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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pride and Passion by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Pride and Passion by Jenna Bayley-Burke
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (127 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Fern

He’ll let her have control…until he’s ready to make his move.

The only things Lily Harris inherits after her father’s untimely death are debt, scandal and loneliness. She doesn’t protest when her father’s business partner, Jake Tolliver, steps up to help with the mess she finds herself in—until Jake reveals the last promise he made to her father.

Jake may be as compelling to look at as a marble statue—and stir a frighteningly powerful desire within her—but no way will Lily agree to be his socially acceptable bride while he continues to bed his string of beautiful women—not without getting him to agree to a deal of her own first.

With a well-earned reputation as a feral hunter who goes after what he wants, Jake has his sights set on Lily, and her lack of options puts her right where he’s wanted her from the first moment he laid eyes on her.

Jake’s not above making Lily think she’s having it her way if that’s what it’ll take to have his way in the end. But once he grows tired of playing beast to her beauty, he’s not above changing the rules of the game until they’re both playing for the same prize.

If you’re the type of reader who loves compelling emotional romance, Pride and Passion is exactly what you’re looking for. From the moment the story began, I was swept into the vastly different, yet unmistakably similar, lives of Jake and Lily. There are a lot of misunderstandings, past grievances, and secrets the two keep from one another, making the story one that is impossible to put down.

In the beginning, I wasn’t all that certain I’d like Jake. He is powerful, controlling, and so cold you wonder if there is actually a man somewhere beneath the surface. However, as the story unfolds and the reader learns his reasons for being so distant from those he cares for, it’s impossible to do anything but fall in love with him. He is complex as he is intriguing, which makes him an ideal hero -- especially if you enjoy alpha types. As for Lily, she is far more than a socialite who has been ruined by scandal. After she rejects Jake’s proposal of marriage, determined to stand on her own two feet, she begins to mature and grow as a woman. The progression occurs in a carefully timed manner, so that you watch her adapt to her new life, learn from it, and become a strong woman versus a virginal girl who has been sheltered all her life.

The writing is fantastic, the character development is brilliantly done, and the pace of the story is excellent. There was never a moment that I wanted to put the book down and, as a result, I read Pride and Passion from start to finish in one sitting. I’ve always been a fan of romances in which the protagonists must learn to trust and accept each other, and I wasn’t disappointed here. Jake and Lily prove to be so much more than the reader initially perceives, and the emotional tension between them, as well as the chemistry they share, will make this one story you won’t soon forget.

Definitely a story for the coveted TBR list, don’t miss your chance to read Pride and Passion. This is the first book I’ve read (and thoroughly enjoyed) by Jenna Bayley-Burke, but it will not be the last.