The Bastard by Lisa Renee Jones
I have problems saying that I quote, unquote “like” this book because I do and I don’t. This was a fun and fast read with steamy intimate moments but it bordered the realm of unrealistic to man-you’ve-got-to-be-f**king-kidding-me. For example, the lead character is a billionaire, a Navy SEAL, and a genius/ savant. Sure. Yeah. That could happen. Harper, his love interest, is his stepsister who works for his father that doesn’t love him because he is a bastard, and she is harboring a secret after they hooked up at a formal event six years ago in a cottage… I’m not sure which layer of this plot lasagna is the hardest to digest.
This being said, I did enjoy reading this book and I look forward to the before mentioned sequel coming out, The Princess.
The author does a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and investing their attention in the plot of the story. However, the critiques I have about this novel are not to be ignored. The story is told from the point of view of Eric and Harper as they navigate the thin ice a new relationship is starting to form from. Overall this is well done but throughout the book, the main frustration between the two characters seems unfounded because they just met after not seeing each other for 6 years. Everything about their build-up is forced and Harper’s emotions that hold her back are beaten to death in the prose. He left six years ago after a hookup, he didn’t owe you anything, do we really have to hear about it the ENTIRE book?
Harper has the foundation to be a solid female character and there are elements of her that I adored in the beginning. I think readers will agree that the chemistry set up between Harper and Eric is undeniable, and a joy to read. I would suggest that the writer take a look at the inner monologues and cut out about half of the times she refers to Eric as “this man.” Unless you are Jodi Ellen Malpas I think this term of endearment has been exhausted. The novel ends on a cliffhanger that will lead into the next novel and I feel that this was strategically done because I don’t think I would continue to read if I wasn’t invested into the ending of the first novel.
This is my first time reading Lisa Renee Jones and I feel like I will be looking out for more of her novels in the future. I rate this a three and a half stars but I mark it at four because I think this is a novel readers will enjoy overall.
Summary (with no spoilers):
Eric is the bastard son of the head of the Kingston Motors company in Denver. His mother, sick with cancer, made sure that he was claimed before she died giving him a gift that will curse him forever as the bastard son of an empire. After dropping out of Harvard Law and joining the Navy SEALs he goes to a family party to prove to himself once and for all that he doesn’t need to gain his father’s approval as more than a bastard son. Feeling the animosity for blood that won’t claim him he is just about to leave until he sees her, the Princess. Standing apart from the crowd she looks like royalty in a ballgown and Eric knows he has to make her his, if only for a night.
Issac, the legitimate heir taunts him by explaining the truth behind this wondrous creature, their new stepsister Harper. Before he leaves the family for good she follows him for a cottage for a night they both don’t forget. She is enough to make him think about staying but after seeing her making a speech with his family he turns his back on all of them for good.
Six years later..
Eric teamed up with a friend Bennett from Law School that believed in him and together they started an investment company worth billions. His past is kept behind him until the princess of his dreams walks in a steals his breath away all over again. The business is in trouble, his father and brother are up to something that will ruin the company and take her biological father’s legacy down with it. Helping her means helping them, something he vowed never to do.
Will he come to the rescue and save the family that has forsaken him? Or will he be there just in time to claim the princess and wash his hands of Kingston Motors for good?