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Title: The Dark Side of Desire

Author: Julia James

Grade: C

Publication date: June 2012

Publisher: Mills&Boon UK / Harlequin Presents

Synopsis: Offered by her father…

English rose Flavia Lassiter has never been comfortable in her father’s glitzy world. Summoned to yet another of his ostentatiously lavish parties, she has one order: to be ‘nice’ to a wealthy investor. Her body may be on offer, but she shields her heart behind an icy shell.

                       Taken by the billionaire!

Leon Maranz emanates a dark power that sends shivers through her body – threatening to shatter her frosty facade. To let the self-made billionaire bed her would be to do her unscrupulous father’s bidding. But to turn Leon down would be to deny her body’s deepest desires…

Review: A very interesting and at times frustrating read. I borrowed this book from my book club because it seemed different to the usual category romance plot and Julia James was a  new-to-me author, so I though I’d give her a try.

A friend told me JJ usually has heros you dislike for about two thirds of the story and then she turns things around for the H/H and for you the reader. In DSOD it’s the heroine who frustrated me no end, with lots of internal dialogue about the same angst-ridden topic. “OK, I get your between a rock and a hard place but move on already!” That’s what I was thinking for the first third  of the book.

Then I saw glimmers of promise, and bearing in mind what my friend had said, I kept on reading. Progress was made in the plot and in Flavia and Leon getting together but Julia James just had to throw in some more angst.

In the last third of the book real progress is made, with Flavia deciding to take something for herself rather than continuously sacrificing herself for her grandmother’s sake. She does so because her grandmother has very little awareness of who’s with her, so Flavia knows she won’t be missed too much. Then her grandmother takes a turn for the worse and the H/H break up.

How Julia James resolves these conflicts is what truly saved “The Dark Side of Desire” from a Grade D. The last third of the book almost makes up for the struggle I faced in reading the first third. Hence the Grade C. Maybe you will like it more but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the start. 🙂

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