The Chatsfield

Harlequin Presents #3345
ISBN-13:  978-0-3731-3351-2
July 2015
Contemporary Romance

Algarve, Portugal Present Day

Revenge.  Sometimes it seems as if for Serena Dominguez revenge has taken over her entire life, but it's only been fourteen years.  Fourteen years since Aaron Brock ruined her father's business, his marriage, and their family.  Serena went from a happy life to destitution.  Her mother divorced her father and Serena couldn't afford to go to college; she worked menial jobs in the worst part of town to support herself and her parents.  It was the revenge that had her spend the following years investigating and finding out everything about Aaron Brock, his family, his business, and his secrets.  It was her grueling work ethic that finally started making her money, and now she projects the image of being a party girl.  It was a month ago she caught the attention of Cooper Brock and started on the final wave of her revenge.  She is partners with Spencer Chatsfield, another enemy of Aaron Brock, and she must get the twenty-five percent share of The Harrington that Cooper won in a Las Vegas poker game the year before.  In return, Cooper will get the Alves property that Serena just took from under his nose.  Serena has the proof of every shady deal, every illegal deal, everything that if released could perhaps ruin the Brock empire.  Serena can feel the thrill of revenge trickling up her spine.

The first time Cooper Brock met Serena Dominguez, he was immediately attracted and tried for the past month to get her interested in him.  It's only when he is trying to make a deal to purchase the Alves property that has eluded him for two years that he meets Serena again.  Cooper is astounded to find out Serena Dominquez stole the property right from under his nose.  He is determined to sweet talk Serena into selling him the property, until he gets the story of how his father ruined her family fourteen years ago, leaving them destitute and ruining their lives.  Supposedly, Felipe Dominguez betrayed Aaron Brock in a business deal they were partners in, and Aaron spared nothing to bring him down.  From the slums to presenting an image of a social butterfly, Serena has lived with her plans for revenge ever since.  Now, the only way Cooper can get the Alves property is to trade the share of The Harrington.  Why does Cooper care about the shares of the Harrington?  John Harrington Jr. also has proof of the first big deal Cooper made, using insider trading.  If that got out, the Brock Empire would be down the drain.  Those shares are his safety net.  But when Serena tells him she has a file of every dirty deal his father has done and will use it if he doesn't make the deal, Cooper doesn't know what to do.  Their physical connection is undeniable; will they seduce each other to get their own way, and will Serena trust Cooper when he says he'll make the deal?

Serena's revenge has bubbled beneath the surface for years, but can she trust Cooper to sign over the shares before she releases the file she has worked on forever?  Cooper quickly realizes he needs Serena to trust him, and that she might be the first person to really care about him, and that is something he is not willing to give up.  But Serena is haunted and can't believe a Brock would keep his word to make their deal.

How awesome is Susanna Carr as she takes us deep into the psyche of revenge and its consequences.  Serena has lived years researching, making deals, trying to find the right circumstances to bring down the fall of Aaron Brock.  Cooper Brock knew nothing about what his father did to Serena's father, but it was his father's usual way to operate.  He not only wins, he crushes the competition.  But Cooper's fascination with Serena since he met her has him going closely to the edge of forgetting to save the family empire. Someday his parent's will say they love him and be proud of him.  Written from each of their points of view, despite their confident facades, they are both wounded people who believe family is to be protected.

THE TYCOON'S DELICIOUS DEBT explores the rage of revenge, but is it really best served cold?  Cooper and Serena must deal with their attraction for each other, but more important, can they trust each other to keep their word?  If Serena ruins the Brock Empire, will she get the satisfaction that she has been waiting for?  Cooper longs for someone to love him; is Serena able to love him, not for what he can do for her?  Watch the struggle Serena and Cooper go through to reach their happily-ever-after.

Carolyn Crisher