Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reunited with the Rebel Billionaire - Catherine Mann (HD #2441 - Apr 2016)

Series: Bayou Billionaires (Book 3)

Is it a real reunion, or one for the cameras?

Football star Henri Reynaud won't let his career go down without a fight. If the only way to win is to reconcile with his estranged wife, he'll do what it takes. But spending time with Fiona Harper-Reynaud isn't just some ruse. The sultry beauty belongs in his bed.

Fiona doesn't know where her sexy husband's public act ends and his real feelings begin. Can she afford to fall a second time for the man every female wants? One thing is undeniable -- their attraction has never flared hotter!

Okay book, which is something I never expected to say about a Catherine Mann book, but in this case I spent most of the book wanting to shake Fiona. Henri and Fiona met and married quickly. Their chemistry had been explosive, and when she got pregnant they married immediately. Unfortunately, she lost the baby, and they spent the next several years trying to get pregnant. In the course of fertility testing, they discovered that she carried the gene for both breast and ovarian cancer, diseases that her mother, grandmother and aunt died of. She made the decision to have preventative surgery, but ever since then she's been pulling away from Henri.

Henri doesn't know what is going on with the woman he loves. The distraction of his marital problems is messing with success on the football field and he wants to get both of them back on track. It seems that no matter what he does, Fiona keeps pushing him away and telling him that their marriage is over. Wanting more time to win her back, he uses the need to keep their troubles out of the press as a way to delay the final split.

I like Henri most of the time. He had a few issues that kept him from being great, the biggest being the fallout from his mother's abandonment of him and his brothers and his father's infidelities. This has made him wary of being "all in" in a relationship. This keeps him from telling Fiona the true depth of his feelings, though he certainly shows her often enough. I liked the way that he never blamed her for their inability to have kids, and he supported her throughout her medical issues. He treated her gently while she was recovering, and gave her the space she wanted. His frustration with her is obvious and reasonable, as she won't explain why she wants to end their marriage. 

I can't say that I hated Fiona, but I had trouble liking her too. She has a wonderful husband who wants to be there for her and all she does is push him away. She admits to herself that she loves him, but she doesn't believe that he really loves her, that he is only there because he feels obligated because of her health. She watched her father suffer through her mother's illness and death, and his devastation afterwards, and doesn't want to put Henri through that if she ends up with cancer after all. So she is determined to end their marriage and free him to find someone else. I got so mad at her because she was pushing him away because of what might happen, instead of celebrating what they have now. She told herself that she was protecting him from later misery.

The attraction between them was still strong. I could understand Fiona's worries about her body for awhile, but not after Henri made it plain that he wanted her just as she is. It made me mad when she would give in to the desire between them, but still insist that their marriage had to end. It was really sweet to see how Henri tried romancing her. Their "tourist day" in their hometown of New Orleans was terrific and showed just how much was still between them. Henri doesn't want to lose her, but he begins to lose hope that their marriage can be saved. I really wanted to lock them in a room and tell them to just TALK to each other.

I loved the support they both got from his family. Though his brothers can sometimes be a pain, they try to help him with his problem. I also liked the way that their ladies tried to help Fiona. It was hard to believe that with all the love that was there, Henri and Fiona kept her medical problems secret, cutting off the support they could have had all along. It was great to see that their love started to break through Fiona's wall, but it was a letter from one of the charity fundraiser attendees that finally opened Fiona's eyes. I loved her big moment, and hope the next book gives us a glimpse of a happier future for them.

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