Bending to the Bachelor’s Will

Expecting Brand's Baby

A Passionate Proposal

More Than A Millionaire
by Emilie Rose
(Silh. Desire #1963, $4.75, PG-13) ISBN 978-0373-76963-6
Emilie Rose has the knack for taking a fairly traditional plot and adding just enough twists to make it interesting. She does it again in More Than A Millionaire.

There is a mix-up at a fertility clinic, and money loosens the confidentiality agreements. Wanna-be dad Ryan Patrick discovers that his sperm did not go to the surrogate mother he carefully selected and was ready to pay to have his child. Instead it went to Nicole Hightower. Nicole thought she was being inseminated by her brother-in-law’s sperm, but the lab tech mixed up Patrick Ryan with Ryan Patrick and suddenly her pregnancy takes on a whole new meaning.

First, Nicole was willing to help out her sister Beth who was just not able to conceive. Nicole’s primary motivation was the fact that she had loved her brother-in-law as a boyfriend before he met her sister and fell in love. Beth and she have never really talked about the fact that Nicole loved him first, but Nicole has been aware of the fact for quite a few years. Nicole’s mother was one of those women who always had a different man and Nicole was determined that she was not like her mother. So she convinced herself that she would never love another man. That meant she could help her sister and have Patrick’s child at the same time. And she would get to be an aunt and see the baby forever.

Ryan had a totally different reason for needing a child. His father was not convinced that he could handle their company on his own and was threatening to sell it out from under him. Ryan tended to be a free wheeler, owning a motorcycle, a boat and a fast car. He had one failed marriage and didn’t think he wanted another. So to keep his business, he decided to show his father that he could be a stable rational adult by having a child, mothered by a surrogate willing to give up all rights to the child. The thinking may have been flawed, but to Ryan it was the perfect solution. When the lab screws up, he seeks out Nicole, thinking he can just buy her services. He quickly learns that isn’t going to happen.   Nicole battles her feelings about giving up her child to her sister while Beth and Patrick battle their feelings about a child that now is not tied to either of them biologically. The contract seems ironclad. Ryan figures if he can’t convince Nicole to give up the kid, he can persuade Beth and Patrick. He is at times ruthless, but always his emotions kicked in just when it looked like he was going to be hard-core rude.

While this sounds a little convoluted, the story flowed and the interactions seemed real to the situation. Nicole grows to love her baby and realizes fairly early on that Ryan is someone she could easily fall for, and that change in thinking causes her to question what she was doing and why. Meanwhile Beth and Patrick have their own issues, and while these are not well developed, they do provide enough of a side story to play a major role in the primary conflict. 

Ryan is the highlight of the story as we watch this intelligent sexy man really examine his thinking. He starts off being almost unbearably arrogant but as the story moves, he has to analyze his thinking and soon begins to realize that Nicole intrigues him and he does have a heart. It was enjoyable watching him figure it all out.

This story is filled with easily guessed results but at the same time, Rose throws in those character transformations to keep things interesting and to actively engage the reader in the outcome of the whole situation.  More than a Millionaire is more than just a predictable category romance; it is a pleasure filled story that more than meets expectations.  

--Shirley Lyons

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