Series: The Bachelors of Arizona #1
Published by Forever on October 4th 2016
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[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]This Cinderella story was simply disappointing. Every time I thought it was going to pick up and the characters would pull their act together, they back-slipped and became annoying again.[/box]
Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.
Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy .
It was not for lack of trying, but I simply couldn’t continue to read The Bachelor Auction. I kept thinking it was going to gel soon, but it never did.
This was a Cinderella story which starts with Jane losing her shoe at a party that Brock’s grandfather is hosting. Jane’s two sister are all about the party life while poor Jane works so hard to keep the family together, paying the bills and keeping the house. Now it isn’t a matter of the two sisters simply being couch potatoes. Both sisters are lawyers and are simply good at manipulation. They also like living lavishly. Yet it is Jane who pays off their credit card spending. There is no indication of how the two spend-thrift sisters managed to pay for college and law school while Jane had to take over her family cleaning business. Saying there is a cleaning “business” is a stretch. Jane is driving a broken down van and does all the cleaning by herself, no employees and no help, so it really isn’t much of a business but I guess it is pretty impressive that she can earn enough cleaning all by herself to take care of her sister’s bills, the house, the groceries and still have time to cook and clean for them. While Cinderella had no other options in the world she was living in, Jane’s situation is of her own making and she allows herself to be taken advantage of and used, so it just makes her pathetic and it can’t balance out the few sparks of defiance she shows around Brock.
Brock Wellington isn’t much better. Our prince in this story is allowing his grandfather to auction him off for charity. What started as a “date” has turned into a media circus and is becoming a buy Brock for matrimony auction. Brock can’t say no to anyone since the one time he said no to his father, his parents were killed in an accident the next day. Whenever he tries to tell his grandfather no about the auction, the old man appears to have a cardiac episode, so again Brock lives in fear of his “no” killing his grandfather, so he is allowing himself to be dragged into this nightmare of a forced, loveless marriage. All this while his two younger, twin brothers do whoever and whatever they want, while Brock does all the work in the family business. This leaves Brock coming off as pathetic rather than a strong business leader. No wonder the Board is concerned about the future of the company.
As consolation for forcing Brock into marriage, his grandfather will sign over the family ranch to Brock and his new wife, except this ranch is where Brock lived with his parents and being there is stirring up a lot of memories and unpleasant feelings for Brock. So much that I can’t imagine he would want to live there permanently with his new spouse, especially since it appears no one has changed anything in the nearly 20 years since his parents died. I can’t imagine his spoiled, rich bride-to-be wants to life in an outdated ranch with animals after paying so much to buy the groom.
It is hard to determine the grandfather’s motives here. One moment he seems to be trying to force Brock to get a life outside of work, work, work, but then when Brock tries to say he is not interested in being sold off, the grandfather pushes how the Board will oust Brock unless there is alliance between their family and another big company, so it appears there is fix in for the auction after all. Yet the grandfather pays Jane an obscene amount of money to come clean the ranch house from top to bottom for Brock and his new bride, knowing that there was an attraction between the two of them. As an aside, there is no mention of the woman that the Board wants to win the auction, she might be beautiful and sweet and not an evil bitch but Brock is obsessed with pathetic Jane.
Same question of motives goes with the brothers who just happen to show up at the ranch house where Brock and now Jane are staying for the week. In one moment, they are pushing Brock to get a life, make a move on Jane, don’t let the old man dictate your life, but then they get in the way every time Brock tries to make a move on Jane, or they flirt with her to rile Brock up.
In this story, everyone’s motivations keep flip-flopping around: the grandfather, the brothers, Brock, as well as Jane (who never had sex with her prior boyfriend, but is she or isn’t she willing to have sex with Brock who she knows is getting auctioned off in two weeks?). I think the worse is that Brock tries to push Jane away by being nasty and demeaning to Jane so she will keep her distance. He knows he can’t offer her more than a few weeks and thinks that is wrong, but later starts thinking, I should live life to the fullest before the auction. So now it’s okay to use Jane as a sex toy and then toss her aside?
Every time the story hinted that Jane and Brock would move forward with the romance, he breaks down and kisses her or they have some great flirty banter, then in the middle of the scene we are jerked right back to square one. I kept picking it up in hopes we would finally get to the heart of the romance and the building of the bond, but after reading sixty percent of the book, I finally called it quits since it wasn’t moving forward at all.