DIK Reading Challenge Review: Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh

Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him.

Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her.

What did a man's face matter anyway? She had no use for handsome men.

But for a man with a heart? For such a man...she might risk everything.

Marc Bordeaux is doing business with Hira’s father when they first see each other. Notice I didn’t say “meet” each other. In fact though they share a few smiles – which go straight to both their heads - they don’t talk at all. Hira’s father won’t let Marc even talk to Hira and Marc ends up asking for Hira’s hand in marriage, from her father, just to be near the woman.

Though Hira had shared the smiles with Marc and had hoped that those smiles could blossom into something more she’s now madder than a hornet that the man would marry her without ever speaking to her. Her whole life she’s been seen as an object and not a person and she’s had enough. On their wedding night she confronts Marc and eventually refuses to let him spend his wedding night in her bed.

The couple heads back to Louisiana, which is where Marc is from and life is not easy. Oh, financially they’re fine because Marc is a multi-millionaire, but neither is happy. Marc lusts for Hira but she won’t have anything to do with him. Eventually though both Marc and Hira start seeing sides to the other that are completely unexpected – and they’re liking what they’re seeing. Can they make the relationship work in the end?

I am a confirmed Nalini Singh fan. I love her books and I’m not sure how I missed this one on the DIK book list all these months. When it finally poked its way into my brain I knew that this would be my read for the month.

Now, category romances aren’t my favorite. There are some that I’ve read that I really enjoyed and some that I’ve not liked at all. This was definitely more on the end of “really enjoyed” but I did have a few issues with it.

First there was Hira’s assumption that Marc only saw her as chattel. Ok, she really had every right to think that since he’d married her without even talking to her but she didn’t even give the guy a chance until later in the book. She thought she knew how he felt and really didn’t give him a chance to defend himself. What would she have done, I wonder, had she ended up marrying a man from her own country that was as “free-thinking” as Marc was? IDK. Something to think about.

Then Marc’s attitude toward her intelligence stuck in my craw. When he finally started talking to her like she had a brain in her head and she told him the subjects he liked to read and study, he laughed at her – the bastard!

Ok – now that I’ve gotten my dislikes out of the way, I’ll tell you what I did like about the book.

I liked that we were shown the many facets of their romance as they were getting to know each other. The little details that the other noticed that made them stop and think – hey, maybe there’s more to this person than I originally thought.

There was also a portion to the book that had to do with an orphanage and Marc’s attachment to it that I just loved. Though he was a wealthy businessman he not only took the time to do things for the orphanage but planned on adopting all the boys in it! I’m such a sucker for orphanage stories!

Overall it was a good romance. Quite a bit of arguing and angst and miscommunication but in the end a sweet romance.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


Hilcia said...

Tracy, I'm a huge fan of Singh's PNR series and I enjoy category romances. Unfortunately, after reading a couple of her categories, I don't seem to enjoy them. It baffles me. :(

Tracy said...

I really love Singh's Psy-Changeling series as well as her Angels. The category romances are ok for a short read if you're in the mood. :)

nath said...

Tracy, is this contemporary or historical romance?

I guess as a die-hard fan, I should probably go look for it, but category romance, sigh.

Tracy said...

Nath - This is a contemporary. The woman is from what I assume is a country similar to India which had different customs with women, etc. But it's definitely set in the now.
I know, I'm not a HUGE fan of category romances but it was pretty good.

orannia said...

I think I've read this. I...liked it, but I think she had far more space to 'play' in her Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter novels, and it's in those that we get the benefit of her character development and world-building.

Tracy said...

Orannia - I think so too, absolutely. I think the restrictions with the size of the book and the setting really held her back but it was ok considering. I definitely like her paranormals better than contemps. :)