The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas (Sil. Desire) by Barbara Dunlop is a November 2007 release that has been released early in ebook format at eharlaquin.com. Here is the book’s description(really nice cover!):
Wife to the Highest Bidder
To save the family fortune, billionaire Jack Osland had to marry a woman he barely knew. Getting struggling clothing designer Kristy Mahoney to a Las Vegas chapel a minute after meeting her was no problem. Even though she supposedly loved someone else.
Prenup in hand, Jack planned to enjoy his wedding-night privileges, then walk away with the untouchable Osland billions. He’d teach his gorgeous temporary bride a little lesson and have a very merry Christmas. But he had married the wrong woman…
I was somewhat worried when I first read the plot description for The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas. You have a billionare hero matched with yet another struggling career woman. I bought this ebook based on my love of Ms. Dunlop’s previous book, The Billionaire’s Bidding that I reviewed on my site that you can read here. I so enjoyed that novel that I didn’t even think twice about buying her next ebook.
Jack Osland, CEO of a family conglomerate, decides to set off a preemptive strike against his grandfather, Clevland Osland and his upcoming nuptials. It seems that the 80 year-old billionaire still has a roving eye for the ladies and bad judgement in women. Married twice before to nothing but bimbos who put a dent in the family fortune, Jack is determined that Clevland’s future wife #3 will have no chance at the family coffers. It’s Jack’s responsibility to protect the family fortune.
Kristy Mahoney is a struggling fashion designer who has been trying to break into the New York fashion establishment for years. She has managed to set up a meet with clothing store mogul, Clevland Osland and the head buyer of the Sierra Sanchez fashion chain. Kristy learns that she is to hitch a ride with Jack and his cousin, Hunter on the family jet for the meeting in LA. Along the way, the jet runs into some engine trouble and is forced to land in Las Vegas temporarily. You see, Jack mistakes Kristy for his grandfather’s fiancée and conspires with the pilot to delay their trip. The temporary stop-over in Vegas gives Jack ample opportunity to seduce Kristy and marry her in order to prevent her from marrying into the family fortune.
The problem with the book was the plot. I thought Ms. Dunlop could have pulled it off for me but she didn’t. More than anything, I was bored. The characters were boring and not very likable either. There were 12 chapters and I read/skimmed Chapters 5,6,7,8, 9 and 10. I read the conclusion and was happy for closure. I was disappointed. Very disappointed. Where was the romance? Where was the witty dialogue? The chemistry? More importantly, where was logic behind any of this? Jack was a manipulative character who cared for nothing but money. He doesn’t even own up to his responsibilities. When Kristy confronts him about his deception he doesn’t even apologize. Especially after he finds out that he made the mistake by marrying the wrong woman.
Kristy on the other hand was silly and gullible. Falling in love after meeting Jack for a couple of days. It was just hard to suspend disbelief for. She went along with everything he said and didn’t seem worried that she was being late for a meeting that meant a lot for her career. She didn’t question anything. Not really. She fell for Jack’s charms, his looks and his bed very easily. What made me skim the rest of the book was when Kristy and Jack confront and come clean with each other that they decide to make a deal. She agrees to act like they are happily married in order to keep his family off his back and in return she gets his full support financially to help her career in fashion design. So she spends the holidays at the Osland mansion and they pretend to be in love while they fall in love.
The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas is not Ms. Dunlop’s best effort. The plot was just absurd. There were some humor especially with the description of the grandfather’s previous wives and how they wasted the Osland fortune. Otherwise, this book was a struggle to read. I know authors can’t always pen an excellent book each and every time but—- this was not even mediocre. I wish I could say that this book was average. But no. This book was pretty bad. Why? Pacing was absent, cheesy dialogue, characters lacked warmth (and common sense) for starters. My grade, D. In lieu of reading this book, I recommend you give The Billionaire’s Bidding a try.