Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review - The Highest Price to Pay

STORYLINE:  Ella Stanton, designer and shop owner, has her business taken over by Blaise Chevalier, who buys her debt as part of a package. She’s resentful of Blaise and the takeover, and he’s only going to give her business the time of day if he thinks it is viable.  The attraction between them complicates matters to another level.   

Blaise Chevalier: is a successful business and has a reputation as a playboy. He’s all business and quite smooth. However, behind all the glitz and glamour, he has issues he doesn’t allow the world to see.

Ella Stanton: is a young, upcoming businesswoman who makes sacrifices to keep her shop and design studio running. She’s elegant and seems to have it all together, but just like Blaise, her confidence and outer veneer hide deep, emotional scars.

I LIKED: the rich characterization in The Highest Price to Pay. These are both strong, yet vulnerable characters and so I was deeply invested in seeing them get together.  I enjoyed Blaise and Ella’s interaction, even when they were downright hostile to each other.  The chemistry and love scenes are well done. Oh, and Blaise was super-hot.

I haven’t read a Mills & Boon romance in ages, thinking I’d outgrown the plotlines; however, the writer handled this story so smoothly that I finished reading it in no time. This is the first time I’ve come across a female lead who isn’t physically perfect. While the plot isn’t complex, Ms. Yates still kept me tied to the story.  

I first came across the cover of the book on Nas Dean’s blog and marked it to read on Goodreads. I thought these characters were a radical departure from the usual Mills and Boon romance, but since I haven’t read one of their books in a while, I’m probably way out of touch.  I came across The Highest Price to Pay again on my Goodreads list this past Friday, downloaded a sample from Amazon and then bought the book.

I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: the emotional connection to these two characters. Weird, I know, but I felt Ella’s pain and insecurity in all its intensity.  Truth be told, there were a few times that my eyes got a case of the burn. Of course, I know this is wonderful stuff. You can’t have a better experience than to feel for the people you’re reading about.

OVERALL COMMENTS: I have to be honest and say I found the book fascinating because of the cover, which speaks immediately to the racial difference between the characters, not that there was a big deal about it in the story.  

The wrap-up came a little quickly for me as well as a teeny point I thought was unresolved, but I understand that this is the nature of a Mills & Boon Romance being that there are only so many pages.

Again, Ms. Yates did a superb job with the characters, and in my book, that’s one of the hallmarks of a good writer.  

RATING: The Highest Price to Pay is a truly awesome read.


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