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HIS FINAL BARGAIN
[ 3-day rental ]
HIS FINAL BARGAIN
Eliza, a primary-school teacher, meets Leo, a handsome businessman, on vacation. They fall head over heels for each other, and before long, he proposes to her. It’s only then that she tells him she’s already engaged! Four years pass and Eliza has given her full devotion to caring for her primary-school students, when suddenly, there he is—Leo! Time hasn’t made him any less beautiful, and when he says he’s searching for a nanny for his daughter, Eliza knows her experience as a teacher makes her the woman for the job…but she hesitates. She knows she can’t accept. But with cold eyes, Leo makes an offer she can’t refuse…!
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©MELANIE MILBURNE / MASAMI HOSHINO
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- A rough place to be, taking responsibility for someone elses bad decision... 3
- CJ 02/29/2020 3 people found the following review helpful
SPOILER ALERT: I could rather relate to this heroine. In this day and age, when people don’t want to be held accountable for their actions, it is so easy to become the scapegoat, especially if you are willing to accept the blame. But just because a girl dresses in skimpy clothes doesn’t mean a guy HAS to go after her. Just because someone says something nasty, doesn’t mean you HAVE to punch them. Just because someone hurts you, doesn’t mean you HAVE to act recklessly. The fact is, Person A may say or do something that causes Person B to feel something, but what Person B DOES with that emotion is all on them, unfortunately, people around Person B may not accept that and may make it hard for Person A. That’s is our heroine’s dilemma. Taking a reprieve from a traumatic event, our heroine takes a vacation and meets Mr. Right. Expecting a one week fling, she doesn’t talk about her past and so is blindsided when he proposes, and she has to tell him she’s engaged. This throws a hitch in his life, and she returns to the hitch that already happened in hers. Four years later, under the guise of finding a qualified temporary child care provider for his daughter, he approaches her and bribes her with a special grant to her failing school if she will be that person. At the time he discovers she is STILL engaged. After she agrees, he reflects on meeting her 4 years ago and how her rejection set him up for a marriage with a mentally unstable woman who would commit suicide after giving him a daughter. She, on the other hand, reflects on atoning to her fiancée and his mother. When she arrives at the hero’s villa in Italy, she discovers one of the reasons he wanted a qualified child care provider – his daughter is blind. But, of course, there is another reason. He wants to know about the man she left him for and why, if she loves him, she is still only engaged. She thinks back on how before she met the hero, she had realized she didn’t love her fiancée romantically and wanted to break off the engagement, and realizing this the hero can’t understand why he was rejected, and why she is still rejecting him. It's really a sad situation as their inner thoughts reveal that both still love each other, and while she blames herself for sending the hero down his hurtful path, feeling maybe it is just her destiny to ruin lives, she still can’t give up her own regret and responsibility. And the hero doesn’t make it easy on her, frequently remaindering her of what they had and tempting her to pick it back up. She resists as she becomes closer to the daughter, helping the daughter experience life through the four senses she has, and pushed the hero to not coddle and protect her so much, but let his daughter experience more of life. Eventually, he wears her down, but she regrets it, but then when he offers her even more money to be his mistress for the month, she considers how that money could help her fiancée and his mother, and so accepts. After a time, she talks him into taking his daughter to London, but he makes her promise to not visit her fiancée while they are there. She decides to gather the courage to tell him about her fiancée and exactly why she left 4 years ago, but as soon as she says the fiancée’s name he shuts her down. As they prepare for the trip, the three, (hero, heroine & daughter) spend some quality time together the hero opens up about his childhood, which wasn’t pleasant, and then – after they arrive in London – she gets a call from the fiancée’s mother. The fiancée has an appointment with a specialist, and she wants the heroine to accompany them. Despite her promise, the heroine immediately agrees and lies to get away while the hero is working, leaving the daughter with the maid. Figuring out where she went, he follows and there he sees her helping a woman with a severely disabled young man in a wheelchair. He puts two and two together and feels awful. When the heroine returns, hiding her sadness at the hopeless prognosis, the hero confronts her, and she comes clean explaining she can never leave him because she’s to blame for his condition. And this goes back to my initial comments about responsibility for actions. Yes, her breaking off the engagement upset him, but it was HIS choice to get behind the wheel of a car and drive recklessly. The hero tries to remind her that if her fiancée loved her, he wouldn’t want her to be locked in a relationship with him that was only making her miserable, but she says she can’t leave her fiancée’s mother to deal with him all alone and flees. After several days with the fiancée and his mother, the mother sees how sad she is and finally comes clean. SHE is the one to blame for the accident. She had called the fiancée after he stormed out and he was talking on the phone when he crashed. She feels awful for taking advantage of the heroine all these years, but now she is in a relationship seeing a doctor and expecting a proposal, and she wants to set the heroine free. The heroine returns to the hero, conscience cleared, and asks for her job back. The hero sounds like he’s going to get angry, but then take her in his arms expresses how happy he is to have her back. The art was really good, but I was disappointed. I wanted to see a wedding and see how they included the blind daughter in the ceremony. That, and I’m never fond of ‘bed before vows’, although this is a situation that has extenuating circumstances that make it hard to condemn entirely. I bought it on sale, and it was worth the read.
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