The Tycoon’s Rebel Bride, by Maya Banks
The second in Ms Banks’ Anetakis Tycoons trilogy, The Tycoon’s Rebel Bride follows the second Anetakis brother, Theron, and Isabella Caplan, erstwhile ward of his elder brother Chrysander. This novel is a good example of how clichés can be used effectively to tell a story.
First, the back cover blurb:
“I don’t suppose you saved me a dance?”
Tycoon Theron Anetakis had only one problem-and she just walked through his door. With his business takeover complete, he’d intended to arrange a marriage for himself to further secure his future. However…
Little Isabella Caplan had blossomed into a voluptuous vixen with plans of her own, and they didn’t include letting the executor of her father’s estate also arrange a marriage for her to another man! She had pined for Theron long enough. Now it was time to seduce her hot-blooded hotel tycoon and bring him to one bended knee.
The Anetakis Tycoons-Three Greek tycoon brothers bound for love… only as a last resort!
(I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but… the word tycoon? I really dislike it. I mean, it’s like millionaires, multimillionaires, billionaires are not rich enough, these days it’s all about tycoons. But oh well, it is what it is.)
Bella has been in love with her image of Theron Anetakis for years. At twenty-two and with college behind her, she is ready to make sure she gets him. To that end, she nixes her planned summer travel to Europe and ropes Theron into helping her settle in New York.
Things don’t go as smoothly as Bella expected, though. Theron is all set to propose to a nice Greek maiden, hoping to find for himself what his brother Chrysander has found in his marriage to Marley (see The Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress‘s review).
Of course Bella is not going to let such a small *cough* thing get in the way of getting her man. Add a friend who is an aspiring actress-cum-stripper, a Greek mama determined to marry off her daughter, and a number of hulking bodyguards, and you have a perfect recipe for interesting developments.
Normally, that set up would make me pull my hair. Honestly, how can anyone be in love with someone she doesn’t know, someone with whom she hasn’t had even one honest, adult conversation? You can imagine my misgivings as I started reading the story. In fact, kudos to Ms Banks, because she makes a point of having a secondary character talk with Bella about her infatuation (crush) on Theron.
The thing is, though, I know people much older and worldly than Bella who ‘love’ people they know little to nothing about. As much as it annoys me, countless real life relationships are based on the same things Bella loves about Theron, and while a goodly percentage crash and burn, others grow and evolve into something solid and lasting.
While I cannot say that by book’s end I was totally sold on Bella’s feelings for Theron being ‘real’ (adult love for the man vs adolescent crush on the image), I really like her growth. From an attitude of “I know we are right for each other, damn the torpedoes!” Bella evolves into a human being who takes other people’s feelings into consideration and who takes responsibility for her decisions. And I don’t mean paying lip service, I mean honestly and one-hundred-percent owning the consequences of her actions.
And this does give me hope for their relationship in the future.
There is another thing about the book that I enjoyed immensely: the secondary characters. From the security detail to a particular taxi driver, Ms Banks skillfully portrays them as real, three-dimensional, complex people. She shows-rather than tells-us who they are, through their actions and dialogue, with an elegant economy of words.
In fact, I am hoping that several of them have their own stories told (Sadie, Alannis, Reynolds and Marcus, I’m looking at you!)
The Tycoon’s Rebel Bride gets 7 out of 10