Sunday, July 10, 2011


Harlequin Desire #2093
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-73108-4
July 2011
Series Romance

Chicago, Illinois - Present Day

It’s Della Hannan’s thirtieth birthday, and she’s giving herself the kind of day she always dreamed of. She’s eating dinner at Palumbo’s, an expensive five star restaurant. She’s rented a red Carolina Herrera gown, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, Bulgari earrings and pendant, and a black silk Valentino opera coat. She has tickets for a box seat at the opera, and she is going for champagne afterward; truly a birthday fit for a queen, except she’s alone, as always. While eating dinner, the hunkiest piece of male eye candy walks by and sits down close to her. The man looks up and something clicks between them, and he asks her what she would suggest for dinner. Surely a casual conversation. Then as she is taking her seat at the opera, who is sitting several chairs down from her but the mysterious man. Discussing La Boheme seems innocent enough, except Della finds herself drawn to him, thinking maybe he is just a lovely, momentary memory to go along with all the lovely memories of this night. Then, after the opera, who is sitting in the Windsor Club where she’s going for a glass of champagne but her hunk, whose name she soon finds out is Marcus. Della has been in Chicago only eleven months and only left her house five times; she must call the mysterious Geoffrey every morning and check in. (Is he a relative, a boyfriend? We really don’t know yet). Della doesn’t want any connection to Marcus, and needs to keep emotions at a distance.

Marcus is missing a special friend who died and wants to go to their favorite restaurant, opera, and have a drink in her honor. But fate lends a hand to his sad night, and he keeps seeing Della everywhere he goes. While outside the Club where they’re having a drink watching the snow fall, the sparks flare between them, and they have a sexual encounter. With a blizzard well on its way, they decide to go to the nearby hotel and spend the night finishing what they started. Della’s refusal to talk about herself causes Marcus to sneak a peek into her purse while she’s in the bathroom and find out she’s originally from New York. Their white hot sexual combustion continues over the next day, but Marcus is no closer to knowing who Della is.

Della found out about some shenanigans at the brokerage house she worked for in New York, and her life is not hers anymore until that issue is finished. Marcus is in line to be the new CEO of his family’s investment firm, Fallon Brothers. But his life has no meaning, and when he becomes CEO he can only look for more life with no purpose. Can their lives intersect in any way with the different things separating them?

Written from Della’s and Marcus’s points of view, we have a couple that is seemingly doomed to separate. Della has a hidden life she refuses to share with Marcus, and Marcus, despite trying desperately, is kept at a distance from Della…except in bed. There they heat up the sheets, entering a world neither of them ever expected to find.

The only other character who makes an appearance is the mysterious Geoffrey, who is always lurking in the background for Della, and we don’t find out his part in her history until later in the story.

CAUGHT IN THE BILLIONAIRE’S EMBRACE is not a light hearted story, but rather a sober look at a woman hiding from something and the man who is gradually giving his love to her without knowing what serious problems she has. The physical side of their relationship shows Marcus what he has been missing, and he is determined not to let Della get away from him. A suspenseful story, CAUGHT IN THE BILLIONAIRE’S EMBRACE is perfect summer reading.

Carolyn Crisher

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