Monica Murphy
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Avon Impulse
Release Date
November 2013
Book 2 of The Billionaire Bachelors Club
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Marina Knight came to this party for one thing only: to slap Gage Emerson in the face. Poised to snatch up her family's real estate empire, the sexy tycoon is on the verge of making an enemy for life—even if he can make her melt with a single kiss … When Gage discovers that the alluring woman before him is the key to his latest acquisition, claiming her as his suddenly doesn't seem quite so cut-and-dried. To get what he wants, he must get to know the fierce woman willing to face him down—as she steadily steals his heart. Gage's persistence and intense passion war with Marina's determination to protect her family. As they delve deeper into an affair they didn't see coming, Marina's torn: Will she lose her heart to Gage—or everything she holds dear?

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Nov 14, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
101 people found the following review helpful
Monica Murphy's second Billionaire Bachelor's Club book features the strong, passionate characters that mark the best of her work and the fascinating world that makes this series such a success. Though the plot of this book wasn't my favorite, I still loved her leading couple and can't wait for more from this delicious, surprising and emotionally-charged series.

Months ago, three phenomenally rich and single friends made a bet together: the last man to remain single would win a million dollars. So far, one of the Billionaire Bachelors has lost, and Gage Emerson is completely convinced that his victory is all but a sure thing. That is, until he meets Marina Knight at a local wine tasting. The blonde beauty seems as cold as ice, but Gage senses a fire beneath her frigid exterior that he can't ignore. But when he realizes that Marina is the daughter of a cash-strapped winery mogul with whom Gage has been trying to make a deal for months, his initial attraction suddenly gets much more complicated.

Marina attended the party with the sole intention of meeting Gage Emerson and giving him hell for trying to snatch up her family's business. As the owner of Autumn Harvest bakery, a building right in the middle of the area Gage is trying to buy, Marina has convinced herself that this man is her sworn enemy. But from that first meeting, Marina can't seem to get Gage out of her mind. Though they bicker constantly, when he shows up late one night at her bakery, neither can resist the searing heat that is building between them.

Now, caught up in a storm of need and lust that is rapidly becoming much, much more, both Gage and Marina are forced to reconsider what they thought they wanted, and decide if they have the courage to fight for a love that neither ever expected.

Having met Gage in the previous book in this series, I was eager not only to get to know him better, but to see the kind of woman who could shake up his world enough to make him lose that infamous bet. Marina provided a great challenge, surprising him at each turn and changing the rules of a game Gage thought he had mastered. I loved when he stopped thinking with his business-savvy head and started thinking with his heart and putting Marina at the center of his universe.

Marina certainly wasn't the heroine I was expecting, but her enormous heart and her dedication to her dreams endeared her to me easily. I was especially intrigued by her position in her family and the conflicts that arose over her relationship with Gage. It was nice to see that both Gage and Marina face real challenges by staying together. It forced their relationship to grow deeper, and made the sizzling connection between them even stronger over time. And what a connection it was. Gage and Marina are wild, both about each other and with each other, and their scenes were delightfully steamy and wickedly decadent, and I love each and every one.

I love Monica Murphy's characters and the intense, emotional relationships they forge together. The plot of this story, however, wasn't as engaging as others that I have read. The initial problems between the characters seemed to be overcome with remarkable ease, which made the conflict between them seem too small to drive them apart. There was also a fair amount of telling without showing, and though I'm aware that space was at a premium here, I was delighted in their interactions and would have loved even more. While this isn't to say that I didn't enjoy every page of Marina and Gage together, they seemed too strong and too vibrant for the storyline they were given.

Having said that, this is still a fun, steamy addition to an indulgent little series that will no doubt delight Ms Murphy's fans and win over some new ones. Her Billionaire Bachelors are delightfully sinful and thoroughly charming, and I can't wait to see what the next book has in store.
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