Expected Release Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin Presents
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Book 1, Princes Untamed
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Favorite Tropes: Holy Crap She’s A Virgin!, Con Artist, Revenge
Pet Peeves: Overly Self-Sacrificing Heroine, Contemporary: Virgin Heroine

Official Blurb:

If my card is higher, you’ll belong to me, obeying my every whim, for as long as I desire.”

As Bree Dalton hears the icy words of Russian Prince Vladimir Xendzov, the man whose ring she once wore and life she once ruined, she nervously accepts the biggest wager of her life. Her body for a million dollars.

Bree knows better than to doubt the steely ruthlessness of this man. With everything to lose and the weight of Vladimir’s gaze upon her, she will have to play the best she’s ever played—or run the risk of losing herself completely….

Only the most innocent touch can melt their ice-cold hearts.

What Worked For Me:

  • I definitely enjoyed the steamy chemistry between Bree and Vlad. *fans self*
  • Our heroine, Bree, used to be a con-artist. No, really. She used to be a full-fledged con-artist! It’s not often that you come across anything like that in a Harlequin Presents, and that was more than enough to have me firmly in her corner.
  • I’ve never been a fan of virgin heroines in contemporary romances because they’re not usually very believable, but the terrible person that I am, I delighted in the fact that Vlad didn’t find it very believable either.
  • I loved the angst of their estrangement. There’s just something oh so delicious about a hero who wants to hate the heroine but just… can’t.  Yum! Not to mention Bree’s own side of things, which made her a far more sympathetic character than I’d expected her to be.
  • The bad timing witht he ballroom delcaration and Vlad’s reaction was wonderful. It’s not often that I’m thrown for a loop like that in a Category Romance, and I was left with the same “what the hell just happened” feelings that Bree was, no matter what the reasons behind his behavior.
  • The ending was so romantic, with Vlad truly willing to sacrifice everything for Bree’s happiness — moreso than I think even he was expecting.
  • I also enjoyed the nice little tease for the next book, which I am certainly looking forward to reading.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • As much as I enjoyed Bree and her past, her self-sacrificing nature began to grate on my nerves after a while, especially in regards to the one, (in my mind) unforgivable act towards the end. 
  • While I did enjoy just how romantic Vlad’s Grand Gesture was, it was at the same time almost a little bit too “grand”. This was a minor point, and didn’t really affect the final rating, but I think I felt it rather toeing the line between painfully sweet and overkill there for a second.

I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading a contemporary romance that featured a heroine who used to be a con-artist in the past, at least not one that didn’t have some sort of urban fantasy feel or something, and so this book grabbed me from the very beginning and refused to let go.

The fact that Vlad and Bree were estranged lovers, with an enormous misunderstanding in their past (or was it?), added quite a bit of delicious tension. Even though I think some readers may find Vlad to be overly brutish and possibly even cruel to Bree, I felt it was, for the most part, pretty well deserved.

With a fresh storyline to appeal to modern readers, but enough of the scandal, betrayal, and money that keeps us coming back to the Harlequin Presents line year after year, I loved it.

Recommended for self-sacrificing heroines with sketchy pasts, bitter heroes who revel in revenge, and of hot chemistry that neither can deny.

A very solid 4.5/5 Stars