Genre: Contemporary Romance
When opposites attract!
Damaso Pires should have known better than to get involved with Marisa—the scandalous princess of Bengaria! Yet soon he sees her true beauty and flawless virtue, which touches a place in him he thought ruthlessly destroyed by his childhood on the streets of Brazil.
But their brief affair becomes permanent when Marisa reveals she’s pregnant.
Damaso knows the sting of illegitimacy and, having fought tooth and nail to claw his way up to the dizzying heights of international success and financial infamy, he won’t let his child slip from his grasp. There’s only one way to claim his heir, and that’s marriage!
I don’t read many contemporary romances but there are a few authors whose books I really enjoy and Annie West is one of them. Her books are always intense, emotional and sensual.
Damaso is a survivor. Through a combination of determination, hard work and luck, he dragged himself up from the poverty of the Brazilian slums to become successful and fabulously wealthy, surrounding himself with beautiful things. In business, he is ruthless and single-minded, used to giving orders and having then obeyed. He has always been a loner and never indulges in long-term relationships…he guards his heart carefully.
When he meets Princess Marisa he feels an intense attraction and, with her wild reputation, she would be perfect for short vacation affair. However, he doesn’t count on the feelings she evokes in him that send him high-tailing it in the opposite direction.
Princess Marisa is desperate to live her own life but her uncle, now King of Bengaria, after the tragic death of her beloved twin brother, controls both her life and her funds. The press have hounded her since she was fifteen, portraying her as “a little, slut, uncontrollable and without morals”. She has been stripped of everything except her pride. She feels lonely and isolated, longing to be wanted for herself and not because of her royal status. She had trusted men before and been sorely disappointed.
When she meets Damaso, she feels a bond between them and is willing to reach out and trust herself to a man again, only to be hurt and disillusioned. When she discovers that she is pregnant, Damaso is insistent that they marry.
Despite his dictatorial attitude towards Marisa, I admire Damaso’s determination that his child would not grow up abandoned and neglected like he was. The child would have a father and be cared for and nurtured
I like how their relationship develops gradually as they learn more about each other and how it changes each of them. Damaso sees that Marisa is very different to the picture painted by the media. He finds he actually likes her and sees the hurt and pain she tries to hide behind the wild party girl image. It is the first time Damaso has truly cared about anyone else and I love how all his protective instincts come to the fore when Marisa tells him about her uncle and the press vilification of her:
He wanted to grab her uncle and the media piranhas by their collective throats and choke some apologies out of them.
and the tender emotions he feels:
He wanted to crush Marisa in his arms and hold her until the pain went away.
When Marisa visits the community centre in the poor area, Damaso is furious but refuses to say why. It is only when he tells Marisa about his young life that I truly understood him, not just his fears for Marisa’s safety but also that Marisa’s reaction to discovering where he grew up would be one of disgust. The picture he paints of his life is heart-rending but it made me admire him all the more for rising above his origins. It was a world where emotions had no place if you wanted to survive but meeting Marisa made him re-evaluate his life.
Marisa is unique mixture of fragility and strength and I admire her determination to ensure that her child will not be a pawn in her uncle’s schemes. Her child would have what she never had, love. It was satisfying to watch her find a real purpose in her life and see her genuine warmth and sincerity shine through.
I enjoyed seeing the changes in Damaso and Marisa as they gradually fall in love.
He was Damaso Pires. Powerful, secure, in command of his world.
Yet he’d watched those men eat her up with their eyes and rage had consumed him. Rage and jealousy.
The realisation hit him with full force.
He didn’t do jealousy.
Damaso shook his head.
He did now.
Damaso was inextricably part of her life now. As her child’s father and more, much more.
“I love you, Marisa, with all my heart and soul. I want to be your husband, because there’s no other woman in the world more perfect for me than you. “
Overall, an emotionally satisfying and sensual love story.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 Stars
SENSUALITY RATING: WARM
Read March 2015
**My sincere thanks to Annie West for providing me with a copy of her book in return for an honest review.**