Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Review – Parker’s Price © Ann Bruce

Author: Ann Bruce

Publisher: Carina Press

Genre: Contemporary

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She was sexy, smart...and for sale.

When Parker Quinn is forced to accept an outrageously high bid at a charity auction, she has no choice but to go out with the last man on earth she wants to spend time with. Dean Maxwell may be one of Manhattan's most eligible bachelors, but he's also the man who had an affair with her sister and abandoned her when she became pregnant with his child...

Dean doesn't know why Parker hates him so much, but he's determined to show Parker the type of man he really is. Whisking her away to a private island in the Bahamas for a sensual, sun-drenched week together, Dean leaves Parker's preconceptions shattered and her desires inflamed.

But even as their passion reaches irresistible heights, Parker has a decision to make. Can she allow herself to fall for the seductive magnate, or will family secrets and a dangerous ex tear them apart?

Standing in a room filled to capacity with the expensively dressed men and women of New York City's social elite, Dean Maxwell was in the midst of contemplating creative ways to torture the eldest sister who'd wheedled him into attending this event when he saw her. Petite, dark-haired, stunning, and looking like she wanted escape as much as he did. Without a second thought, Dean made his excuses to the trio of women who'd cornered him upon his arrival and subsequent desertion by his dear sister.

He made his way across the crowded room. His target turned to talk to someone who drew her attention and Dean stopped completely for a moment, his breath trapped in his chest. The woman wasn't wearing a bra. The calf-length, silky, black gown wrapped around that slender body plunged dramatically in the rear to the small of her back, exposing nothing but a long expanse of smooth, pale skin that he alternately wanted to touch and to cover from other male eyes at the same time.

The primitive possessiveness startled him, but he didn't question it. When his heart started beating again, Dean had to force the white-knuckled hand gripping the champagne flute to relax before he snapped the stem in two. Five more feet and he was able to overhear the conversation between her and her apparently unwanted companion.

"No, really, I'm fine right here," she was saying, her voice low but insistent. Dean could hear the underlying note of frustration in her cool tone.

"Babe, you're looking flushed," her companion countered as he snaked a hand down to her hip with ease and familiarity. Anger flickered hotly through Dean. "Let's just step out onto the balcony for a bit. The fresh air'll do you good. Clear your head. And we'll be able to talk privately."


"Here's the champagne you asked for," Dean interjected firmly, stepping forward. She spun around and he found himself staring into eyes the color of good Scotch whisky. For the second time that night, breathing was forgotten.

© Anne Bruce

My thoughts

Parker Quinn’s job is a simply one when she attends the auction charity ball that she had help to organize – mingle, get the word out about what the charity is about and smile, but more importantly, make nice. Make nice kinda didn’t involve her being on the auction block with the highest bid for the charity placed on her IF she accepts.

The bidder is none other than rich, fickle and one of Manhattan's most eligible bachelors Dean Maxwell, who Parker hates.

Dean Maxwell has been bored with the evening of mixing and mingling which his sister has dragged him to. While he is not opposed to giving to the needy – he has no time for the beautiful people who tend to gravitate towards these setting. As he is about to call an end to the night he spots Parker, a flower in this garden of beautiful thorns.

Dean being Dean does not hesitate but moves in and try to make a move on her – however this is one woman who seem to be onto him and not in a good way if her glare is anything to go by. Dean is surprise to say the least and he cannot let the night end without finding out what he had ever done to deserve that brush off.

Using what he has the most of, he goes after her, which only put Parker’s in a position she can’t back away from. Dean   doesn’t intend to play fair, but with Parker’s family and ex – things will get mightily interesting and dangerous before he gets what he wants – which is just Parker. 

I along with a whole lots of other bloggers and readers have been fascinated by Carina Press’s first step into this world of books that we love so much. As an off shot of Harlequin I probably am being less than courteous in saying that I am expecting Saturday morning  or just before bed type reading material from most of the books that Carina Press produces and this is what I got with PARKER’S PRICE.

For the record I love Saturday morning and just before bed reading material and as such I really like this book.

From the blurb to the cast, to even the dual plotline that runs through PARKER’S PRICE– it doesn’t purports to be anything more than a sweet read with little to no angst involved and while a lot of things are stereotypical, this works for me.

Parker is the classic chick who “protest” yet caves at the first sign of those brooding eyes or when those arm wraps around her -  but I liked her. She is shouldering a lot of responsibility as well as trying to be practical in how she hopes to deal with her future. When she meets Dean, who she never though she would, it was not the “I hate your guts” sort of moment that she always though it would be – she liked him and she is conflicted.

Dean is just Dean – he made me smile alot. Too much money, got his way too often and other than his sister who knocks him back when needed – he more or less gets his way. I liked him as well.

Ms Bruce tossed in a minor mystery plot for a but of bulk – but it really felt like it was just there to make some minor cast involvement seem worthwhile, but it really didn’t have the depth or involvement to put any sort of strain on the book.    

If there was one thing I did not like about this sweet read – it was the reasons why Parker did not like Dean and probably the ease at the resolution. In life there are just some lines you do not cross even in fiction and that did not sit well with me and because of this it rather let a bit of the book down for me.

The book moves around a bit as well and this makes it a really fast read. There is smexing between Parker and Dean and a pretty decent amount of it as well.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a light easy read, with characters that makes you grind your teeth as well as smile a time or two – then PARKER’S PRICE is one that fits the bill.

This is definately a modernise version of the classic Harlequin tale and readers who require more from their reading should not read this one. If you are however a lover of the Harlequin or Mills & Boons range of books – you will love this one.

6 Speak To Me:

Smokinhotbooks on 7 July 2010 at 00:34 said...

I think I need a little more character meat with my books - not a huge fan of traditional Harlequin tales.

Nice review EH

Erotic Horizon on 7 July 2010 at 01:07 said...


I have to admit Harlequin books take some getting use to - but if they click with you, you are a lover for life..

I am, so this was just the usual fare for me - which was good..


Unknown on 7 July 2010 at 04:21 said...

This looks interesting to me! I may pick this up.

Great review, E.H!

Erotic Horizon on 7 July 2010 at 07:43 said...


It is sweet - just up my street, knowing your love for Harlequin I think it will work for you..


Mandi on 7 July 2010 at 12:59 said...

I wasn't a fan of dean..I found him too demanding..which didn't come across sexy. Otherwise, I like her writing.

Blodeuedd on 7 July 2010 at 14:43 said...

I never say no to Harlequin, they are such good light,sweet and easy reads