Thursday, August 27, 2009
Author: Melanie Milburne
Line: Mills and Boon / Harlequin Presents
Release month UK: April 2009 as Mistresses by Blackmail/North America August 2009
The S-Factor: Sizzling
No one asks a Marcolini for a divorce. Especially a gold digger who could walk away with the family's fortune! Antonio Marcolini will make Claire pay. And he has got the perfect plan for vengeance—he'll demand she spend the next three months living with him as his reconciled wife, and nothing will stop him from getting what he wants!
But Claire is innocent. Can she prove it before her husband blackmails her back into marriage…and the marriage bed?
The magnificent Melanie Milburne has created one of the most emotional and beautiful love stories with The Marcolini Blackmail Marriage, the first book in her duo series The Marcolini. Reading this incredible love story I could actually visualize Antonio Marcolini, the proud and angry man determined to keep his wife, not giving in to her requested divorce. So he has a plan, he’ll stay in Australia for three months and see if there is any hope to save his marriage.
Claire can’t believe the news she receives from her lawyer. So when she receives the phone call from her husband who she hasn’t seen in five years and she meets him for dinner, she shocked when he insists she stay and live with him, giving them and chance to save their marriage. However, instead of asking, this proud Italian demands and blackmails her using her brother’s situation of being in trouble with the law as an excuse to keep her in line. He holds all the cards and is determined to have total control.
Emotionally, they were both at separate ends. She's still grieving for the loss of their daughter openly and he concealing his. This emotion plus the remembering for them both of the passion they once shared is absolutely combustible. Then the secrets and there are some. Antonio believed his mother that Claire was a gold digger as she gave her a check when she left Italy. Antonio is so very sure his mother was correct and determined that Claire with NOT get half of his inheritance. As for the most important emotion love, he’s sure he only felt lust for his wife when Claire clearly and deeply loved him. However, to be forced to marry because of a pregnancy, leave Australia and live in Italy with a busy surgeon husband and a new family who were not welcoming and the loss of a daughter, way too much!
What touched my soul was how the author dealt with grief and loss. Maybe to the reader who has not experienced it, they would have a different experience. However, personally I’ve had to deal with losing a husband and it was horrible but to loose a child I think would be devastating. And devastating it was for Claire whose baby died at birth. It wasn’t only loosing her it was how her husband Antonio dealt with it as well as his Italian family. All Claire wanted from Antonio was to be loved for her. On top of the loss it was way too much for her so she fled back to Australia.
Their months together were a tug of war but it’s obvious the passion is still there as they become reacquainted. It’s how they came to terms with their baby’s death, all of the secrets and the misunderstandings that tugged at my heart. It’s just a beautifully written love story and one I will long remember. I’m looking forward to Melanie’s September release, Bound by the Marcolini Diamonds and reading about another Marcolini brother an Italian alpha!
Hero Hotness Factor♥♥♥♥♥
Heroine Lovability Factor♥♥♥♥♥
Stickability Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Reviewed by: Marilyn
Behind the Book from the author:
"With the Marcolini Men my editor wanted me to do a two book series and she suggested using a celebrity surgeon as the hero in the first book. I already had the idea having met a young lady a couple of years ago who poured her heart out to me one day as she was doing my nails about the death of her baby. It was one of those incredibly moving moments that touched me very deeply. Firstly that she chose me, a perfect stranger, to off load her grief. And secondly because it made me realize how everyone grieves in their own way, that there is not blue print for how you deal with loss. So many of this young lady’s friends and family skirted it around it not wanting to upset her but she really needed to talk.
I decided that my hero and heroine Claire and Antonio would have each dealt with their grief in different ways and in the heartache of their loss had somehow lost each other. Antonio sees his trip to Australia as a chance to see if they have a chance to rebuild their marriage or end it forever."