Author: Kelly Hunter
UK Title: Priceless (Modern Romance Series Extra)
UK ISBN: 978-0-263-85001-7
UK Publisher: Harlequin Mills & Boon
N. A. Title: Bedded for Diamonds
N. A. ISBN: 978-0-373-82068-9
Published in N. A.: 2008 (Harlequin); 185 pgs.
Series: Harlequin Presents Nights of Passion
Who: Erin Sinclair and Tristan Bennett
Bedded for Diamonds (AKA Priceless) is about Tristan Bennett, the youngest of Hallie Bennett’s (Wife For a Week) four older brothers. Tristan had a couple brief appearances in Wife For a Week, but it is not necessary to read that book first.
Tristan is an undercover operative with Interpol. After his last assignment in Prague — which ended badly — Tristan is in need of some serious down time. He returns home to Australia, on his sister’s advice, to find some peace and think about his future. Tristan is a wounded soul, and he’s not sure if he has it in him to go back to undercover work.
As for finding peace at home instead of London, he’s not as convinced as Hallie about that possibility. Home has it’s own bad memories of a mother who died and a father who was never the same after. On plus side, his siblings are in far flung lands and dad’s on sabbatical in the Greek Islands. Tristan will have plenty of uninterrupted free time to come to a decision.
Erin Sinclair drives luxury taxis in Sydney, but she is also an aspiring jewelry designer. There is a design competition coming up and Erin plans to make a gem buying trip the following week. After picking up a gorgeous if somewhat broody passenger at the airport, her brother calls to inform her that he cannot accompany her as her co-driver/bodyguard. She doesn’t think she can get a replacement at such short notice and canceling is not an option. She rather get the stones in person than rely on on-line auctions. Desperate, she asks her passenger — who heard her side of the phone call — if he’d like the job.
Tristan points out the obvious, reminding her that they just met and she doesn’t know anything about him. Not that she didn’t try to get him to talk about himself during the car trip. He stubbornly avoided her attempts to draw him out. Erin knows she was being overly impulsive and tells him to forget she asked. But Tristan is now curious and intrigued by the sunny, friendly woman. She explains her predicament, and Tristan offers to help her — if she truly cannot find someone else. Naturally, Erin doesn’t find anyone who can make the trip and subjects Tristan to a brunch date with her mother — her idea of a screening process.
Though they are attracted to one another, once Erin learns he’s a cop, she has second thoughts about allowing him to accompany her. Not that she hates cops, it’s the fact she doesn’t want to get involved, as she tells her mother, with a “passionate crusader.” One who is so committed to his job, that he has nothing left for family and loved ones. One that can’t, or won’t, talk about his job even if he’s suffering.
Tristan is exactly that: he cares deeply, but he’s closed off and doesn’t let people get close to him. Yet Erin, with her generous heart and optimistic outlook, is just what he needs in his life. She understands the pressure and the difficult choices in his line of work. She knows how to reach through his walls and bring balance to his life. The question is, will he let her into his life.
This is the second book I’ve read by Kelly Hunter, and I really loved it. Funny at times and sweet. Pat the cockatoo is priceless. If you’re looking for a Harlequin Presents that doesn’t feature an extremely rich, arrogant CEO or royal, this is the perfect book. Tristan may be overprotective and stubborn, but he’s also a sweetheart of a guy who knows how to be supportive. Erin isn’t shy nor is she weak.
One final note: the North American title is very misleading, to say the least. Erin’s gem buying trip doesn’t involve diamonds at all — she buys opals and sapphires. Diamonds don’t enter the story until near the end.
“You do realize that bird is in love with you?”
— Erin, to Tristan, regarding Pat
Started: 11 February 2009
Finished: 11 February 2009