When you pick up a Harlequin Desire novel you know exactly what you are going to get. Feisty, stunning heroines partnered with gagillionaires with strong alpha tendencies and enough baggage to open their own Samsonite store.
Unfortunately for me, I never had read an Andrea Laurence book prior to A Beauty Uncovered, and I’m glad I finally remedied that mistake. Laurence has mastered the classic approach to category romance – the above elements, minimal additional characters, and, in her case, a compelling story arc for her Secrets of Eden series.
Based around a group of now highly successful men and women who all had the same loving foster parents, this second book in the series focuses on reclusive billionaire Brody Eden. He’s handling the situation of his personal assistant wanting to head off on a two-month cruise to celebrate her fortieth wedding anniversary. Luckily for him, her goddaughter is ready to take over and sign the necessary confidentiality agreement. That she’s an utter bombshell comes as a shock to this horribly scarred man who has arranged his entire life to interact as little as possible with the world.
Samantha Davis is startled at not only the ridiculous level of security around her new boss but at how lonely this attractive, damaged man is. His megawatt smile is rare but she wants to see it more, and she readily admits to her attraction for him. But Sam has been burned in her prior job, when she succumbed to having an affair with her boss – who turned out to be married to the head of accounting who arranged for Sam to be promptly fired.
All the great elements of a Desire romance are present with great clothes, trips, jewelry, etc. but Brody has a lot less of the obnoxious alpha behavior than is usually found in this type of category romance. His emotional damage from the circumstances of his disfigurement are clearly communicated but not belabored. Sam had a poor experience but she’s a bright, intelligent, incredibly giving person who is exactly what Brody needs to begin to think about a future different from the life he is currently living.
The reasons to love Brody are numerous. He adores his golden retriever, is a great brother with very normal relationships with his family, and admits to a beautiful woman that he’s a virgin! While this is the second book in the series about the foster siblings, it is completely unnecessary to have read the first book to understand the larger story arc. This terrific romance has a great couple and just enough angst to provide conflict but not so much that you are completely wrung out reading the last page. I’ll be purchasing other Andrea Laurence books for sure after A Beauty Uncovered!