Gosh, I really loved this book! I confess, right here and now, that I haven’t read a Mills and Boon novel since I was a teenager, but I’ve heard so much about how they’ve changed and moved on since those days (which were, I have to admit, an awfully long time ago!) that I decided I would give one a try, and From One Night to Wife was the lucky winner.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy it at first, as I quickly realised that the heroine, Serena, was stunningly beautiful, yet still a virgin at twenty-three, until she was seduced by a drop-dead gorgeous Greek fisherman, who turned out to be a shipping billionaire. Hmm, I thought. This might not be for me, after all.
Well, I’m sorry, Rachael Thomas. I vastly underrated your storytelling abilities. Yes, Serena is beautiful, but we only see her through Nikos’ eyes. She herself states that she’s ordinary, so maybe she is, to everyone but him. Who knows? The point is, Serena holds the key, as Nikos’ grandmother gleefully tells her. The question is, the key to what? It can’t be his heart, surely, because Nikos doesn’t do love. He has been so badly damaged by his parents that he is unable to trust anyone, and refuses to allow himself to feel anything, for any woman, that is deeper than lust.
He has plenty of lust, though! Luckily for Serena, she more than matches him in that department. In fact, when the two of them get together, sparks positively fly, which is rather inconvenient, given that Serena loves Nikos but daren’t reveal that to him, and Nikos is trying desperately to deny to himself that he has any emotional attachment to Serena.
Serena has returned to Santorini to inform the fisherman that she had a fling with that their night of passion has had “consequences”. Unfortunately, she quickly discovers that Nikos lied to her about who he really is, and, faced with his evident fury as she imparts her news to him, she realises that any hopes she had of making a future with him are completely unrealistic.
But Nikos wants his heir to be legitimate. He doesn’t trust Serena, but he is willing to strike a bargain with her. They will marry, and he will be part of his child’s life. In return, he will make sure she has everything she needs and, more importantly, he will help make her sister’s dreams come true. Serena loves her sister, but Sally is going through a terrible time. If she can help her, surely marrying Nikos is the right thing to do? But, given her own childhood, spent being made to feel like a mistake by her own bitter parents, can she really inflict the same on her own baby? Is lust enough to keep Nikos and Serena together? Can Serena hide her true feelings for Nikos? And can Nikos ever open his heart to love, or will his inability to trust anyone poison not only his relationship with Serena, but with his own child?
I read this book in one evening, as I was engrossed in it. I desperately wanted Serena to find a way through to Nikos, and I wanted Nikos to stop unwittingly hurting Serena, who had her own battles to fight. In spite of the fact that I’ve always thought I could never fall for a hero who was a gorgeous Greek shipping billionaire, I did. Rachael Thomas made him irresistible! I just wanted to make everything all right for him. I also, luckily, liked Serena. She wasn’t the pushover I’d expected, and she had guts and integrity.
Their entire relationship was delightful to follow, and at times, reading the sizzling scenes between them, I realised I was turning purple. I’d forgotten to breathe! Those “love scenes” were very well written. I was positively blushing at times! All the same, I got a lump in my throat as the two of them edged tentatively towards each other, and towards a happy ending at last.
I will definitely read more of Rachael Thomas’s books. I may even try other Mills and Boon books. There’s certainly more to them than I’d realised, and I hold my hands up and admit, I was wrong. Fabulous. 5/5
You can buy From One Night to Wife here