Night of the Magician - Stephanie James, Jayne Ann Krentz

Kinda reminds me why I don't tend to read Ms Krentz's contemporaries - while her historicals always feature an oddly independent woman and no-one would dare manipulate her into a relationship, the contemporaries seem to have family members all but arranging a marriage. Weird and bass-akward.


So the requisite manipulative family members - the h's aunt, shallow, perfectly willing to take advantage of the h's business acumen while insulting her about her wariness towards men. The h's brother, who seems like a genius version of the aunt. No - didn't like brother or aunt.


The H - wants a toss in the hay so to speak but no commitment. He's a con artist who has managed to mostly be legal and successful. He's into real estate. He lies by omission - he doesn't tell the h anything about himself, knowing she has issues about things like a prenupt, pointless affairs, and men who make less than her. He just doesn't bother to find out why...until he shows off his home and the h reacts even worse to finding out he's wealthy than she had to him thinking he was living by his wits.


Oh of course there's the requisite nefarious crook who must needs be stopped (from preying on the aunt's bank account). And of course said crook doesn't handle being unmasked v. well. And there's the uncomfortable scene where the aunt and the brother are trying to pressure the h to marry the H (who hasn't exactly asked; just demanded), and telling her she's being stubborn (back to name calling I see).


Honestly, I'd have left the lot of them to stew in their own mess.