Two rich men vie for the affections of an exotic widow haunted by her tragic past.
Sophia is a beautiful, wounded woman trying to raise her precocious 3-year-old daughter, Gabriela, and continue her late husband’s business legacy—the ever-expanding Leibowitz Oil. But the horrors that left her a widow still trouble Sophia, torturing her with nightmares and paranoia. Two powerful men enter her life and stir something carnal within her. The first is Ethan Ashford, a steel tycoon who, after a meeting at Heathrow Airport, manipulates Sophia into his bed. The other is Alistair Connor, an influential Scottish banker with a taste for hard-core BDSM. Yet it’s the jealous Ethan who physically abuses her, driving Sophia into Alistair’s arms. While the Scotsman attempts to show some tenderness to a rattled Sophia, his overbearing nature threatens her happiness. Serruya’s debut introduces passionate, larger-than-life characters into fabulous, real-world European settings. The dialogue is overly formal, but that doesn’t spoil the frequent brisk, engaging scenes. Sophia is as sexy, smart, and wealthy as she is angst-ridden; she’s an extraordinary, attractive woman who is interested only in the two alpha males. Ethan and Alistair appear as paragons of masculinity, with perfect physiques and minds shaped by conquerors’ ideals; both are incapable of dealing with emotions not tied to their own gratification. All the main characters tend to careen uncontrollably between the casual and dramatic, with some vague insinuations that their past traumas are to blame for their mercurial reactions. Sex is omnipresent in this modern bodice-ripper. This leads to a good deal of repetition, which sometimes shifts the mood from titillating to tedious.
A breezy, erotic melodrama that’s strong on voice and weak on substance.