I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
At the Count's Bidding by Caitlin Crews
Published by Harlequin Genres: Contemporary
Reviewed by Vanessa
Paige Fielding has waited ten years for Giancarlo Alessi to walk back into her life. But the man she was once forced to betray isn't interested in asking questions, or hearing apologies…
Shocked to discover Paige working as his mother's PA, Giancarlo sees his thirst for vengeance reignite. So he lures her to Tuscany, where she will bow to his every pleasurable command.
But the lines between payback and passion quickly blur. And when Giancarlo discovers Paige is pregnant he must ask himself: Is it really revenge he so desperately craves—or her?
Paige Fielding had deeply betrayed Giancarlo Alessi ten years ago. When Giancarlo discovered she was working for his celebrity mother, he was thrown for a loop. However, he is determined to reap some sort of revenge from Paige, and he intends to do so on his terms. Paige never had the chance to explain herself to her one true love, and when he enacts his plot, she is still unable to delve into the reasons behind her causing him pain. Soon, events play out that cause Giancarlo to question the character of Paige once again, but this time will he look deeper than the surface or react without questioning her again?
At the Count’s Bidding was a page-turning, sizzling hot read that had me wondering what Giancarlo would attempt to force on Paige as he pushed the envelope in At the Count’s Bidding!
At the story began, I found myself siding with Giancarlo, because even Paige admitted to herself that she had betrayed him, but she kept it all a mystery as At the Count’s Bidding unfolded. Reading about Giancarlo’s ideas for revenge, which bordered on slightly sexy, added to the drama in this tale. At the Count’s Bidding soon had me rooting for Paige before the halfway mark though the story. She was just too sweet and likeable to not have had a good reason to betray Giancarlo years ago. Knowing Giancarlo’s thoughts, and the fact that he was punishing himself as much as Paige, made At the Count’s Bidding even more enjoyable. As the story progressed, his reasons for feeling betrayed came to light, and I found myself empathizing with him, too.
Both Giancarlo and Paige had good reasons for the choices that they made in the past as well as the present in At the Count’s Bidding. I know at times it felt that Paige might be behaving as a doormat to Giancarlo, but she had a heavy dose of guilt that had plagued her for ten years and things that she never truly got to smooth over from their previous relationship. However, when Giancarlo pushes too far, and Paige finds that there is no redemption for her, she is willing to let things lie in At the Count’s Bidding. Giancarlo wasn’t content with leaving things that way, and he discovered some truths as well, so he looks for another confrontation with Paige in At the Count’s Bidding. I have to say that confrontation was fabulously wonderful and made me think about a few things that Paige was right upon. I also found that because of that scene, it threw At the Count’s Bidding into a Joyfully Recommended read category, and I still find myself rereading that scene from time to time!