Prince Charming's Return

At the Billionaireís Bidding
By Myrna Mackenzie
(Sil. Romance #1442, $3.50, G) ISBN 0-373-19442-0
Who wants to be bid on by a billionaire? Well, actually NOT Caroline OíDonald, who has offered her services at a local charity auction. She didnít expect Gideon Tremayne, newly arrived resident and a wealthy bachelor, to pay $20,000 for her. Gideon has it all -- charm, good looks, huge palatial home, privileged and titled background. Who couldnít be charmed -- and suspicious about his intentions?

But Gideon has put himself off limits to Caroline. He grew up knowing his parents were cold and uncaring and --despite his affection for his sister -- he has decided he is the same way. Since he doesnít like what his parents were like or how they treated other people, he has set up a lot of dos and doníts for his behavior. One of his big doníts is sleeping with his employees. And the services he wants from Caroline mean she will be his employee for several weeks -- she is to set up his home to be a showplace, entertain his soon-to-be-visiting sister and help convince that sister she doesnít have to stick around to help him live his life.

Gideon and Caroline have different goals in life. He wants to be left alone and she wants marriage and children. But of course there is that pesky attraction between them. And Carolineís visiting cherubic niece, who is doing her best to convince Gideon that babies are pretty delightful and that he can take care of one. (That kid is a lot more delightful than mine ever were at that age.) And Gideonís sister, who wants Caroline and Gideon to get together.

Gideon turns out to be far from the playboy that everyone thinks he is. Yes, Gideon likes women a lot, but he tries not to hurt any. He doesnít want to hurt anyone and he knows that if he is involved with a woman or a child that he will end up doing something wrong. In fact, instead of a spoiled hedonist, Gideon is much closer to a poor little rich boy-- or perhaps a rich billionaire who is too busy and unloved to have fun. Caroline is more the free spirit but she also takes her responsibilities seriously.

Their attraction and conscious decision to resist that attraction because it would lead nowhere is nicely done. They really work together to try to stay apart. Gideonís change of heart seems inevitable but also believable. You do want these two to get together because they seem so right for each other.

I was a little confused about a few things -- like what country this took place in. Gideon is actually a knight -- a real, titled one -- but he pays in American money. Or maybe Canadian or Australian dollars. But ignorance about the setting didnít detract from my enjoyment. Since this book is part of a series, I suppose if I keep reading I will find out where Eldora is someday. The story was good enough that I would be willing to keep going.

--Irene Williams

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