Hide-and-Sheikh

 
Her Convenient Millionaire
by Gail Dayton
(Silh. Desire #1512, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-76512-6
****
My experiences with the Desire books are that they involve a romance with loads of lovemaking and lusting which moves the plot. Gail Daytonís Her Convenient Millionaire does not fall into this pattern and is delightful in the process! This story is rich in the romance of two people falling in love under unique circumstances and making love only after they feel something for each other.

Sherry Nyland is of the pampered socialite set in Palm Beach, Florida. But she isnít your typical socialite. She was raised by her alcoholic mother, who died, and she has been living with her seemingly rich but in-debt-to-his-ears father, stepmother and stepsister for several years. Her overbearing father has kept a tight rein on her, and convinced her she is nothing but fluff. He now wants to marry her off to an older rich man, primarily for money.

Sherry refuses and he kicks her out with nothing but fifty dollars in her purse and the clothes on her back. He has the keys to her car and has changed the locks on the house. Sherry goes into La Jolie, a restaurant-bar, to try to figure out what to do. She spends the day at the bar, nursing two white wines, as she contemplates how to get an apartment, a job and some food all on $50.

Micah Scott, owner and entrepreneur extraordinaire, notices this beauty the minute he steps into the bar for his shift. Micah has millions, but lives as if he doesnít. He is a self-made man who was hurt by a money hungry woman before he had money. Now he mistrusts all of the Palm Beach babes.

At this point, I realize the plot line sounds like so many others. Yet Dayton takes us places we havenít gone before and does it well. Micah is a soft-hearted soul who takes Sherry in because she is needy. Although attracted to her, he doesnít make a move. He introduces her to his mother, Clare, a feisty lady who has had some recent health problems. He allows Sherry to stay in his apartment and gives her a job. They start to be friends, although they both realize the attraction.

One of the plot twists is that Sherry asks Micah to marry her as a marriage of convenience. Her plan is to show her father she is married, and then he canít try to marry her off to someone of his choosing. She plans to maintain the faÁade for 8 months until her 25th birthday, at which time she will inherit the trust fund from her mother. Micah is now convinced money is her motivator. But in a moment of protectiveness, he agrees.

The fun begins. Sherry is willing to have some benefits of marriage, but doesnít have the self-esteem to pursue Micah. Mike is convinced he must protect his heart against the money grabber, and Clare is playing matchmaker. Throw in Tug Nyland, the thoroughly despicable father, and Juliana, the wonderful stepsister, and you have a great cast of supporting characters.

Mike and Sherry are multi-dimensional characters that leap from the pages. As Sherry gains her independence and Mike becomes more determined to resist her, their every interaction is charged. Once married, it becomes a contest of wills and it was fun to see who would outmaneuver whom. Having developed both Mike and Sherry equally, the author made it easy to root for the marriage to work out.

Her Convenient Millionaire has some great hot scenes as you would expect in a Desire book, but what really makes this book work is the well-written and enjoyable romance.

--Shirley Lyons


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