May Contain Spoilers
The Tycoon’s Socialite Bride is a lightning quick read, and at first, I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t like Marcus, and I thought he was a jerk, while Pamela was pretty darn near perfect. I really liked her, and sympathized with her. Her father, a retired senator, is referred to by Pamela as the Senator – never with a more endearing name. How sad is that? Since the death of her mother, Pamela can’t do anything right, at least not according to her father, who lives to keep the family name and traditions above reproach. His daughter falls far short of doing the right things, in his esteemed opinion, and he’s never shy about bringing up every shortcoming and fault he finds. Ugh.
Marcus is a self-made man, and one goal has been driving his success. He promised his mother, prior to her death, that he would one day own the very hotel where she was humiliated, and he will do anything to keep that promise. Even marry a complete stranger to get on the good side of the hotel’s owner. When Pamela approaches him about purchasing a building he owns, the opportunity he’s dreamed of finally presents itself. He makes a deal with Pamela – if she marries him and helps him obtain his dreams, he’ll give her the building she wants as soon as the hotel is his. Wow! How romantic! Not!
The owner of the hotel is a pompous ass, and the only thing he can see is money and social position. Pamela’s family has reigned elite in DC for generations, so when he discovers that pushy upstart Marcus will soon be marrying Pamela, he changes his tune. Of course he can consider his proposal to purchase the hotel now! Wow! Jerk!
I am not sure why this book worked for me, but it did. The ending is a little abrupt, but I think I liked Pamela enough to forgive that and the few other plot points that didn’t work for me. The reconciliation between Pamela and her father didn’t win me over, either. I thought Marcus stayed a jerk until the end of the story; he was willing to put his ambitions ahead of the promise he made to Pamela, and that was not okay with me. She had it right – if he couldn’t keep this promise and honor the whole reason that they agreed to the fake marriage in the first place, how could she ever trust his word ever again.
One of the reasons I picked this title up is because it features racial diversity. Marcus is white from a disadvantaged background, while Pamela is African American from a wealthy, politically influential, and powerful family. Race hardly played into the story at all. Sure, it was discussed, briefly, partway through, but it didn’t add adversity or conflict to their relationship. Social position put much more pressure on their budding romance, and that didn’t ring true to me. My sister-in-law is Korean, and I have heard about all of the adversity she has faced since she married my brother. My nieces haven’t been immune to occasional ill-considered remarks, either. So I guess when you are as wealthy as Midas, you don’t have to worry about that?
Despite these quibbles, this was a perfect Saturday afternoon read. I am looking forward to reading more by Tracey Livesay.
Review copy provided by publisher
To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has suddenly fallen into his lap.
Pamela will do anything to save her favorite cause, even agree to a marriage of convenience. The altruistic “it-girl” isn’t worried about the pretend passion with Marcus turning real; she’s sworn off powerful, driven men who use her for her family’s connections.
So she’ll deny the way her pulse races with one look from his crystalline blue eyes. And he’ll ignore the way his body throbs with each kiss from her full lips. Because there’s no way he’ll lose his blue-collar heart to the blue-blooded beauty.