Wednesday, January 28, 2009

YotC Review: The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress

Title: The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress
Author: Maya Bank
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Anetakis Tycoons/Book 1
Published: January 2009
Harlequin ~ Silhouette Desire
Year of the Category Challenge
*Some spoilers*

Who wouldn't want to be the mistress of a gorgeous Greek tycoon? Live in a penthouse apartment in New York City. Shop at the finest stores and have everything you could possibly want. This was the attitude of Chrysander Anetakis, the tycoon. He expected Marley Jameson available to him whenever he wants her when he's in the city. Marley, in love with Chrysander, quits her job and moves in with him not knowing that he thinks of her as his mistress. She thought she was more, that there was more between them. When she finds out she's pregnant she knows she must tell him but she's not sure how he'll react. Then a horrible misunderstanding followed by an even worse tragedy tears the two apart.

My first book for the Year of the Category Challenge and it turned out to be a surprise. Thankfully in a good way. I have read Maya Banks erotic novels but this is her first for Silhouette Desire. It surprised me in a few ways. One was the fact that even though the premise involved amnesia Banks handled it well. IMO when dealing with amnesia the potential for disaster is high. It's just too soap opera-ee. Need to create some drama in a character's storyline? Giv'em amnesia. Fortunately Marley's amnesia was done in a believable way that didn't leave me shaking my head in disgust. The other surprise was the character of the Greek tycoon. Did he play the part well, in stereotypical fashion? Hell yeah! Was he redeemed by the end? Hmm... more or less. What surprised me is that I liked him. Not because he eventually came to see Marley as more than a mistress but because of his high-handed, autocratic ways. Heck, the guy owned an island. Can't get that far in life without being an ass at least sometimes.

And let's not forget the cover. The covers of the category romances have a tendency to be a bit over the top but in a different way than the bodice rippers of old. So it was a pleasant surprise that I actually liked the cover of The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress. The couple are in a natural pose, not all bent over backwards like Cirque du Soleil performers. Also they don't have those crazy-ass goofy grins on their faces that seem to be common in some of the category covers ~ the ones that usually feature a child or two. No, the cover for Tycoon is simple yet well done with a man and woman in an embrace and no baby bump in sight.

As for the story we've got the big misunderstanding and the tragedy. The misunderstanding is Chrysander finding evidence that Marley is stealing information from his company and selling it to his competitor. Or so he thinks. So what's a Greek tycoon to do when confronted with such treachery? Kick her to the curb! Yep, that's what he does. Gives her 30 minutes to get out of the penthouse. Marley leaves, thinking she'll give him time to think things over. Before she gets very far from the apartment she's kidnapped. OK, I know. First kidnapping then amnesia. All on top of there being a Greek tycoon (with an island!). Sounds way too much like something out of All My Children or General Hospital but once again Banks pulls it off.

A few months pass and Chrysander is back in New York. While watching the news he sees none other than Marley on a stretcher. She's escaped her kidnappers and her and her unborn baby are fine. What kidnappers? What baby?! Yeah, Marley didn't get a chance to tell Chrysander about the baby before he sent her to the curb. And he knew nothing about the kidnappers since he never got any ransom notes. So off he goes to the hospital to find out not only is she pregnant but she has amnesia. So in typical Greek tycoon fashion he whisks her away to his private island where he hires a staff to take care of her and his soon-to-be heir. Oh, and he may have given Marley the impression they were engaged. Gotta have a reason to get her to go to the island with him.

So then there's Marley. Even with the amnesia she's a likable character. When I first read about her giving up her job and moving in with Chrysander I thought "how stupid". But I think it's just her nature to give her all when she falls in love. She had her concerns but she loved him in spite of his faults. She really thought they were on the road to matrimony. And when she gets to the island she doesn't simply believe everything he says but questions what he tells her. Her confusion is believable and her character is developed in such a way to lend sympathy for her even if you don't agree with her choices.

Chrysander is... an ass. But likable in an "I'm gorgeous, rich, sexy, sophisticated and Greek" kinda of way. He did have his reasons for being cautious and not trusting easily. And for not wanting a serious relationship. This guy is all about control. Control in business and his personal life. He doesn't give up the control easily but he does learn to trust Marley. The path he takes to learning to not only trust Marley but want her in his life permanently is not easy but he does get there eventually.

Another surprise for me was the sex. I wasn't sure what to expect since I'm not familiar with category romances, having read only a few. But it was hot. This is Maya Banks after all. So that was another pleasant surprise.

The book is just under 180 pages but packs a good, solid story. There are two brothers of Chrysander that will be getting their own stories. The Tycoon's Rebel Bride in May and The Tycoon's Elusive Lover in September. I plan on reading both. For more info on Maya Banks check out her website.

Rating: B+


  1. I love you review, but I have to say, the story does sound incredibly convoluted! Then again, I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and every time I have to explain to newbies that Willow's in love with Oz but she cheats on him with Xander then she falls in love with girls and then she magics her own memories away and thinks she's dating Xander again...

    So essentially I have nothing to complain about. ^_^

  2. Thanks AnimeJune, it had so many soap opera plots in it but I still liked it. :)

    And BtVS - I miss that show. Bunches. Hope Whedon's new one -Dollhouse, doesn't get cut short.

  3. Oh my word, lol! My head is spinning with this plot! And I'm LMAO, because I was just talking about this book with someone else, wondering about it.

    I love your review. Very thorough and I like your reasons for liking it. I have to wonder though how these categories get the huge pass they do with the mentality of the men in them. That might be a penthouse the heroine was in, but the male's mentality is pretty caveman. This is simply not put up with in other romances, so why is it in categories? It doesn't look like they're changing anything soon, either, so I'm guessing it really is that crack addiction thing. ;)

  4. Awe, thanks Kmont. I'm surprised that I liked it as much as I did given the plot and Mr. Greek Tycoon. lol

    I haven't read many categories but maybe because of the short length there's not enough time for proper wooing so the male goes all super alpha. Don't know.