiding a secret for 21 years which has supposedly taken an emotional toll on her and caused her great anguish. A great influx of money will be the first step in resolving this issue. That and financial security is her reason for accepting ten million dollars. My initial impression is, “Oh, so she does have a price.”
My reaction to the plot had a domino affect on how I viewed the characters. And while Ben & Gina were not unlikable, both seemed lacking in common sense. Gina’s New York fashion sense and lack of knowledge about country living is written for humor. Since I have experienced both country and city living, it fell a little flat. Four stunning secondary characters make an appearance in this book leaving me to wonder if they will soon be potential stars of their own book. Their personalities seemed so similar,though, that I never would remember who was whom.
Ms. Kaye’s books typically have a hero who loves to cook and clean, a heroine who doesn’t, blistering sexual attraction that changes to more, and then the big misunderstanding. I found all of it innovative and original with the first book, but with this book it is more expected then distinctive.
Ms. Kaye is a skillful storyteller. The book is fast paced, and the romance is hot. If you can’t give enough of her trademark house cleaning, gourmet cooking, and gorgeous heroes and enjoy marriage of convenience stories then you should enjoy Yours For The Taking even more then I did.