Megan's Reviews > Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure

Mistress by India Grey
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Aug 11, 2010

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bookshelves: contemporary-romance, 3-stars, fiction
Read in August, 2010

Midway through this book, I wasn't sure I'd finish it. The mistaken assumptions and refusals to communicate were just too frustrating. I know, I know, and believe me, I knew what I was getting into, reading a Harlequin Presents. I had liked the beginning, the gothic-y feel of the hero and heroine meeting in a cemetery, the heroine running away from her own wedding during a rainstorm and finding herself drawn to the expansive estate of the brooding, mysterious hero. Their initial interactions were passionately heated and enjoyable to read, and Grey's writing style was elegantly smooth. But then the plot plodded along with contrived conflict, poor communication, and stock tropes. The story did eventually take an upward turn, rewarding the reader with memorably cinematic scenes, and I finished the book believing these characters did indeed find a happy ending. All in all, the story was worth pushing through the tiresome parts.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin I can never pass by a rack of Harlequin romances without stopping to read the ridiculous titles. Aside from Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure, we have The Italian Duke's Virgin Mistress, Secretary by Day, Mistress by Night, The Billionaire's Baby Arrangement, Inconveniently Wed! (the exclamation mark of which suggests that there's a pun in there, but I can't spot it - do people ever use the phrase "conveniently wed"?), and I could go on. (Also: there's a whole Harlequin miniseries "set in the world of NASCAR"?!)

Sometimes they also have the benefit of a hilarious cover, like this one, depicting an Irish warrior looking casual (or brooding) while he pulls a sword out of his back.


Megan Harlequin titles, especially in the Harlequin Presents line, are AMAZING. It's a grab-bag from the same words: mistress, virgin, secretary, bride, innocent, inexperienced, boss, tycoon, billionaire, millionaire, arrangement, deal, italian, greek, sheikh, playboy, love child, convenient, blackmailed, pleasure, forbidden, bed, etc. Arranged in an exciting new way (no two exactly the same) each time. (And the "inconveniently" is probably a play on the "marriage of convenience" trope: it's a marriage of convenience, but it's still inconvenient, haha.)

But my favorite Harlequin titles (I haven't read either, but the titles alone are gold): The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable Girl and Pregnesia.


message 3: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin BELATED REPLY DAY!

Oh my goodness. I was going to try to come up with a few titles of my own using the word list, but nothing can ever beat those two. Ever. NOTHING.

(I do like this other one I just found, though: Mark: Secret Cowboy . Really? Mark is the most intriguing name you could come up with? Does he even have a last name?)

Also, I've been enjoying reading all your Harlequin reviews. As I said, for me they've never been more than a snicker in a convenience store, so it's interesting to see you reading them and actually thinking about them!

ONE MORE THING: I had a dream last night that I was playing Charlie Chaplin in a play (his twin sister was Louise Brooks!), and one scene required me to change into a wedding dress, but the one I had was too big so I had to borrow one from you. I know there's nothing more boring than hearing about someone else's dream, even if you're in it, but ... hmm. I don't know how to finish that sentence.


Megan Happy Belated Reply Day!

Ahaha, Mark: Secret Cowboy. I love it. Who'd suspect a Mark of being a cowboy? Cowboys are named things like Cash and Cord and Wrangler. A Mark can keep his secret cowboy life a secret. It's GENIUS. (Along those lines: Prince Joe. Prince Joe. That title always cracks me up.)

Aw, thanks. I'm glad you're enjoying them. I think it's an art of its own (in a haiku or sonnet sort of way) to write a good romance in 55,000 words, hit all the important conventions, and still tell a unique and engaging story. And then there's plenty of gender issues to think about (and I do like mulling over gender issues, even in my leisure time!). So I enjoy having Harlequins in my reading diet, though I probably shouldn't admit just how much of my income does go Toronto-ward to Harlequin. Because it's probably a lot.

LOL. That's hilarious, and I am flattered you borrowed a wedding dress from me, though unfortunately I lack one in real life to lend you if the situation ever does call for it.


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