The Marriage Bargain
By Sandra Edwards
Book #1 in the Billionaire Games
Camille Chandler is a tabloid journalist whose career is right on track--until her boss sees a curious ad in the L.A. Trades.
Wanted: Single actress for an extended gig abroad.
France's mega-rich playboy Julian de Laurent is up to something and Camille's boss expects her to find out what. Who knew the eccentric gazillionaire was looking to hire a temporary wife?
When Camille refuses to accept Julian's proposal--and secretly write a juicy tell-all about the de Laurent family--she's fired and left financially destitute, forcing her to entertain Julian's proposal for real.
But what'll happen at the end of the contract period, after Camille has spent six months as the wife of a man she learns is capable of stealing her heart?
Camille Chandler answered Julian de Laurent’s ad placed in the L.A. Trades for a refined actress while working undercover as a reporter for a tabloid magazine. Her boss sent her to find out what the French billionaire playboy was up to. When she discovered he was looking for an actress to portray his wife for six months to thwart his father’s efforts to get him into an arranged marriage, Camille tells her boss she wants no part of the scheme to write a tell-all on the family. She’s promptly fired, blackballed and facing financial ruin. Desperate, Camille decides to meet with Julian on her own and consider the offer.
What began as pretty light hearted fare turned into an interesting story. I liked Camille for her simplicity and grace, even though she lacked polish it was hard to believe she was an honors Stanford graduate (why intern for a tabloid?). Julian was hard to dislike with his impeccable manners and style, even though it was often tough to read him emotionally because of the veneer. There was a lot of repetition in the beginning that made the story more tedious than it should have been but about 1/3 of the way in, I was into the game Julian and Camille were perpetrating on his family and the romance that eventually blossomed between the two.
I enjoyed the story, enough that I’ve already purchased the next book in the series. There are a wealth (pardon the pun) of interesting characters in this series that I’m intrigued by and want more. I could also sense something sinister at play with the patriarch of the family, which baited me even more.