December 19, 2013


Ainslie Paton
Published: Harlequin Enterprises 2013
Format: Ebook. 323 pages
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Confined in a cold, dull room in the depths of a Shanghai airport, a journalist chasing a career break and a businessman with a shadowy past play a game of truth or dare — deliberately not exchanging names.

They tell each other their most painful secrets and burning desires. One dare leads to a kiss and a wild night of illicit passion, setting off a dangerous sequence of events, bringing exposure and disgrace.

Only the brutal truth can save them. But it will also rip them apart. And it will take more than daring before they can build a new truth together.
My thoughts.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, I had never heard of the author and hoped I wasn't in for a 'yawn'.  Was I surprised! I thoroughly enjoyed this book right from the first page.  Sure this is a billionaire - journalist type story, where the journalist wants to get an interview, but it is so much more.  It is well written and held me the whole time - no skim reading with this book.  It hooked me from the opening and there was so much happening right the way through, some of it I could see coming, other things came along as a surprise.

I loved the whole cast of characters.  Will Parker, millionaire, was not your suave type millionaire, rather a kind of rough cut one.  He had issues and could be quite controlling and aggressive. Sometimes he acted downright horribly.  In spite of some of the things he did, I never lost hope for him or disliked him.  He had the courage to face truth and I liked that about him.

Darcy was a journalist and I liked the way she stood her ground, was hard nosed with Will and in the end was able to be her true self.  A gutsy heroine and I loved her.  Other characters who stood out were Pete - Will's 'brother', Bo - Will's driver/caretaker, Aileen a secretary and Jiao, Will's former mistress. Great cast.

This book is set partly in Shanghai and partly Australia.  Ainslie Paton with her excellent writing was subtly able to make me be there in Australian and Chinese cities and small villages.  There is some violence at times in there, this is not entirely a pretty/pretty romance. The book has an edge to it, but it is also very satisfyingly romantic as well. I do like a book to end well and this one I thoroughly loved, it ended on a high and just right note for this reader.

4 stars

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