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Yours For the Taking    by Robin Kaye order for
Yours For the Taking
by Robin Kaye
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

After staying in the sidelines in the first three Domestic Gods novels, rich millionaire and art gallery owner Ben Walsh finally stars in his own story. Ben has always maintained he'd stay single - until his curmudgeonly grandfather proclaims his grandson either marry within the year or lose everything.

Ben figures he could stand on his own without his granddad's inheritance. But when he discovers that he'd also lose the large and remote parcel of Idaho land on which his parents staked their claim and nurtured their love, he realises his granddad has him over a barrel.

Enter Gina Reyez - the woman Ben decides is perfect for his latest business proposition. As independent as they come, but also in the market to make her life a bit easier, Gina signs on the dotted line and agrees to become Ben Walsh's wife for one year, in name only. Walking away with a couple of million bucks and a huge mansion would certainly go a long way in helping Gina's newlywed sister - and to finance a wider search for their brother, who'd been given up for adoption years ago. But when Ben and Gina end up falling into bed and then falling in love, they both realise that they might have to add a few new clauses to their iron clad business deal.

Kaye's latest utilizes one of romance literature's standard plot devices - marry within a time limit or lose everything. Fortunately, the author's breezy and comedic style saves the tale from deteriorating further into cliché. Unfortunately, the leads' failure to click as a couple never lifts this story above the ordinary. Gina is overbearing and caustic, and Ben generally puts up with her tirades. Her attitude toward him - and love - eventually softens as both Ben and the reader finally discover why she's so insistent on never relying on a man. But by then I found it hard to like Gina or buy into their happily ever after.

Kaye introduces a whole raft of new characters here, all of whose back-stories have great potential to spawn a new series. We'll have to wait and see in which direction Robin Kaye takes her next book. In the meantime, enjoy Yours For the Taking - despite some flaws, it's an entertaining story.

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