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Feature book: Detained

15 July 2015

Detained_PatonDetained by Ainslie Paton

Darcy Campbell is a mid-range journo with a famous journalist father, whose shadow has a very long reach. She’s fought to make her own name, not trading on her father’s, but she is doing the hard slog. She’s off to China on assignment for an interview with media-shy Australian billionaire Will Parker. Darcy is ambitious, has morals and likes to live in the moment.

Will Parker has had a difficult upbringing. He’s dyslexic but wasn’t diagnosed as a child and couldn’t read until he was almost out of school. He’s a self-made billionaire, working his way up from very humble beginnings, with some dark episodes in his past. He built his business in China. Will has a brother, Peter, who’s a top notch corporate lawyer, and a good friend in Chinese-born media and marketing guru, Aileen. Will is very appealing to women but prefers to have a paid mistress, where he can set the terms of the relationship. However, he hasn’t had one in quite a while.

Will knows who Darcy is at the start, but she thinks he’s just a fellow traveller, stranded in a Chinese airport. They have a revealing few hours together, playing truth or dare, with no dares allowed. They follow this with a weekend of scorching sex in the palatial penthouse suite of a very up-market hotel. Will realises early on that he will break her heart if she discovers his identity, but he can’t stop himself from responding to her. Darcy revels in the escapism of being herself with a stranger. She’s a wilder version of herself because she’s not wearing any masks with Will, although she doesn’t know his name at that stage. Will and Darcy travel a very hard road together, and they both break each other’s hearts and reputations along the way.

The start of this book was a fabulous experience of the joyful escapism of ‘being yourself with a stranger’, with no expectations and no commitments. It was an unexpected find as I had anticipated not liking the characters, journalists being low on my list of preferred professions for romance heroines. But I really liked Darcy (and Will), and their story pulled me in. A personal peeve, and one that may not affect you, is the quotes at the start of each chapter. They pulled me out of the story, so I stopped reading them. Otherwise, from the scorching, slightly dangerous sex to the drama of kidnapping to the heart-wrenching recovery from brain injury and old hurts, this is surely one enjoyable, explicit roller-coaster ride.

Reviewed by Gina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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