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Beauty and the Bachelor
     

Beauty and the Bachelor

4.3 22
by Naima Simone
 

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Billionaire Lucas Oliver is hell bent on revenge. And his plan begins when Sydney Blake-the stunning daughter of his enemy-is tricked into bidding on Lucas at a bachelor auction. Then he serves up a little blackmail...followed by a marriage proposal Sydney has no choice but to accept.

Sydney has been controlled by her family her whole life. When Lucas

Overview

Billionaire Lucas Oliver is hell bent on revenge. And his plan begins when Sydney Blake-the stunning daughter of his enemy-is tricked into bidding on Lucas at a bachelor auction. Then he serves up a little blackmail...followed by a marriage proposal Sydney has no choice but to accept.

Sydney has been controlled by her family her whole life. When Lucas threatens to reveal her father's shady business, she is once again forced to do her duty for her family. But worse-oh so much worse-is the rush of lust that Lucas ignites in her blood.
Lucas is determined to make Sydney suffer, but it's tough when he can't keep from touching her-or thinking about touching her-all the time. She's not fairing much better since she's engaged to a darkly handsome beast intent on destroying her entire family...along with her heart.

Each book in the Bachelor Auction series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Beauty and the Bachelor
Book #2 The Millionaire Makeover
Book #3 The Bachelor’s Promise
Book #4 A Millionaire at Midnight

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781633753709
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
08/10/2015
Series:
Bachelor Auction , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
Sales rank:
23,234
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Beauty and the Bachelor (Bachelor Auction)

A Bachelor Auction Novel


By Naima Simone

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2015 Naima Bryant
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-370-9


CHAPTER 1

During Lucas Oliver's first week as a new transfer student to the Chicago public school system, he'd witnessed a fight between a kid who should've been a sophomore in college, not high school, and a tall, skinny freshman.

Well ... "fight" was a bit of a misnomer.

The skinny kid, Terrance Wallace, had tried to walk away — probably applying that "turn the other cheek" rhetoric he'd learned in Sunday school. He'd ended up sprawled on the floor, that cheek busted.

The following year, Terrance returned to school beefed up and full of 'roid rage. The prey had suddenly become the predator, handing out the same beatdowns he used to suffer.

Lucas had learned two valuable lessons then. Well, two and a half.

One. Get before you get got.

Two. Preparation is the key to successful revenge.

Two and a half. Steroids are some nasty shit.

Now, years later, standing in a crowded ballroom at an event hosted by the Rhodonite Society, a philanthropic organization comprised of Boston's wealthy elite, Lucas possessed an affinity for Terrance. True, Lucas's own revenge plan had taken considerably more time to set in motion than a summer of pumping weights and shooting up. Fifteen years longer.

Still, as he hovered on the cusp of realizing his dream of retribution, reflecting on every long, hard year felt sweet. As sweet as it must've been for Terrance to plant his fist in the mouth of the thug who'd made his life a living hell.

He lightly traced the thin, flattened ridge of scar tissue under his right eye, picturing its twin that bisected his eyebrow. Bitterness throbbed inside him like a wound unable to heal because his memories insisted on ripping off the scab, keeping the injury fresh and angry.

Every scar. Every agony. Every humiliation. Every moment of fear — they were all worth this moment. He watched his quarry hold court among his peers, laughing and basking in his power, his glory, completely unaware he was being hunted. This moment of happiness would be the man's last before he suffered the same pain and devastation he'd so carelessly meted out to others.

Lucas studied the face of the man who'd betrayed Lucas's family so deeply, the scars on his face didn't compare to the ones carved into his soul.

And smiled.

"Oh, shit, you're smiling," a voice said to his left.

He slid a sidelong glance at Aiden Kent, his business partner and best friend since high school. Hell, his only friend. Most people called Lucas the Beast of Bay Bridge Industries — or "cold-blooded," "bastard," or "son of a bitch." But not "friend."

"Since you've ignored my advice up until this point, I'm not holding out hope you'll listen to me at this late date. But, once again, I'm going to put it out there. I don't agree with this," Aiden stated. "Buy his business, ruin his reputation. Those are fair game. But you should leave his daughter out of it. She's innocent."

Lucas glanced across the room again, his gaze landing on the "she" Aiden mentioned. Statuesque. Elegant. Hair straight as a ruler and the color of sun-bleached wood. Skin like the richest, purest honey.

And guilty by association.

"Your concern is duly noted ... again," Lucas drawled.

Aiden swore under his breath. "All this damn intrigue." He shook his head, his eyes troubled. "There's something about you blue bloods with your plots and schemes. Us blue-collar folk? We might not have been born with silver spoons in our mouths or McMansions on the Gold Coast, but at least you can immediately tell if we don't like you. A fist to the face transcends race, religion, creed, and social and economic lines."

"I'm not a blue blood," Lucas stated flatly, tone carefully void of emotion.

Aiden sighed. "You were born into the same world these people live in, even though the streets of Chicago raised you as they did me. Still, the tax bracket your parents belonged to doesn't make you any less, or more, of a man. But what you've set in motion here" — he nodded in the direction of the man and woman under discussion — "doesn't speak to the person you've become. Luke, let the rage and hatred go before it eats you alive and leaves you with nothing."

You have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

The words surged to the back of his throat, scalding the lining like bile. But he swallowed the hot rebuke. Aiden might have been born and raised in Chicago's rough South Side, but somehow his spirit hadn't been sullied with a bitterness that had been embedded inside Lucas since he lost his family at fourteen. And also underneath the unsolicited kumbaya-why-can't-we-all-just-get-along advice, he detected Aiden's affection and love. And worry.

"I made a promise, and I'm not going back on it. Not even for you or my highly debatable soul."

"Oh, you have a soul," his friend scoffed. "It might be a little charred around the edges, but it's there." Aiden scrubbed a hand over the back of his neck. "Fine. I can't talk you out of going through with it. But just ... be careful. Ever hear the saying, 'Unforgiveness is like drinking a poison and hoping the other person dies'?"

Lucas stared at Aiden. Blinked. "What the hell? Did you read a box of Hallmark cards before coming here tonight?"

"You know the redhead I met last week?" Aiden shrugged a shoulder. "She was watching Dr. Phil earlier. The show was about warring in-laws, but I thought the quote seemed appropriate for the situation."

Lucas snorted. "I remember her. What worries me is you were with a gorgeous woman, and the only thing you could find interesting to do was watch Dr. Phil."

"Unlike you, I know there's more to romance than sex." He clapped Lucas on the shoulder. "I'm out. Only ten of these women will leave with a bachelor. The others will need consolation."

"Real romantic," Lucas called after him.

With a wicked grin, Aiden walked away, and damned if several appreciative gazes didn't follow him. The attention didn't surprise Lucas. With his dark blond hair, green eyes, and classically handsome features, Aiden drew women like flies to shit. Not that Lucas had ever experienced any problem attracting women, either. Aiden was just prettier to look at.

He slid his hands into the pockets of his tuxedo pants and returned his attention to the older man surrounded by family, friends, and those who wished they were friends.

Pleasure stole through him, filling him like the hearty beef-and-carrot stew his uncle used to cook on the coldest Chicago winter nights. Thick. Warm.

Satisfying.

Fifteen years.

It'd taken fifteen years, but finally Jason Blake would pay for everything he'd cost Lucas.

His childhood.

His legacy.

His father.

CHAPTER 2

"Welcome to the Rhodonite Society's tenth annual Masquerade Bachelor Auction." The cultured voice of the mistress of ceremonies echoed throughout the brightly lit ballroom. "We have a fabulous night planned for you. In just a few minutes, ten of the most handsome and eligible bachelors the city of Boston has to offer will take the stage offering ten romantic, luxurious dates! And every penny of the proceeds will benefit the Blake Literacy Foundation, which raises awareness of illiteracy as well as provide programming, tutoring, and technology to Boston's underprivileged youth. So bidders, have your checkbooks ready!"

As the MC's announcement gave way to excited chatter, Sydney Blake worked to maintain the gracious smile ingrained in her since she was old enough for tea parties with her dolls: a polite curve of the mouth with the corners tipped just enough to be demure but not so much to appear garish or bold.

A perfect lady's smile. For the perfect daughter. For the perfect fiancée.

Lie. Lie. Lie.

"I am absolutely determined to go home with a bachelor this evening. Of course, some of us don't have to worry about snagging a handsome, rich man. I heard congratulations are in order, Sydney." A young blonde with the sharp, dangerous beauty of a bejeweled sword purred and air-kissed Sydney's cheeks. "I was so delighted to hear about your engagement."

"You two make such a beautiful couple," a stunning brunette cooed. "Your wedding is bound to be the biggest social event of the year. Have you set a date yet?"

Sydney murmured a "thank you" and a "not yet" as the other woman clasped Sydney's hand and elevated it so light from the chandelier bounced off the three-carat diamond solitaire. Wow. Really? Squelching the spurt of irritation, she pressed her tongue to the roof of her mouth, saying nothing. Still ... if the other woman snatched out a jeweler's loupe, all bets were off.

"How beautiful," the blonde murmured, her expression warm, but the ice in her eyes matched the hardness of the gem weighing down Sydney's finger. "You're so fortunate." While stated in a sugary, butter-won't-melt-in-your-mouth voice, the barb possessed razor- sharp teeth.

"Yes, we are fortunate to add Tyler to our family," Sydney's father, Jason Blake, boasted with a broad grin. Hurt, embarrassment, and a weary resentment swarmed over her skin and swirled in her chest like an aggravated hive of bees. They were lucky. Not, "Yes, Tyler is indeed fortunate to have my daughter for his wife," as other proud fathers would've bragged. God, after so many years, she should be accustomed to his casual dismissal of her. Yet even at twenty-five years old, she hadn't managed to develop that Teflon skin required to deflect the offhand barbs and comments that were part and parcel of possessing a vagina in the Blake household.

But, really, what did she have to complain about? Her fiancé was the only son of real estate mogul Wes Reinhold, and heir to the Reinhold financial empire. Her father was ecstatic Sydney had finally done something to prove herself worthy of the Blake name.

"Where is the happy groom-to-be?" the blonde asked, her greedy gaze scanning the crowded ballroom.

"He's graciously volunteered to participate in the auction tonight. Already supporting the family," Charlene Blake, Sydney's mother, explained. Every year, proceeds from the Rhodonite Society's annual Masquerade Bachelor Auction benefited the Blake family's literacy foundation. Tyler's inclusion in the popular auction was just another tick in the Tyler's-the-perfect-son-in-law column.

"Oh, how sweet," the blonde purred.

Yes. Sweet. Of course, the mistress of ceremonies had already pulled Sydney aside and provided her with Tyler's number to ensure Sydney would win his company for the evening.

According to her mother, there was altruism and then there was stupidity. And apparently, trusting her fiancé with a woman like the hungry, flinty-eyed blonde for the length of an evening weighed on the unforgivable side of foolishness.

"If you'll excuse us, we need to go to our table," Sydney said, glancing toward the stage and the subtle flickering of the lights. Thank God. Her nice-nasty limit was fast approaching critical mass.

Murmuring a final good night, she headed to the table reserved for her family. Skirting a cluster of people, she plucked a champagne flute off the tray of a passing waiter. Common sense advised the sparkling wine wouldn't beat back her encroaching headache, but it would make persevering through this evening a hell of a lot easier. The constant ingratiation, the dagger-wrapped-in-silk comments, the ever careful treading of shark-infested social waters — her mother was a gold medalist swimmer. But Sydney?

Too little patience, too thin skin, and too short a bullshit meter made her dead weight in the society maven pool.

Much to Charlene Blake's disappointment.

Glancing down at her slim, simple gold watch, she noted the time — nine fifteen p.m. The doors of the youth center would have been bolted fifteen minutes ago for the lock-in.

She smiled.

Yolanda and Melinda Evans, the no-nonsense sisters who ran the Maya Angelou Girls' Youth Center in Brighton, would have their hands full tonight and tomorrow morning with the twenty twelve- to fourteen-year-old girls expected to attend the sleepover. A heavy bank of wistfulness rolled through her. She should be there with the sisters and the teens. She'd been just as excited about the lock-in as the children who were her heart, her passion. They accepted and loved her unconditionally. They didn't see Sydney, the pampered socialite daughter of Jason Blake. They didn't see an unlimited bank account, an entrance into Boston society, or a wormhole into her father's good graces ... or business deals. The girls at the center saw her. Sydney, who helped with their homework and offered them a listening ear and nonjudgmental heart. Sydney, who wasn't afraid to get sweaty in a game of kickball or join an impromptu Just Dance 4 competition. Sydney, who told them how beautiful they were and believed every one of them was destined for greatness.

But while her volunteer work mentoring teens was fulfilling to her, to her parents, it didn't compare to organizing a tea, sitting on the beautification committee ... or purchasing a bachelor. And when duty called — or rather, her parents' duties called — Sydney was required to answer.

The noose of family loyalty, obligations, and responsibility tightened around her throat, and she sipped from her glass, hoping to ease the rope burn.

With a sigh, she lowered to her satin-upholstered seat, her parents appearing moments later.

Applause erupted, and the level of animated conversation rose as the night's MC stepped up to the microphone once more. Somehow she doubted the enthusiasm was due to iPads in classrooms.

"Without further ado, let's bring on the bachelors!" the woman proclaimed. Moments later, a tall, slim man in an immaculate black tuxedo sauntered onto the stage. Even though a white mask hid his face from hairline to chin, he oozed confidence from every pore. Not that his self-assuredness was a surprise. Though she didn't recognize him, she assumed he was most likely very aware of his desirability to the women packed into the room — after all, a requirement of every bachelor was at least a six-figure income.

Cynicism, thy name is Sydney.

"Our first bachelor of the evening may call Boston home, but the world is his office. As a financier, he's visited the white sands of Dubai, the wild cliffs of western Ireland, and the old-world beauty of his favorite city, Rome. The three adjectives that best describe him are driven, stubborn, and wildly romantic."

Appreciative laughter rippled through the crowd. The MC smiled and continued reading off her card. "Though he's never married, the woman he falls for will be spontaneous, independent, and have a wicked sense of humor. The woman who snags him tonight will enjoy dinner on a rooftop ... in Rome." She waited for the exclamations to abate to a dull roar before continuing. "Dinner will be followed by a midnight walk in one of the city's famous squares and a shopping spree the next day before flying back home. Doesn't this sound divine? Let's open the bidding at twenty thousand." She nodded, beaming as she pointed at someone on the floor. "We have twenty thousand. What about twenty-one? Twenty-one. Twenty-two?"

And so the furious bidding began. Many paddle flicks later, bachelor number one went for seventy thousand dollars to a woman old enough to be his grandmother. For his sake, please let her have bought him for her granddaughter, or even her daughter. Otherwise ... Sydney shuddered.

Bachelors two and three raised thirty and forty thousand dollars, respectively — they didn't offer dinner reservations in Italy — and as number four strolled off the stage after going for a respectable fifty thousand, Sydney zoned back in.

Tyler was bachelor number five. And in case she'd somehow forgotten, her mother's tap on her thigh was a not-so-subtle reminder.

"And bachelor number five," the hostess announced seconds before Tyler emerged from the wing. He strode out to the center of the stage and paused, his hands in the pockets of his tuxedo slacks. The stance accentuated the flatness of his stomach and the width of his chest. Maybe it was the spotlight or maybe that he stood on the wide stage alone with nothing to detract from him, but his six-foot frame seemed taller somehow. Under the stark black jacket his shoulders appeared wider ... more powerful.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Beauty and the Bachelor (Bachelor Auction) by Naima Simone. Copyright © 2015 Naima Bryant. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Naima Simone's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown, and Linda Howard many years ago. Well, not that many. She is only eighteen...ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading, and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days-and nights-creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bulletproof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Come visit Naima at www.naimasimone.com.

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Beauty and the Bachelor (Entangled Indulgence) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Pretty good. It COULD'VE been so much more. The synopsis interested me right off the bat. I love the revenge/blackmail trope. However, there was way too much emphasis on the heroine's weight. Curvy, plump, statuesque with wide hips,.....over and over. We get it, no need to hit us over the head with it. I just don't see how he wanted her so desperately if she was so "plain" with a mouth that's too wide...etc. THAT needed to be dialed WAY back. And the hurt that the author conveyed was...WOW...talk about heartwrenching. I needed too many tissues! I don't know if I will ever read this story again because I'm not sure my heart can take it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
Sidney becomes the pawn in a revenge plot that Lucas Oliver has been planning against her father for years, being blackmailed into marriage to protect her family. Lucas’ plan for revenge is coming into place the only problem is his attraction to Sidney. I loved the chemistry between Lucas and Sidney and the story was emotional with plenty of drama, Sidney was an easy character to like. A great read!
TheSassyBookster More than 1 year ago
Lucas Oliver has spent fifteen years planning revenge on Jason Blake, the man who ruined his life and the perfect weapon? His daughter, Sidney. What he does not count on in is his attraction to Sidney and his need to protect her. So what happens when the person who is supposed to be his instrument of vengeance becomes an endless craving? Oh, what a tangled web! Sidney Blake has spent the last fifteen years trying to atone for her one act of defiance and its results and has gotten used to the lack of affection and put-downs from her parents. Her value to her parents lies in a marriage merger with a suitably wealthy family, which she is set to do. When a mistake results in her bidding on the wrong bachelor at a charity auction and being subsequently blackmailed into marriage to protect her family, she steps up to the plate. The chemistry between her and Lucas is unexpected and unwelcome. I loved reading BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR because it's a perfect mix of passion and emotion with very fun and enjoyable characters. Lucas though his plan was fool-proof, with every variable accounted for but he does not expect the complicated relationship Sidney has with her parents and he definitely does not expect his need to protect and defend her. Even though he didn't plan for his attraction to Sidney, he's sure as heck not going to pass up on a chance to get her into his bed! The treatment Sidney received at the hands of her parents made my heart ache for her but her need for her parents' love and approval is one anyone can identify with and I loved seeing her grow more self-confident and assertive especially with Lucas encouraging her to stand up for herself. While the passion is what brings them together, their emotional bonds grow as they open up and share their secrets with each other and in spite of how they came together, you can't help but hope they find happiness. Ms. Simone was a recent find for me with her Secrets and Sins series and I enjoy how she combines very intense passion with emotions in a way that is not overdone. I enjoyed BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Lucas Oliver wanted revenge for events that took place when he was a child. Sydney Blake, the daughter of his target, is his way in. He blackmails her into marrying him but he just can't seem to keep his mind or his hands off of her. Can he stay married to her for the required year and not give into the feelings he doesn't want to be having about her? Fabulous! This author never disappoints. This is a well-written story, that has terrific flow and characters with great depth and personality. Lucas is a sexy billionaire, dark and brooding. Sydney is not your typical beauty but to Lucas she is stunning and everything he didn't know he wanted. This is a beautiful romance! I can't wait to see what's next for this amazing author. Maybe Aiden's story? Review copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
There’s nothing better than an edgy revenge story that includes a fake marriage and a bit of an enemies to lovers trope – and let’s not forget the blackmail! - to hook you in and keep you turning the pages! This book by Naima Simone was a great read that had me rooting for all the characters to find their way to a happily ever after! When Lucas Oliver sets his revenge plan in motion he expects nothing more than to hurt the man he blames for his father’s death. What he doesn’t plan on is the undeniable chemistry he gets when he meets Syndey Blake, the daughter of his enemy, and that keeping his head and his heart on the same page would not be as easy as he planned. Sure, Lucas is successful, sexy, and one of the most eligible bachelors in town, but he also carries around those scars – both physical and emotional – from his past, which give him a vulnerability that makes it hard not to fall for him. He’s been on a single track of revenge for his whole life that he doesn’t know how to let that go…or if he can find redemption for himself if he does. When Sydney Blake once again puts her own wants and needs aside to enter into her blackmail induced fake marriage, little did she expect it would be the catalyst to her finding herself and reconciling her past. Sydney also carries some pretty deep emotional scars from her past, and these scars have shaped the person she has become. Her guilt has caused her to put her own wants and needs aside and has her trying to be the person her parents want her to be but can never quite live up to. Watching her parents constantly belittle Sydney and make her feel like not quite enough was heart-wrenching, and I have to say that seeing her grow into a self-confident woman who refuses to take that kind of emotional abuse had me all sorts of happy! Lucas and Sydney couldn’t have been more perfect for each other, and once they shared their secrets and saw they had much in common, it became even more clear. From Lucas standing up for Sydney and getting her to see she was perfect the way she was, to Sydney standing up to Lucas and not letting him walk all over her, these two matched up so well. And of course the sparks between these two jumped right off the page. The build-up between them and the ultimate explosion when they came together were H-O-T! I also loved Lucas’s best friend Aiden – although he knew that Lucas may not have been headed down the right road with his plans for revenge, he never once stopped supporting him or trying to get him to see that his actions might not be for the best. He is so deserving of his own HEA and I can’t wait to see what Naima will cook up for him! The other characters in the book were well developed in their need for redemption. Sydney’s parents had me cringing with their behaviors and words, and I loved seeing Sydney finally stand up to them. Her godfather, who was more like a father to her, helped define who Sydney was which added additional depth to the story. This is another well written story from Naima Simone with great dialogue and characters that make you feel right along with them. A definite must read for any lover of romance!
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars-- BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR is an adult, contemporary, romantic retelling of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast. This is billionaire Lucas Oliver, and socialite Sydney Blake’s storyline. Told from dual third person perspectives BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR focuses on betrayal, revenge and blackmail. Lucas Oliver is determined to destroy Sydney’s father starting with blackmailing Sydney into marriage. What ensues is a building relationship that begins with a bachelor auction, a series of lies and lies by omission-ones that finds our heroine understanding that she has become a pawn in a financial war between billion dollar enterprises. The relationship between Sydney and Lucas begins acrimoniously as Sydney feels she has no other recourse then to marry Lucas Blake to protect her father from financial ruin. As the storyline builds so too does Lucas and Sydney’s relationship blossoming from spite to friendship to love but all does not go according to plan when Sydney’s believes that Blake has broken his promise. The $ex scenes are intimate, romantic and seductive. The secondary and supporting characters include Blake’s best friend Aiden who believes that Blake’s need for revenge will not end as expected. We are also introduced to Sydney’s ex fiancé Tyler Reinhold, and her parents Charlene and Jason Blake. Sydney’s mother is all about appearances and with that comes a judgmental attitude and air of superiority. The world building reveals two family histories connected by lies, deceit and betrayal. The lifestyle of the uber-rich and famous is wrapped in the clichéd beliefs of dominance and power; and sticking it anyone who gets in the way. BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR is an entertaining storyline; an enemies to friends to lovers storyline that begins as an act of betrayal leading to a fifteen year plan of revenge and retribution. The characters are colorful, charismatic and spirited; the romance intoxicating and emotional; the happily ever after passionate and fated when the Beast falls in love with his Beauty.
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Beauty and the Alpha Businessman-what a great read. ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review**** Billionaire Lucas Oliver is so determined to take revenge on the people who wronged his father and ruined his life 15 years before. He knows it was his father’s former business partner so he sets out to ruin him the only way that can bring pain to him the way he knows will hurt the worst- thru his daughter- Sydney Blake. Sydney Blake has always been so used at home-having been put down thru words or by actions-been told her hair is too ugly because it is too big and untamed or she is too fat when she really isn’t and she never sees a way out. She just continues on her path not understanding why she isn’t loved for who she is, she just wishes her family would love her for who she is, not what she could bring to the table by her looks or who can she marry to help her family’s funds for the business. But into this comes an untamable man named Lucas Oliver. He brings feelings up in Sydney that she had no business feeling. But he is not someone to trifle with. He comes to her with demands, blackmail- either she marry him to save her father or he will reveal his bad business dealings before everyone in society. Sydney is in a catch 22 position-she loves her dad and she can’t leave him to Lucas but yet she is connected to Lucas by the sheer power of him; the animal chemistry that is rampant. She goes ahead but there is a deeper twist to the marriage proposal and end run. There is more than Sydney is even aware of but Lucas know all. He is falling for his new bride but his revenge plan is going well..but he didn’t plan to fall for his new bride. Will he go thru with his revenge or will his love for his new bride save him / them after all? This story has so many complex elements but what it all boils down to is revenge a dish best served cold? And does love heal all wounds? This story answers these questions and more. The passion between the MC is steamy hot and I fully recommend this story if you are looking for a love/hate/passion –filled story. If so, you have found the right story to read. My rating: 4.0 stars ****
JackiesBookWorld More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4.5/5 In Beauty and the Bachelor we get to read about two individuals who are so caught up in maintaining their loyalty to their families that they are willing to do anything to protect them. In this case, we meet Lucas Oliver, the handsome billionaire whose fortune has helped him claim the ladder of the wealthy and is willing to do anything to avenge his father. And then we meet Sydney, the daughter of a wealthy man who is determined to do anything to protect her family and maintain her loyalty to them. For Sydney, her family is very important to her that she is willing to put her life on hold for her family to be safe. When she is thrown into an arrange marriage to one of the wealthiest families in the city, she was determined to make it work for her family. Yet when attending a charity function she was supposed to bid on her fiance, but instead get tricked into bidding for a handsome stranger who seems to have a pull towards her that she can't deny. As soon as billionaire Lucas Oliver introduces himself to Sydney and her family, no one knows who he is other than he is yet another upcoming billionaire. But among all of that, she can't seem to shake the instant chemistry that they both have towards each other, when they go to their date the next day, she gets caught by the person that wants to see her dad fail and go to jail. The only option that Lucas gives her is to marry him instead of her current fiance and he is going to keep the evidence that he has against her father to himself. Little did they knew that what started out as a somehow forced marriage was going to end up different in the end. The more Lucas started to know about the real Sydney, the more he started to realize that she is an innocent who doesn't deserve what he is about to do to her father, and who deserves someone who can truly love her like he is started to feel about her. One of the things that I liked about the book was how we get to see the characters grow and accept themselves and their pasts. They both have been equally hurt in their past that it makes it harder for them to move on. Sydney is a character that has always been loyal to her family even though she doesn't get treated with the same love that she gives to her parents. They always have something negative to say to her and that has slowly grown into her becoming insecure with herself. Both of the characters have tragic stories that they feel guilty of and when Lucas starts to tell Sydney about his past, he lets his guard down and he is able to fully trust her. Yet since their pasts collide one wrong move from either of them is going to end up hurting the other. Though we do get character development in the story, I felt that it lacked some scenes at the beginning of the story. It all felt rushed at the beginning, but it eventually slow down the pace which I liked. The ending was sweet and romantic, I am hoping the author writes more of Lucas' friend and his own story. Overall, the story was very well-written, full of romantic scenes and growth in the characters. I highly recommend it, especially if you're looking for a good page-turner read that is going to leave you wanting for more. :) ***ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
Angelized_1st More than 1 year ago
Beauty and the Bachelor is like a romantic retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. I really enjoyed this story. The characters were pretty interesting, and I enjoyed the development of their relationship. I also thought Lucas’ motivations for revenge were well thought out and planned. Though, I wish the story began earlier in Lucas’ life for more character development. Even if it was only a week prior to the charity ball. Just for me as a reader to be more privy to Lucas’ mindset earlier on. One aspect of the story, besides the romance, that I greatly loved was how diverse the characters were. Jason Blake, Sydney’s father, is African-American, making Sydney either black or mixed race. (We don’t learn too much about Sydney’s mom’s background.) I found this to be wonderful, as I assumed Lucas was Caucasian. I haven’t read many interracial romances, so this makes the book unique. Even if Lucas is African-American it’s still a win, as he’s a billionaire, and it’s not often you find wealthy African-American’s in literature. I always found that strange as there are a lot of successful blacks in America, but yet we’re often portrayed as poor, maids, or slaves. Even though the characters are diverse, I appreciated how Simone doesn’t really focus on it. She only briefly mentions the character’s appearance. I felt this was wonderful, because Sydney’s parents and their circle of friends didn’t look at their relationship as being a bad thing due to anyone’s racial background. Instead, any misgivings were based on other aspects of the characters themselves. While I liked the general plot of the story, I wish the book had been longer. Sydney’s parents are introduced and have several scenes in the book, but I wish there was more to their story as a couple and as individuals. Especially since they have such a huge influence on Sydney’s life and self-esteem. I also believe a longer book would have allowed Lucas’ best friend, Aidan, to be better developed as well. They were all very intriguing characters and the opportunity to use them to more effect seemed lost with the small page count. And it would have been great if Sydney and Lucas’ lives outside their marriage were also shown more. This would have helped better the world-building. Another aspect of the book I didn’t like was how quickly the plot was resolved. I feel like Sydney’s father wouldn’t have acted the way he did based on what was previously shown of his character. Had the story been longer, we might have seen his character develop towards a man who would do the things he eventually did. However, the man presented to me until that point wouldn’t have behaved that way. I think you’ll enjoy this book if you’re looking for a hot romance that’s reminiscent of a classic fairy tale. The story isn’t as well-developed as I would have liked, but I still found it to be a very enjoyable read. The scenes between Lucas and Sydney were swoon-worthy, and in the romance department Beauty and the Bachelor delivers.
Nicolerko More than 1 year ago
I Was not a fan of Lucas at the beginning his attitude rubbed me the wrong way, but of course he won me over. Can the love of the One can be what thaws Lucas' cold heart. He's on course to seek revenge against the man that cost him his family with any means necessary. Sydney is stuck between a rock in a hard place. Blackmailed into marrying Lucas or let her father's company go down. Now in the middle of a scandal she marries Lucas. Lines start to get blurred for Lucas when he gets to know the real Sydney behind the socialite facade. The chemistry between these two is HOT! I have to say Sydney is one of my favorite heroines. She is very relatable because of her own struggle with body image. I love the self confidence she finds with a little encouragement from Lucas.
Catherines_Reads More than 1 year ago
I love this Beauty and the Beast meets revenge seeking tycoon. Modern twists on old fairy tales are some of my favorite types of books. I really enjoyed reading this one, as it fit right in with this genre. I really think anyone who loves this genre will enjoy this book as well.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
I’ve always been partial to enemies to lovers and revenge love stories, so the synopsis of this one quite appealed to me. Sydney comes across as a sweet and friendly woman, one who has blamed herself for many years for a family tragedy that occurred when she was younger and as a result has grown up with guilt and the desire to do anything that would please her parents. This includes marrying a man of their choosing, a family friend from a wealthy family whose partnership with her would ensure a good business investment for both families. She is horrified by Lucas’s accusations against her father, and the knowledge that breaking her engagement and uniting herself with Lucas will destroy what little credibility she has in her parents eyes. But she’s willing to do anything to save her father from jail. Lucas is a hard, bitter man, focused on his revenge. When he meets Sydney, having had his plans for her already laid out before even meeting her, he is struck by her openness and beauty. He doesn’t mind that she isn’t model thin like his usual conquests, and has an instant attraction to her, one that he will be quite happy to act upon if she gives him the right signals. Despite the circumstances, the chemistry between her and Lucas is evident from their first meeting and once the marriage takes place, Sydney decides that if she’s going to be married to this ruthless man, she might as well enjoy the fruits of the bedroom too. Their love scenes are hot and steamy, and full of emotion as Lucas battles his desire for keeping this as a sex only marriage with no real feelings involved. But over time, as they open up their pasts to each other, Lucas realizes that he wants Sydney to know the truth of why he wanted revenge and when Sydney treats him with compassion and understanding he realizes he’s falling in love with this woman who is not what he expected. But he doesn’t reveal all his secrets, and when Sydney finds out the truth of his ultimate plans, the betrayal cuts deep and it’s up to Lucas to convince her that his feelings for her are real and can be the basis of a real marriage. Sydney’s relationship with her parents is complex and changes over the course of the story as her father starts to realize how much he has failed his daughter. Sydney’s mother is a typical society matron, determined to put on a show for the public but with no hesitation to dismantle her daughter and her choices in private. I liked how Lucas stood up to her parents in her defense from the beginning (even though he’s the cause of some of her current problems) and how he becomes aware of how mistaken he was to use her in his plans. Equally, Sydney learns from her relationship with Lucas to stand up for herself and she changes for the better over the course of the story too. Lucas has one true friend, Aiden, who has been with him since high school and their friendship means that Aiden can always be counted on to be truthful with him, including his disapproval of Lucas’s revenge plan and his honesty in telling Lucas the mistakes he is making in using Sydney in this way. I liked their conversations and it was great to see this other side of Lucas, the caring friend side and not just the ruthless businessman. Of course, with Sydney he eventually shows his caring and tender side too so you get a real picture of all the facets of his personality. From the beginning of the story to the end I was entertained by this beauty and the beast tale . 4.5 stars!
ShootingStarsReviews More than 1 year ago
Beauty and the Bachelor begins when Lucas Oliver puts his revenge plan into motion. He's so dead set on getting back what he deserves and making the one man who ruined his life pay that he doesn't care who he takes out in the process. Including beautiful Sydney. But the problem is she's different from what he thought she would be. And while she is now his wife, he has no idea how to deal with everything he's all ready set into motion and the future as well. Sydney on the other hand is falling for her husband. Even though he's only using her and she knows it. Or well, she knows some if it. She doesn't know the whole truth and if she did, her life would be turned even more upside. Because the man she thinks she knows may know be the real Lucas at all. Beauty and the Bachelor is a beautiful spin of Beauty and the Beast type of story. It has lots of great drama, and some very sweet moments as well. I enjoyed how Lucas came to Sydney's rescue a lot during the story, but also how she continued to stand by him even though she knew he was hell bent on hating her father. I loved this whole story line, and both of the main characters as well. I look forward to reading more by this author!
Theresakerch-28 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Absolutely great read. Lucas and Sydney have great chemistry. Lucas is trying to get revenge but can it be more. Sydney is trying to be the perfect daughter can she. Naima Simone has another win we here.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4 solid stars Beauty and the Bachelor was such a good read. The storyline held my interest from start to finish, I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Lucas and Sydney. They both had so much passion and their chemistry was off the charts! This was my first book by Naima Simone and I have to say I loved her writing, looking forward to reading more from her in the future. Overall Beauty and the Bachelor is a well written romance with strong characters that will capture your heart and interest and keep you turning the pages. You will definitely want to read this one, I highly recommend it.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book was so good. It had such animosity, revenge, manipulation, betrayal, love, forgiveness, friendship, surprise. Just a host of emotions for the characters and the reader. I love when a storyline can get my heart racing. This one did it in several places. Lucas was strong, full of revenge, yet could not help feel protective of Sydney, which perplexed him. Oh to watch his character transform...it was beautifully intense. He was just so unbelievable with Sydney. And to watch Sydney transform from a wallflower to assertive confident woman. In the beginning, with a fine line between love and hate, their chemistry was off the charts. I loved how they handled one another. The ending and epilogue was superb. Definitely hope we will get Aiden's story. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
Wow!! This book took me by surprise!! I was not ready for some of the twists and turns that Naima put in this one but I could not read it fast enough to find out what was going to happen with poor Sydney!! When we first meet Sydney, she is a young lady engaged to Tyler and they both seem happy and in love. When they attend a fundraising event where Tyler had agreed to go on a date to help raise money for a foundation that helps kids out, Sydney was going to do everything she could to be the highest bidder on Tyler. What Sydney doesn't know is that Lucas Oliver has set up a deal to where the auctioneer will mix up numbers and he will be the one that Sydney actually bids on. Sydney is shocked to find out what she has done when Oliver removes his mask. Sydney plays along with Oliver and actually goes on the date with him and Tyler hold up his commitment with his date and goes on it as well. When Oliver gives Sydney an ultimatum, she knows what she has to do!! Sydney has carried around a lot of guilt for what happened to her younger brother earlier in life and she is not going to carry this guilt with her for the rest of her life. I was so not expecting what happened with Oliver and Sydney but I am so glad that this story ended with a HEA. I don't want to give away too much but you will definitely want to read to the end and you will be glad that you did. Thanks Naima for a great quick read that had all the feels that you look for in a good romance story! I can't wait to see what is in store for your readers next!!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
When Sydney casually made her bid for the bachelor at the auction, she expected the masked man to be her fiance Tyler. Never did she expect the ruggedly handsome stranger, Lucas Oliver. Really though, what could it possibly hurt to have one dinner with the man. A lot apparently! Lucas Oliver is out for revenge. If it weren't for Sydney's father, his own father would still be alive. He assumes when he forces the man's daughter into an unplanned marriage that cancels out her planned marriage to Tyler it will devastate him. The only problem...his unexpected attraction to Sydney. I really enjoyed this one! It was so much more than the typical fake marriage trope. Lots of emotion, passion, and romance. I definitely recommend this one.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
What happens when a bachelor auction, a billionaire, a little revenge, and a marriage of convenience are combined? Beauty and the Bachelor, a well-written novel from new to me author Naima Simone. Ms. Simone's style of writing is easy to comprehend and attention grabbing. I was never lost or had to reread a couple of paragraphs to understand what was going on. I knew each and every character intimately, and only wanted to read more about them after the story very happily concluded. Socialite and humanitarian Sydney Blake is engaged to a man she does not love, courtesy of her affluent parents. Sydney as well as everyone else attending the charity event, have no idea that Lucas Oliver, a wealthy businessman, has fixed the auction. As a result, Sydney receives wrong information and bids on Lucas instead of her fiancee. They go out on their date and that is where Lucas unveils his blackmailing scheme. Sydney must marry Luke in order to keep him from telling the authorities that her father is an embezzler. At the beginning, Sydney is just a pawn in Luke's agenda to bring down her ruthless father, Jason Blake. However, over a very short period of time, Sydney wins Luke's hardened heart with her kindness, authenticity and ability to forgive. Sydney is not the typical socialite, she prefers to help those in need with her time, instead of just making a donation to the cause. Even with everything going on, Sydney and Luke cannot fight their attraction and lust for each other. I enjoyed this book. It was hot, flirtatious and the sexual chemistry between Sydney and Luke was off the charts. I especially liked how Ms. Simone evolved Luke's character from a man plotting and seeking revenge, to a man that finally understands and accepts his past in order to explore love. Overall, a solid read. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
What started as sweet revenge became the salvation of them both. Ms. Simone had me at hello. Darkly mysterious alpha Lucas is seeking payback. Sincere, gentle Sydney is the his weapon of choice. Lucas' motivation is to see his enemy at his mercy. Sydney is drawn to Lucas. Behind is beastly need for retribution, she sees a broken man looking to be rescued. Beauty and the Bachelor is a modern day twist on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Strong main characters and great writing made for a passionate, powerful read. I received an ARC of Beauty and The Bachelor in exchange for an honest review.
DeleneY More than 1 year ago
Hot, Sexy and a marriage of convenience A story of deceit, angst and finally love. A Benefit Bachelor Auction used to trap the heroine Sydney in a loveless marriage to save the family's business. Lucas, out to revenge the loss of his father. Naima Simone weaves a story filled with deception, sexual tension and learning to trust again. A great read that keeps you turning the pages. I received an ARC from the Publisher and NetGalley for an honest review