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To save her mother’s life, a beautiful virgin sells herself to a wealthy millionaire at an auction.

When her mother is dying, Delaine Talbot swears she’ll do anything to raise the money the family needs for care and surgery. The opportunity arises when she learns of an erotic club in Chicago that auctions women off to wealthy bidders. Delaine is pretty enough, but she’s also a virgin—a highly desired commodity in that market. So she puts herself on the block to make the necessary cash to save her mother. How fortunate she is that on this particular night, the most eligible bachelor in Chicago is present and decides to take pity on her when she tosses a begging look toward his darkened bidding room; his winning bid keeps her out of the clutches of a veritable Jabba the Hutt. Noah is rich and gorgeous, and while he tells himself and her that he will treat her like a plaything, he never really does. He takes her to his palatial home, where she proceeds to veer back and forth between acting like a shrew by treating him like a villain and falling rapturously into bed with him. While Delaine’s decision to sell herself is well-motivated, it’s about the only thing that really is for the rest of the book. Apparently, Noah is supposed to be a wounded alpha hero masking a heart of gold, but he generally comes across as a wimpy, dark-hero wannabe who won’t stand up to the harpy he paid a fortune for. Despite selling herself to a man who now essentially owns her, under contract, Delaine basically behaves like a spoiled 12-year-old in her first relationship, punishing him for having had the audacity to buy her. The plot is linear and simplistic, and the characters do unpleasant and annoying things for no particular reason. Even the sex, which should be erotic, becomes mind-numbing when there seems to be no real character development behind it. 

A tiresome, vexing shadow of the Fifty Shades phenomenon.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-345-54876-4
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2013


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