Glass Houses by Anne Stuart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What can I say? This was another winner by Anne Stuart, who's quickly become my all-time favorite HQ author. Okay, I know she doesn't write for HQ anymore, but I've only discovered her recently so her "oldies" are all "newbies" to me. This was "only" my tenth book by her, and I couldn't be happier knowing there's still a lot of books to read considering how huge her backlist is.
Glass Houses is one of those stories about a couple who love to hate - or hate to love - each other. This kind of plot is fairly common in Romancelandia, but trust Ms. Stuart to deliver something that's entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes intriguing, and always romantic.
Billionaire Michael Dubrovnik wants to buy the Glass House, an old glass building owned by Laura de Kelsey Winston, so he can tear it down and build his own Dubrovnik Plaza, a new, gigantic, modern building that will put the Trump Plaza to shame. He's already bought all the old properties surrounding the Glass House, so the only thing preventing him from starting the construction of his multi-million dollar dream building is Laura. The stubborn woman isn't willing to sell the Glass House and has refused every single buying offer he's made. Michael hasn't become a billionaire by taking no for an answer, so when his lawyer tells him his latest and more than generous offer was rebuffed - again! -, he knows it's time he changed tactics. If the woman wants war, he's more than happy to oblige.
Laura loves her Glass House, which was built by her grandfather, and the last thing she wants is to see it on the ground. She knows the old building needs some heavy maintenance and she doesn't have the money to do all of it, but she's not about to sell it to Michael and let him destroy her grandfather's work. The ruthless man needs to know that he can't always have everything he wants, and she's just the woman to enlighten him. And so it begins, the battle between Michael and Laura that ends up shaking more than the Glass House building foundation. ;)
I really loved Michael and Laura's interactions. They were both stubborn but smart, and it was funny to try and guess what they were willing to do to win their private "war". I thought he went a little too far near the end and I was afraid she wouldn't be able to forgive him, but he made up for it in a very big and sweet way.
There was a secondary love story involving Laura's assistant and one of her clients but, quite frankly, I didn't care much for it. It was nice, but I wanted to read more about Michael and Laura, their witty banter, smoldering kisses and scorching love scenes.
There was also a somewhat weak mystery involving blackmail attempts against almost all the characters in the story. Again, I didn't think it added much to the story because it was pretty obvious who the blackmailer was. The only good thing that came out of this blackmailing business was a very hot scene between Michael and Laura while they were waiting to catch the blackmailer "with his/her hands in the cookie jar", so to speak. ;)
All things considered, this was a very entertaining and worth-reading book by Ms. Stuart.
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