Harlequin Mills & Boon, £2.99, ISBN 978-0-263-86995-8
Contemporary Romance, 2009
Reading The Billionaire’s Defiant Wife (which is published in the USA as Jonas Berkeley’s Defiant Wife) makes me feel as if I’ve been thrown back in time to the era when romance heroines behave as if a touch of make up on their faces will brand them as the whore of the century. Aimi Carteret allows a Bad Incident in her past to shape her as this ridiculously neurotic creature who hides her porn star body under ugly clothes and leaves her face devoid of cosmetic enhancement because she believes that good girls should behave just like that. Of course, all you need to do is make her hot again is to take off her glasses. In this story, she is the personal assistant of our hero Jonas Berkeley’s brother. She gets invited to the family dinner where she meets Jonas.
Unlike most “wealthy businessman” types, Jonas is actually a nice guy here. I am not sure whether he is a billionaire, but then again, I’m sure we all know by now that the editors who come up with the titles of this kind of books usually do so when they are in an inebriated condition. Jonas wants Aimi, but Aimi behaves as if being paid attention to by a man is tantamount to having “whore” branded on her forehead with the blood of goats. This book attempts to call Aimi “defiant” and even “feisty”, but if you ask me, the correct phrase to describe Aimi is “whackjob wench”.
Perhaps it is best to view this story as some kind of vicarious fantasy where a woman gets to have this wealthy rich man groveling and trying so hard to get into the woman’s pants. This is really nothing to stop Aimi from having a good time with Jonas apart from professional work ethics, but even so, Aimi is more preoccupied with her personal drama about (a) whether she can be loved despite her horrible big bosoms and the terrible cross of striking beauty that she has to bear and (b) whether being touched by a man and liking it makes her the biggest whore that ever whored in the history of whoredom. If you ask me, Aimi should be marrying some religious fundamentalist zealot in some backwater province because her attitude is tailor-made for such a life. This story is a pain to read because of Aimi’s horribly bizarre attitude.
Still, if you are in a mood to read about a man being brought to his knees by his inexplicable need to bed a frigid Brighid like Aimi, this one may just do the trick.