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REVIEW: His Merciless Marriage Bargain by Jane Porter

I bought this after reading the fab beginning on the M&B website 

Strong, empathisable-with heroine, Venice, unique set up, promise of ruthless alpha.

Loved that the heroine called the paparazzi….

I’m in.

The first third delivers lots of intense hero/heroine interaction/dialogue, lovely palazzo setting. It’s very easy to continue empathising with Rachel. It felt classic Presents, very conflict-driven. The hero and heroine’s internal conflicts haven't really surfaced yet, but there’s the promise that they’re there.

Yes, it's very easy to slip into this Presents’ world and Jane Porter’s voice makes the experience immersible.

Around the halfway mark -  still a page turner, still holding my attention; lots of internalisation from the heroine and characterisation. There’s also a lot of universal emotion in Rachel’s deep point of view, feelings which are really easy for the reader to share. A bit too easy. And the emotions a bit too real. Maybe it’s just too much all at once? Maybe I read it on a grey January day at home on antibiotics, and wanted more escapism than the too-close-for-comfort emotion in winter-set Venice.

I loved Gio.  He’s classic Presents, and has that lovely Italian, sophisticated hero thing going on. I loved the continuing dialogue and interaction and the promise of more glitz and glam to come with the engagement party . The gondola scene is beautiful and I liked how Gio makes Rachel laugh and draws her (and me) out of her shadows.

The love scene leads to some upbeat emotion from Rachel and I could have done with it to last a bit longer, the upbeat emotion that is. The hero’s mother having dementia is a tragedy too far for this couple (and me) who already have a lot of conflict and plot circling towards the emotionally satisfying epilogue.

Gilded rich man's world frames the lovely relationship intensity and dialogue. But the hero's brother, heroine's sister, and their baby are a bit too strongly in the foreground. And melancholy-hued Venice is touched with a little too much tragedy. 

3.75 classic Presents stars








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