Purchased for Pleasure

Nicola Marsh
January 2008, Series Romance
Harlequin Presents Extra, $4.75, 192 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373820704

Grade: C
Sensuality: Hot

Trust me, I am not the grammar or style police. I canít even remotely pretend to be. However, as I read Nicola Marshís Purchased for Pleasure, I was struck by an insatiable, irrational urge to add commas everywhere. Obviously, this story didnít quite work for me. It wasnít bad...I was simply distracted by the lack of commas.

Kate Hayden is a senior editor for Femme magazine. Since moving to the U.S. from Australia six years earlier, Kate has ambitiously worked her way up in the world of journalism. When she first arrived, she met the SEAL of her dreams, Tyler James. Though young, they fell in love quickly, but both were ambitious and career opportunities appeared too good to be ignored, leading to the demise of the relationship. While at a charity auction sponsored by the magazine she works for, Kate realizes Tyler is one of the men whoís one weekís worth of labor is up for auction. She jumps at the opportunity to bid.

Tyler James agreed to the auction to help the orphanage where he grew up. However, when given the opportunity to see Kate again and renew their acquaintance for one week only, he is excited. The attraction between the two was magnetic from the beginning, meaning the week is bound to be quite the adventure. Unfortunately, Tyler can only allow it to last for just the week. In the course of military duty, he injured his knee and when the charity week is up, a physical exam will determine whether or not he can remain in the Navy. For him, the Navy is the only family heís known, other than the orphanage, and the news could be devastating.

The reasons why Marshís story didnít work for me stem from style. In my opinion, it just didnít flow well. Other than the urge to add commons throughout, head hopping made me question which thoughts belonged to whom. In terms of plot, the story told is interesting. However, I felt as though the conflict was too forced. Also, I needed more groveling and less pride on the part of the hero. For the lengths Kate is willing to go for love, I wanted to see Tyler give more in return. Donít get me wrong, he does well, I simply thought more was required.

Nicola Marshís Purchased for Pleasure isnít bad, itís just mediocre. I probably would have enjoyed it more if the style and flow were less of an issue for me. For the record, there are 34 commas in this review prior to editing. Obviously punctuation (and flow) is a hang-up for me, especially commas.

-- Heather Brooks

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