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Bachelor Auction #1

Beauty and the Bachelor

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Billionaire Lucas Oliver is hell bent on revenge. And his plan begins when Sydney Blake—the stunning daughter of his enemy—is tricked into bidding on Lucas at a bachelor auction. Then he serves up a little blackmail...followed by a marriage proposal Sydney has no choice but to accept.

Sydney has been controlled by her family her whole life. When Lucas threatens to reveal her father's shady business, she is once again forced to do her duty for her family. But worse—oh so much worse—is the rush of lust that Lucas ignites in her blood.

Lucas is determined to make Sydney suffer, but it’s tough when he can’t keep from touching her–or thinking about touching her–all the time. She’s not fairing much better since she’s engaged to a darkly handsome beast intent on destroying her entire family...along with her heart.

234 pages, Paperback

First published August 6, 2015

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About the author

Naima Simone

144 books1,697 followers
Published since 2009, USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.”

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 196 reviews
Profile Image for sraxe.
394 reviews379 followers
March 7, 2016
The synopsis of this book seemed interesting. I know some aren't fans of novels which employ revenge plots and that carry big secrets for a length of time, but it's something I sometimes find appealing. If done well, vengeance angst and the anticipation for the big reveal can keep me interested and on the edge of my seat. The bonus to this is if the author has a good plot to go along with it, with a cast of likeable characters to keep everything moving forward, and then a good, solid ending to close it all off. Unfortunately, those were all problems in this book, imo. I didn't like either of the characters, with Lucas being a deceitful ass and Sydney being a spineless doormat, and the ending left me less than satisfied.

Lucas is a misogynist, so let's just get that out of the way first and foremost. His decision to go after Jason's daughter, Sydney, when his beef is with Jason is what makes him one. I don't care about his hesitation or guilt or any of that other BS, because he went through with it in the end regardless. What makes him a misogynist more so is that he could've simply destroyed Jason if he wanted to by using the financial information to ruin Jason Blake's standing at Blake Corporation.

Fraudulent financial statements. Submitting false IRS reports. And if she didn’t marry Lucas, he would ruin Jason.

On top of that, he's been purchasing Blake Corporation stock on the sly for years and now owns enough for majority ownership. So, not only could he get rid of Jason's ass by reporting him to the feds, but he also owns more of the company than Jason does and could simply have him pushed out (which he actively works towards in the book, btw). But no. That wasn't good enough for him. Instead, he decides he needs to go after Sydney, who's the most innocent party in all of this. He wants to hurt Jason using her, and in turn hurt her as well. Lucas tells the readers that "in this war between Jason and Lucas, Sydney was an unfortunate, but necessary, martyr." Except she's totally not. At all. And that's what really makes me dislike him. The author laid out another option for him to have him destroy Jason without using Sydney, but in the end, it was decided that he'd go the misogynistic route.

Also, a big fuck you to his dismissive and condescending "sweetheart" bullshit. I hate it when authors have these male characters throwing out "sweetheart" in a smug way. There's this one part when she asks if he says dirty things to her because he wants her to shut up. I completely understood where she was coming from. Like, she met this dude a week ago, he's kissed her once, and he's saying this to her in the middle of a totally innocuous exchange:

“Have I mentioned how much I adore your mouth? I do. It was one of the first things I noticed about you. Your pretty, wide, sexy-as-hell mouth. I’ve lain awake nights wondering…how would your lips feel on my skin? How would they look stretching for me, taking me? How much could you take? I’ve had your kiss. I know what you taste like, and that’s only worsened the need. Made me crave more.”

So, of course, she asks if he's just trying to shut her up.

“Is this your way of shutting me up, then? ... If I speak out of turn, will you put me in my place with humiliating, vulgar talk? Shame me into being quiet?”

And he gets on his high horse and acts all smug and condescending, throwing a fucking "sweetheart" in there for good measure:

“First, you can lie to yourself if it makes you feel better, but your body betrays you every time. You like my vulgar talk, sweetheart. Probably too much, which is why you’re trying to verbally castrate me now. Understand one thing, though. Yes, I can be ruthless, unforgiving, and a manipulative bastard. But I don’t play games with sex.”

Holy shit, this motherfucker is so fucking condescending. And who is he to be saying this shit to her anyway? Let's not forget that he took a completely innocent party, dragged her into his revenge plot, and blackmailed her into compliance. And now he's acting like this towards her. Because why not, right?

And just for context, all they'd been talking about before this was secrets. He said she was "full of secrets" (because she taught at a community centre and he didn't know this tidbit about her), to which she gave him a "pot meet kettle" response. And he turns around and is all, you know what, I wonder how your mouth would look around my you-know-what.

You know, I can take asshole characters sometimes. I've read asshole characters who've been done really well, and I've even come to like them in the end (and that's without them having a complete personality transplant). But there's being an ass, and then there's being condescending. And what I absolutely hate are condescending, smug fucking assholes.

Anyway. So he's an ass. And then there's doormat Sydney. Despite the fact that Lucas is blackmailing her into marriage by threatening to destroy her father and his corporation, Sydney finds herself immensely attracted to him. She knows he's using her as vengeance, but she still can't help lusting after him. And what pissed me off even more about this is that the author has Sydney acknowledge over and over again how wrong that is. Self-acknowledgement in a situation usually ends up pissing me off if a character continues to do the same thing, and then self-acknowledges, then does it again, then also starts self-acknowledging while doing said thing. And Sydney does all of this.

He threatened her! He blackmailed her into marriage! He made her humiliate her friend-turned-fiance, Tyler! His blackmail made her family disown her and throw her out of the house! And she can't help getting turned on by him because he's sooooooooooo hot and has turquoise/blue-green eyes. (I don't even have to tell you to remember his eye colour because the author doesn't stop telling the reader what colour his eyes are.)

I hate when female characters remain attracted to men who mistreat them. The situation presented in this book is not one of an abusive relationship in which one of them has been manipulated into acceptance over a period of time. Instead, she met this guy literally days ago. Upon their first meeting, he initiated the blackmail. She has absolutely no basis for which to fall back to a constant attraction and ingrained feelings on. It makes no sense to me for her to be acting in this way. I hate it that she's telling him to go to hell, then turning around and getting hot and bothered. I feel there's a great disconnect there. If someone were to blackmail me as he's doing so to her, I'd hate that person, despite their physical attractiveness. It makes no sense to me that he's all either you marry me or I'm going to destroy your father, your beloved godfather, your family's entire corporation, and have your father face federal charges, to which she responds with Whoa, *fans self*, get me summa that!! You see what I mean? It's completely nonsensical.

Honestly, it was exhausting having to read Sydney's POV because she did the above constantly and in completely random situations. She tells him off at one point and then, sentences later, she appreciates how his ass looks in a pair of pants. Why? Why does the author have to throw that in there? It adds nothing and simply works to undermine whatever she's said or done prior to with her self-acknowledgements or outright rejections of Lucas. I couldn't even cheer for her whenever she did say something logical because I knew it was going to be undone sentences or paragraphs later. Give me a female character who's got a fucking backbone for once. And refusing sex on your wedding night, only to give it up merely a week later with nothing resolved, is not good enough. (And that time they finally did do it? It was mere paragraphs after she confided in him about her past and he reciprocated by shutting her out when she asked him about his.)

And you know, even after all of this, I was hoping for something good when everything was revealed. And of course I didn't get that. When Lucas tells Sydney about his past (that his mother slept with his father's bff, Sydney's father, his father went into depression and Sydney's father stole all his clients, his mother died, and then his father committed suicide), it's actually Sydney who apologizes to him! Are you fucking serious?? Ugh. Lucas tells her it's not her fault, but it doesn't change the fact that the author still had her apologize for no fucking reason!

Sydney was so damn pathetic. This girl is so starved for love and affection that even the scraps that Lucas throws her way make her feel all aflutter. All this guy does is compliment or thank her, and she starts getting the warm and fuzzies; forget the fact that he railroaded her into marriage through blackmail because aww, he thanked you for setting up such a nice reception at said wedding.

Anyway. And then a few pages later she finds out that Lucas is trying to push her father out of Blake Corporation (despite his blackmail and promise). She's upset, of course. At this point, Tyler, her ex-fiance, comes to see her to talk to her. Lucas comes home as well and immediately believes that Sydney is cheating on him. I legit wanted to knock his stupid ass out because he had the audacity to even consider this for one moment. Let's not forget that Lucas spent the entire book lying to Sydney and withholding truths. Let's not forget that he blackmailed her. Let's not forget that he continued lying even after this. And he, the person who lied and was deceitful throughout the entire book, has the audacity to accuse Sydney, who's been truthful with him throughout the entire book, of cheating?

In the middle of these cheating accusations, they get interrupted. They see on the news that the FBI have arrested her father. She immediately thinks that Lucas is behind that and gets angry with him even more. And you know what happens? He feels that "her obvious mistrust burned him raw." LOL what? This is the dude who deceived her throughout the entire book! He lied to her over and over again! And he JUST accused her of cheating! And he has the audacity to feel "burned raw" because she doesn't trust him? Because how could she possibly think this lying liar as anything but truthful, huh???

But whatever. There's absolutely no legit grovel because things are resolved pages later (less than a week book-time). He lied to her through the whole book and he's forgiven within two paragraphs of his apology/explanation. And then! Sydney apologizes to him for believing he'd been the one to turn in her father.

Just for the record, I want to mention that Lucas uses the word "sorry" literally once in the entirety of the book. Sydney, on the other hand, apologizes to him on at least three separate occasions that I remember. So, Sydney apologizes to Lucas in this book more than he ever does. And she's the one who'd been blackmailed and deceived and used for his petty, personal vengeance.

It pisses me off so much that his ~tortured past~ is used as a get-out-of-jail-free card. It may sound heartless, but I honestly don't care about what he's gone through. There's something super bullshit about douchebags getting off consequence-free because they had a rough childhood. Sorry, but this douche doesn't get a carte blanche for the rest of his life simply because he went through some shit. (And to uninvolved parties, at that.) Get the fuck outta here with that.

I didn't even care about his apology in the end because it was too little, too late in my eyes. That ain't good enough for me, bitch. I need this mofo to suffer. On top of the BS he pulled in the whole book, he had the nerve to believe she was cheating on him, even outright accusing her. And who planted that thought there? An OW, Caroline, who makes an appearance in the book. Caroline appears in the book twice, once when she insults Sydney, and another time when she hints that Sydney might be cheating.

That first time, she makes comments about Sydney's body, all but calling her fat while Sydney is there. Lucas, in response, simply tells her to "sheath [her] claws" and leaves it at that. Later on, he calls her a "bitch" to Sydney. This really pissed me off because he didn't make more of an effort to defend Sydney while Caroline was there. Like, this woman who he used to sleep with and he believed to be manipulative, is standing there and making fun of his wife's body, and all he can say in response is "sheath your claws"?? Fucking weak.

The second time she makes an appearance is when she hints at Tyler having been seen with Sydney. She intimates that Sydney must be cheating. Sydney clarifies the matter to him privately (that it was her mother that ambushed her and invited Tyler without telling her). And his response? He spends the next week distancing himself from Sydney. And then later accusing her of cheating when he sees them together.

Oh, while I'm on the topic of their sexual pasts, of course there's a disparity between them there. Lucas is a manwhore. He's mentioned to have "dated and fucked many" from the age of sixteen onwards (he's 29-30ish now). Sydney Googled him after the auction and noticed that "his masculine beauty invited a woman to touch, to pet" and that "women petted often…and he allowed it." She noted that he had a "parade of women," and that she never saw him with the same woman twice in pictures. Sydney, on the other hand, has been with Tyler for a year or so now. Before that, I think only one past boyfriend was mentioned. There are no further details, other than that her past experiences were "pleasant" but passionless.

Lastly, I also didn't like some unnecessary, throwaway lines the author threw in there. There's a part in the beginning that really pissed me off.

And so the furious bidding began. Many paddle flicks later, bachelor number one went for seventy thousand dollars to a woman old enough to be his grandmother. For his sake, please let her have bought him for her granddaughter, or even her daughter. Otherwise… Sydney shuddered.

It may be a very small portion in the book, but it angered me regardless. Why do authors feel the need to go after older women? This bachelor auction was just for a dinner date with a bachelor (with the money going towards charity). Are older women not even allowed to have dinner with a younger man now...? And even if it wasn't just that and sex was involved, who are you to judge? Not to mention, I didn't see the author making one mention of Sydney "shuddering" when she saw an older man in a May-December relationship. At a later point, she sees her father's twenty-something receptionist and notes that they're probably sleeping together.

“Good morning,” Sydney greeted the receptionist stationed outside her father’s inner sanctum. The lovely brunette returned her smile with a cool, professional version. Hmm. Sydney studied the twenty-something who couldn’t have been much older than her. She’s new. Had her father slept with this one yet? Well, if they were lovers, she hoped the woman didn’t embrace illusions that Jason would leave his wife for her like the last assistant had.

Where's the shuddering there, author? This is even worse because not only is it a May-December thing, but it's also about her father. Why not keep it the same across the board? Ah. So it's only repugnant when it's an older woman with a younger man, huh? I see. (Well, that explains her attraction to a misogynist like Lucas.)

There's also something about body-types.

With a bite of cynicism, he swept his gaze over the sensual swell of her hips. She probably detested their roundness, as most of the women he knew craved to own the body of a prepubescent child rather than a grown, real woman. His uncle, the man who’d raised him after his father’s death, had a saying: “Only dogs want bones. And they bury them.” He and Uncle Duncan had disagreed on many subjects, but this one thing—the beauty of a woman’s curves—wasn’t one of them.

You can appreciate curves without putting down skinny body types. Just like I hate body-shaming when it comes to women with curves, describing a waifish woman as having "the body of a prepubescent child" not that of a "real woman" and throwing in a metaphor about dogs and bones is fucking disgusting. Why was this even necessary? The author could've had Lucas appreciate Sydney's curves without putting down thinner women for no fucking reason. You know...if your best defense or appreciation of something is to put down something else in order to lift that previous thing up, then you need to re-evaluate things.

Profile Image for Syndi.
2,838 reviews625 followers
February 8, 2020
The story alone has a lot of potential. It could be dark, mafia romance story. I was expecting so much angst from the story alone. A revenge romance story. After finish listen to the audio book, ot fell short.

The potential is still there but it does not execute properly. The character develop well at the beginning then it lost its focus. It becomes confusing. The chemistry is stiff and cold toward the end.

I want more. More than just this short story. More of everything in dark mafia romance.
I still think this book is OK read.

3 stars
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,252 followers
August 8, 2015
ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

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There is nothing like a hot sexy and steamy enemy to lovers stoy to heat up your e-readers!!! And in Naima Simone's latest release, Beauty and the Bachelor, Ms. Simone dishes out one hot sexual tension romance that is filled with revenge, steam, and an unexpected love affair to keep readers like myself entertained.

In Beauty and the Bachelor, the theme of revenge was stamped all over it. Lucas Oliver had only one intention and that was to execute his revenge on his father's former best friend. And the only way to take down an enemy was to use his beloved daughter as bait. Sydney Blake was nothing more than a pawn in Lucas's game to take down Jason Blake. When Lucas showed information on her father's financial troubles, Sydney is forced to take up Lucas on his marriage proposal but at a cost. So as these two are entangled in a web of deceit and blackmail, they soon find themselves fighting a strong sexual attraction. As feelings begins to emerge at what cost will it cost Sydney? Lucas? Can Lucas go through with his plans of revenge or will Sydney be the one to change his heart? So can this beauty tame the heart of a beast?


Beauty and the Bachelor was a fast, sexy, entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed how the author kept me entertained and yet showcased strong character developments between her characters. She allowed her readers to see and feel the conflict as two enemies begins to fight their strong sexual attraction and feelings for one another. I loved how the author showcased how the lines of revenge soon begins to get blurred when passion and love enters the picture. So if you are looking for a sexy revenge story then I suggest you give Beauty and the Bachelor a try.

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Review can also be found on Four Chicks Flipping Pages: http://fourchicksflippingpages.weebly...Naima Simone
Profile Image for Mandy.
1,505 reviews217 followers
August 2, 2015
Lucas Oliver has a plan. He is going to get revenge on the man who ruined his life 15 years ago. He has to use Sydney, the beautiful daughter of his enemy, to get his revenge. Sydney has always been controlled, from put-downs about her weight or wild hair, to marrying a man she doesn't love to help save her fathers business, she is used to sacrificing herself for those she loves. What should have been a simple bachelor auction where she was going to bid on her fiance, ends up with the wrong man and being blackmailed into a marriage she doesn't want.

I LOVED this story! Revenge themed romances are a weak spot for me and this is one of the best I have read. Lucas has his reasons for seeking revenge and after reading his story, I understand why he was willing to do whatever he had to do to get revenge. Sydney was a wonderful heroine. She's kind and sweet but also grows throughout this story into a strong, self-assured woman. The chemistry and sexual tension between these two characters was amazing - it sucked me in from the very beginning and built throughout the whole book. This is the first book I have read by this author but I can't wait to read more! Fantastic!!!!

**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Juliette Cross.
Author 35 books2,339 followers
March 6, 2017
Another hot and heady concoction by Naima Simone. I swear, I'm not even a super-fan of the millionaire trope but it makes no difference. None. She hooks her claws in me and draws me in...every...single...TIME. Such compelling characters and alluring storytelling. Love.

Recommended to readers who want to laugh their ass off but also get a heavy dose of smexy and heart.
Profile Image for Jos.
1,687 reviews108 followers
February 2, 2017
3.5 - 4 Stars Good

I really liked this one a lot and it had some seriously great potential but I found the inner dialogues, thoughts and descriptions overpowering the actual interaction/dialogue between the H and the h. I WANT and NEED dialogue and this story for me lacked that. The premise was great but the execution fell a bit short for me but I still enjoyed it.
Profile Image for JadeShea.
3,156 reviews62 followers
December 4, 2018
Beauty and the Bachelor begins when Lucas Oliver puts his revenge plan into motion. He's so dead set on getting back what he deserves and making the one man who ruined his life pay that he doesn't care who he takes out in the process. Including beautiful Sydney. But the problem is she's different from what he thought she would be. And while she is now his wife, he has no idea how to deal with everything he's all ready set into motion and the future as well.

Sydney on the other hand is falling for her husband. Even though he's only using her and she knows it. Or well, she knows some if it. She doesn't know the whole truth and if she did, her life would be turned even more upside. Because the man she thinks she knows may know be the real Lucas at all.

Beauty and the Bachelor is a beautiful spin of Beauty and the Beast type of story. It has lots of great drama, and some very sweet moments as well. I enjoyed how Lucas came to Sydney's rescue a lot during the story, but also how she continued to stand by him even though she knew he was hell bent on hating her father. I loved this whole story line, and both of the main characters as well. I look forward to reading more by this author!
Profile Image for Dirty Dayna.
1,633 reviews96 followers
November 16, 2015
4 please love me stars

This book was almost a five for me it is a great new beauty and the beast story but the big plot didn't release until the 96% mark and then blew up but wrapped back in a bow too quickly for my liking

this is a typical insta love short book which you need sometimes a little heartwarming feeling. if this book had been longer it would have had a 5 from me easy!
Profile Image for Rbeey.
52 reviews98 followers
October 17, 2015
*A BEASTY Love Jones*
Beauty &the Bachelor is by far an effortless refreshing Read by Namia Simeon.
A Lovely creative but extremely passionate piece . Definitely an Writing work of Art! A Superb creative Operatic piece casts n modern day , of a timeless love story.
This reader became Alice n Wonderland going down the Rabbit's hole..not 2mention taken back over joyed of having 2 meet that handsome Johnny Dep yayyy me!
lustful filled tendencies channeled n2 fantasies..hehee! Ooh well a gal can dream. NowBack 2matters at hand ,I felt I was there within the Read.I saw,touched felt the rhythmic heart
beat of this addictive bitter sweet Dark Treat.
Most of all I totally dig the nostalgic feel the story took .One of my favorites within the storyline was the setting n Boston.U C Boston is my home..
Thanks 4keeping it Real Ms.Simeon.from reality 2visions 2 dreams then back2 hopes so 2speak.
Did I mention Beauty &the Beast theme is 1of my favorite? I can't ThanQ enough.
I had the privilege of purchasing this Read it goes on my keeper shelf, for future reading n joyment.
U gifted joy 2my heart also a Goofy kool-aide grin 2my face.I was totally n fan girl heaven so awed ,because I visited some of the places that were mention n the Read..((giggle))!

To the story's gain ,whilst feeding the fiery flames passions continued 2 spiral out of control truths reveals told ,Bigger bolder shown of the Me nobody else know,self discoveries made,also scars surface.
Still curiosities ask questions is there happiness n the triumph of revenge?
Does Love truly carries redeeming remedies of..
healing powers?
Is It worth more than a Billionaire Bachelor's riches gain??!
I challenge U 2 read :
Beauty &the Bachelor 4Ur self.
I guarantee U won't b sorry U did!!
Now Iam off 2 read : Sweet Ultimatum by Naima Simone
Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Mspraise50.
1,582 reviews64 followers
December 21, 2015
I have brought nearly all of this author's books but this was the first one I have actually read. I know, what was I waiting for!!!

This was Lucas and Sydney's story. For the avoidance of any doubt this is an interracial story, Sydney is biracial. Her dad is black and her mum is white.

I really enjoyed the story, it got me all in my feelings. I felt for both Lucas and Sydney. I liked that Lucas was always honest about his attraction to Sydney. The story felt like one of those early Mills & Books stories I used to read where the male character was always dark and moody and the love of a good woman brought him from that dark place.

I am hoping there will be another auction story and it will be his best friend who finds the woman of his dreams.

I totally enjoyed this read and I am looking forward to reading all the other books I have of this author.
Profile Image for Rachael*Caribbean*girl*bibliophile.
1,599 reviews328 followers
July 18, 2018
This reminded me of my days of reading Blaze romances lol,the thing I loved most about this book was the sexual tension throughout....it was intense, i couldn't put this book down. I found it well written and interesting though the plot feels very familiar nevertheless for my first read by this author I really enjoyed this one, as is typical of these types of books the ending feels rushed with a quick forgiveness and ily. All in all this one worked for me.
Profile Image for Chi.
602 reviews29 followers
October 1, 2018
This was such a solid read! Sure, it might not have set me aflame in the way that A Millionaire at Midnight had, I still loved, loved LOVED the story.

I might've disliked the elements of marrying to save your family's reputation, and of course the both of them falling in love with one another, but I absolutely adored how Naima Simone pulled it off. She turned the tropes on their heads and did a fabulous job of writing the resolution so beautifully.

Oh, and I also adored how she subverted my expectations. I expected a tall, cool blonde as the main character, only for her to be revealed to be a black woman. Loved it!

Edit: I should add that I also in turn, entirely agree with this review, but the writing was so smooth and solid - and the grovel so good! - that I downplayed the negatives.
Profile Image for Aarati.
340 reviews71 followers
August 11, 2015
I got a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange of an honest review

3.5 stars

Lucas Oliver is all set to avenge his father. And he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Even if it involves blackmailing the innocent daughter of his sworn enemy into marrying him. All her life Sydney Blake was controlled by her family. She was nothing more than a disappointment to her fickle, indifferent mother and her driven, controlling and absent father. She was a mere pawn in her father's games. The only good thing she did to please her parents was agreeing to marry the son of her father's business associate. And even that appreciation is short-lived, when she decides to give in to Lucas's blackmail and marry him to save her father.

At first when I saw that the people around Sydney, including her family was treating her like garbage, I was enraged. Not just at her family, but also Sydney herself. What person just stands and looks around while they are being beaten to an inch of their lives. But as I kept reading, I realized, Sydney is far stronger than she looks. She has the kind of inner strength that inspires. The kind of strength one can’t guess just by looking at her. Her actions are mainly driven by the guilt of an old tragedy, a tragedy even her father blamed her for. But the growth you see in Sydney with each passing page is commendable.

Lucas Oliver. I have mixed feelings about the guy. When I first finished this book, I was leaning towards the ‘I-hate-him’ tip of the scale. But now that I have had some time to think and process the book, I am more in the middle. The best thing I loved about Lucas was that he is the reason Sydney found herself. He encouraged her, made her feel special, made her more confident. I think without Lucas, Sydney wouldn’t have grown as much as she did in this book. He made her more independent and strong enough to stand up for herself.

Now as much as I loved Lucas for all the good he did to Sydney, I hated all the bad he did to her too. He was always clear about his agenda. Revenge. No matter what the cost. And that’s what he does till almost the end of the book. More times than not, Sydney had to pay for her father’s sins in some way or the other. He may not have physically hurt her, but he hurt her plenty emotionally. At every stage of their relationship he kept secrets, his actions would say something and his words something else. Like Sydney, I too was frustrated with his back and forth. And when he accuses her of doing something she wouldn’t dream of, all bets are off.

Lucas does come to his senses and realizes what an ass he was for treating Sydney the way he did. And he does promise to keep her happy and love her for the rest of his life. But I would have loved to see some more grovelling on his part.

What was irrefutable was Lucas and Sydney’s chemistry. Oh boy did they have chemistry. Oozing hot was what they were. Since the moment their eyes met across the stage, they were sizzling. The sex was hot and even when they were angry with each bother they were burning up the pages. Their attraction to each other through all the ups and downs was so palpable, it was undeniable. Their kind of passion is one of the reasons that I think their relationship made it.

The only secondary character I liked was Aiden, Lucas’s best friend. He was a fun guy who could clearly see that what Lucas was doing was not right. He tried to talk him out of it too. And when Lucas inevitably messes up his relationship with Sydney, it’s Aiden who gives him the much-needed kick in the ass. Tyler, Sydney’s ex-fiance too was a guy that I really liked. As we find out in the book, he has his own mess to clean up and I can’t wait to read more about him. I hope Naima Simone decides to write his story, because that’s one that I definitely want to read.

The people I hated most in this book were Sydney’s parents. There are no two parents worse than Jason and Charlene Blake. The way they chipped at their daughter was just despicable. They reminded me of vultures picking at a carrion. I am really surprised though that Sydney turned out the way she did with the kind of parents she had. But I guess, when you have the worst kind of parents, you are determined to be the best kind of person. And Sydney was definitely the best kind of person. Though Jason too realizes his mistakes and apologizes to Sydney, for e it was too little, too late. Twenty years of indifference and hurtful attitude can’t be overcome by one apology. But Jason was still better than Charlene, because that woman never even bothers to apologize to her daughter for all the agony she has caused.

Overall it was a really good book with an emotional roller coaster ride and an amazing lead heroine. Sydney is the kind of woman one would like to emulate. Her innate goodness, her strength, her kindness and courage are the best part of her. I have a total girl-crush on her, because let’s be honest, she may not wield a sword, but she is totally bad-ass.
Profile Image for Stacy Reid.
Author 76 books2,645 followers
August 11, 2015
I cannot express how much I loved this book. Naima's writing is provocatively sensual and so damn sweet. I have a soft spot for revenge themed romances and this one satisfied me in every way.
From the very first page I was drawn to our hero Lucas. I loved everything about him. He is scarred on the inside from suffering the loss of his family because of another man’s greed, thus starting his quest for revenge. I won’t even get into his bloody mother, other than to say I could slap that b***h. Lucas is also scarred on the outside, a beast in every manner if you will. This description from our lovely, vulnerable but fiery and determined heroine Sydney was just mouth wateringly perfect.

“Of course she’d seen the scar. It was impossible to miss,
since it bisected his obsidian eyebrow and continued in a
thin ridge under his right eye. The scar appeared to be an
old one, but the original wound must have been horrible to
leave behind such a visible mark. But unlike her mother,
Sydney didn’t find it repulsive. No, the mark added to his
dangerous, warrior-in-a-suit air. He reminded her of a barely
domesticated panther: dark, sleek, muscled, beautiful,

Like really? Nothing Lucas could do after this could make me dislike him, even if his revenge went on a path that hurt Sydney. I knew he would redeem himself and I was happy to wallow in his dark edginess. I loved everything about Lucas, I felt his pain and I empathized with him, I understood his need for revenge and I flipping cheered and urged him to complete it because I am bloodthirsty like that. I love how he was drawn to Sydney and the raw carnality of his thoughts and actions in relation to her. I hummed in anticipation of Lucas and Sydney falling together into lust and love and when it happened I melted for it was hot, raw, carnal yet undeniably sweet.

While Lucas stole the book for me, Sydney crept into my heart and melted it. I like her, enjoyed her vulnerability, and her kick a$$ spirit. I enjoyed watching her growth, loved watching the guilt that had corroded and defined her life for so much was kicked in the butt. She was a great character and I could not have wished for a better woman than her for Lucas.

I highly recommend this scorching and sweet romance read. I am dying for book 2 and this better be a series!
Profile Image for a_tiffyfit.
759 reviews92 followers
July 27, 2015
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the early read and review copy I received electronically


This read had a surprising amount of emotion that I wasn't expecting in a romance. It isn't just about an expected relationship developing into love. This was about learning to forgive oneself, love oneself, and stop taking other people's crap and expectations of you. It is about learning to forgive, learning how to grow, and learning how to let go.

Lucas and Sydney are pretty wonderful together and what they do for one another made this book so much more enjoyable. It's not just about self-sacrifice: it's about wonder, and trust, and everything in between. Discovery of oneself and acknowledging that just because someone is related to you, doesn't mean they aren't a complete and utter a-hole.

Romance and sexiness abounds, and when these two finally reach the point you're hoping for, it's so tender and sweet and sigh-inducing.
Profile Image for Bookylicious.
82 reviews35 followers
December 26, 2015
It could be a wonderful read the plot was promising. But it is nooott. I really wanted to like this. Because I love forced/aranged marriage bookS. Too short for a book like this or for my taste. İt was like the writer herself just bored of her own book and cut it short. No angst or twist. Love in just 1 month (actually in 2 weeks but anounced in 1 month:)) sooo predictable.
Sorry this is not for me...
Profile Image for XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy.
1,473 reviews443 followers
August 8, 2015
Revenge is never a good idea but sometimes, it can lead to unexpected feelings. Lucas and Sydney end up together by what seems to be a mistake, but it's just a part of a plan that doesn't include falling in love. I like the internal conflict that Lucas goes through and his chemistry with Sydney is great. Definitely one to pick up :)
Profile Image for Rachel.
2,061 reviews25 followers
August 15, 2021
Lucas has planned his revenge for 15 years. It appears his father's best friend slept with his mother and took away his company leading to his father's suicide and his going to live with an Uncle. When Lucas realized Jason (the ex-friend/betrayer) is doing something illegal, he blackmails Sydney (Jason's daughter) into marriage in exchange for keeping silent. Lucas is secreting buying up stock so he will own a majority share in the company.
Sydney is 25, still lives at home and does what mom/dad want. She isn't living her own life and feels she owes her parents. She blames herself for her brothers death 15 years prior when she was 10 and he was 6. Her parents have been cold and distant with her ever since.
Sydney is a character that started out as a doormat, meek, weak, and invisible. As the book progresses, she blossoms into someone completely different; she becomes strong and stands up for what she wants and for herself. I enjoyed the growth. Lucas starts out as someone unlikable, only thinking of revenged. He, too, grows throughout the book and begins to think of others and how his actions effect them. He becomes less of an asshole. Even Jason has a small amount of redemption. Not Sydney's mom; she's still a bitch.
For a forced relationship (which I can be leery of and stay away from as a trope), Sydney had own her agency and someone who helped her see her own value and realize her potential.
Ripped Bodice Bingo: Date Auction
Profile Image for Maria Rose.
2,465 reviews242 followers
April 2, 2016
This sexy revenge love story is the romance between Sydney and Lucas. Lucas has waited 15 years to enact revenge on Jason Blake, his father’s business partner who had an affair with Lucas’s mother and destroyed their family. The best way to do this? Secretly buy out pieces of Jason’s company until he owns controlling shares and blackmail his daughter Sydney to marry him with threats of revealing her father’s shady business practices to the authorities. A 1 year marriage to Sydney should give him time to enact all his revenge plans, starting with the humiliation of having her break her engagement plans to another man, one who would have provided the wealth her father needs to fix his ailing company. But using innocent Sydney doesn’t give him the satisfaction he expected, especially when he discovers that she is nothing like the vapid society women he’s used to. When he finds himself falling in love with her, will it be too late to come clean and earn her respect and love in return?

This was my first time reading this author and I really enjoyed her storytelling style and the plot of this particular romance. I’ve always been partial to enemies to lovers and revenge love stories, so the synopsis of this one quite appealed to me. Sydney comes across as a sweet and friendly woman, one who has blamed herself for many years for a family tragedy that occurred when she was younger and as a result has grown up with guilt and the desire to do anything that would please her parents. This includes marrying a man of their choosing, a family friend from a wealthy family whose partnership with her would ensure a good business investment for both families. She is horrified by Lucas’s accusations against her father, and the knowledge that breaking her engagement and uniting herself with Lucas will destroy what little credibility she has in her parents eyes. But she’s willing to do anything to save her father from jail. Lucas is a hard, bitter man, focused on his revenge. When he meets Sydney, having had his plans for her already laid out before even meeting her, he is struck by her openness and beauty. He doesn’t mind that she isn’t model thin like his usual conquests, and has an instant attraction to her, one that he will be quite happy to act upon if she gives him the right signals. Despite the circumstances, the chemistry between her and Lucas is evident from their first meeting and once the marriage takes place, Sydney decides that if she’s going to be married to this ruthless man, she might as well enjoy the fruits of the bedroom too.

He slowly tunneled his fingers under her bun, maybe giving her time to push him away or step out of his embrace. Her carefully styled hair started to loosen and unravel as his blunt nails grazed her scalp and he gently pulled her head back. This time, she couldn’t contain the moan. It slipped free of its own will.
“I love that sound coming from you. Is that what you were trying to hold back from me?” He smoothed another caress over the lip she’d closed her teeth over. “Why? When this”- he brushed a kiss over the corner of her mouth-“is the only honesty we have between us.”
He tugged her head back farther and covered her mouth with his. His hand returned to her chin, keeping her steady for the plunge of his tongue. While his grip might have been devastatingly tender and sensual, the kiss wasn’t. He didn’t cajole or tease playfully. He took, and God, she gave. Surrendered. Submitted.

Their love scenes are hot and steamy, and full of emotion as Lucas battles his desire for keeping this as a sex only marriage with no real feelings involved. But over time, as they open up their pasts to each other, Lucas realizes that he wants Sydney to know the truth of why he wanted revenge and when Sydney treats him with compassion and understanding he realizes he’s falling in love with this woman who is not what he expected. But he doesn’t reveal all his secrets, and when Sydney finds out the truth of his ultimate plans, the betrayal cuts deep and it’s up to Lucas to convince her that his feelings for her are real and can be the basis of a real marriage.

Sydney’s relationship with her parents is complex and changes over the course of the story as her father starts to realize how much he has failed his daughter. Sydney’s mother is a typical society matron, determined to put on a show for the public but with no hesitation to dismantle her daughter and her choices in private. I liked how Lucas stood up to her parents in her defense from the beginning (even though he’s the cause of some of her current problems) and how he becomes aware of how mistaken he was to use her in his plans. Equally, Sydney learns from her relationship with Lucas to stand up for herself and she changes for the better over the course of the story too. Lucas has one true friend, Aiden, who has been with him since high school and their friendship means that Aiden can always be counted on to be truthful with him, including his disapproval of Lucas’s revenge plan and his honesty in telling Lucas the mistakes he is making in using Sydney in this way. I liked their conversations and it was great to see this other side of Lucas, the caring friend side and not just the ruthless businessman. Of course, with Sydney he eventually shows his caring and tender side too so you get a real picture of all the facets of his personality.

From the beginning of the story to the end I was entertained by this beauty and the beast tale of a man who wants his revenge but realizes how hollow it will be if he loses the woman he loves. 4.5 stars.

Note: a copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.

Note 2: This review is posted as a blog post at: http://straightshootinbookreviews.com...
Profile Image for JL Roberts.
585 reviews81 followers
December 6, 2022
Honestly, I've not really enjoyed the fairy tale remakes because the few that I have read were just so cringy. Sorry/not sorry. Beauty and the Bachelor (Bachelor Auction, 1), on the other hand, had an original sexy story with amazing characters.
When Lucas blackmails Sydney into marrying him as a way to destroy her father he never expects that he would fall for her, after all he doesn't believe in love and happily ever-after's. But Sydney is different and he's starting to feel for her, only he's hiding secrets from her that could ruin them before they have actually even begun.
The only thing I didn't like in this story was the way Sydney let her parents walk all over her because she thought she owed them for an accident that was never her fault in the first place.
Profile Image for Jackie (Jackie's Book World) .
832 reviews59 followers
August 12, 2015
***Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World.*** :)

Rating: 4.5/5

In Beauty and the Bachelor we get to read about two individuals who are so caught up in maintaining their loyalty to their families that they are willing to do anything to protect them. In this case, we meet Lucas Oliver, the handsome billionaire whose fortune has helped him claim the ladder of the wealthy and is willing to do anything to avenge his father. And then we meet Sydney, the daughter of a wealthy man who is determined to do anything to protect her family and maintain her loyalty to them.

For Sydney, her family is very important to her that she is willing to put her life on hold for her family to be safe. When she is thrown into an arrange marriage to one of the wealthiest families in the city, she was determined to make it work for her family. Yet when attending a charity function she was supposed to bid on her fiance, but instead get tricked into bidding for a handsome stranger who seems to have a pull towards her that she can't deny. As soon as billionaire Lucas Oliver introduces himself to Sydney and her family, no one knows who he is other than he is yet another upcoming billionaire. But among all of that, she can't seem to shake the instant chemistry that they both have towards each other, when they go to their date the next day, she gets caught by the person that wants to see her dad fail and go to jail. The only option that Lucas gives her is to marry him instead of her current fiance and he is going to keep the evidence that he has against her father to himself. Little did they knew that what started out as a somehow forced marriage was going to end up different in the end. The more Lucas started to know about the real Sydney, the more he started to realize that she is an innocent who doesn't deserve what he is about to do to her father, and who deserves someone who can truly love her like he is started to feel about her.

One of the things that I liked about the book was how we get to see the characters grow and accept themselves and their pasts. They both have been equally hurt in their past that it makes it harder for them to move on. Sydney is a character that has always been loyal to her family even though she doesn't get treated with the same love that she gives to her parents. They always have something negative to say to her and that has slowly grown into her becoming insecure with herself. Both of the characters have tragic stories that they feel guilty of and when Lucas starts to tell Sydney about his past, he lets his guard down and he is able to fully trust her. Yet since their pasts collide one wrong move from either of them is going to end up hurting the other. Though we do get character development in the story, I felt that it lacked some scenes at the beginning of the story. It all felt rushed at the beginning, but it eventually slow down the pace which I liked. The ending was sweet and romantic, I am hoping the author writes more of Lucas' friend and his own story. Overall, the story was very well-written, full of romantic scenes and growth in the characters. I highly recommend it, especially if you're looking for a good page-turner read that is going to leave you wanting for more. :)

***ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Eva Millien.
3,146 reviews42 followers
August 10, 2015
Hell bent on revenge, Lucas Oliver serves up a little blackmail, followed by a marriage proposal but has a tough time making Sydney suffer when all he thinks about is touching her in this exciting contemporary romance.
Tricked, blackmailed and forced to do her duty, Sydney has no choice but to accept Lucas marriage proposal and the reader can’t help but get caught up in the turmoil as well as the flying sparks that ignite when both Lucas and Sydney is caught by their unwanted attraction to each other. The chemistry sizzles with lots of heat from every page but with this explosive start to their relationship is it any wonder that it’s full of turbulence as well as passion. Strong, compelling characters grab reader’s attention from the very beginning and refuse to let go while the fast paced, smooth flowing plot keeps the readers on edge with lots of suspense and romance.
Anticipation of explosions and highly turbulent emotions keeps tensions high as Lucas’ friend warns of the danger ahead and the personal demons that keep both Lucas and Sydney’s hearts locked away gripping readers by the heart. Well written scenes and details bring the emotions and vivid images to vibrant life making it easy for the reader to become caught up in this passionate tale while the suspense draws readers in and guarantees that there is never a dull moment.
This captivating story keeps emotions high as something wrong turns into something so right despite such an exciting but questionable beginning and I was on pin and needles throughout the story as I awaited to discover the outcome and I have to say that after that extremely cheerful epilogue and the fact that it seems that Lucas didn’t learn his lesson very well, I can’t wait to read Aidan’s story as well.
Profile Image for Nikki Brooks.
2,805 reviews37 followers
September 13, 2015
Lucas as spent the last 15 years plotting the downfall of the man he holds responsible for the implosion of his family. He is now on the brink of success, the last piece of the plan is within his grasp, Sydney, the daughter of his enemy. But what happens when he realises that she is not the ice-princess, haughty blue blooded socialite he thought she was.

Sydney is tired of being the perfect daughter. She has shouldered some mislaid guilt over a childhood tragedy and feels she is finally doing something of which her parents approve. She is engaged to the son of one of her fathers friends, their match will make a great business match but she expects to lead a dull, loveless marriage. But when her bids on her fiancée at a bachelor auction go awry, she falls headlong into the trap set in place by Lucas.

I loved this story and I'm not a lover of the usual billionaire romance books. Lucas brings an edgy version of "The Beast" to life. He is ruthless to the core but even he begins to feel twinges from his conscience as he gets to know Sydney. Sydney is such a warmhearted and lovable female but what I loved most was watching her grow a backbone of steel and put those to denounce her accomplishments (and emotionally slap her in the fac) in their place!!!!

Evocative and emotion laden moments interlace wonderfully with the conniving of Lucas plan of revenge. Superb writing, i had to read it in one go because I could NOT put it down. So hoping that Lucas' friend Aiden will get his own book because he was wonderfully caustic towards his Machiavellian plan!!!
Profile Image for Fizza.
Author 21 books33 followers
July 28, 2015
It is a contemporary romance novel. I loved the story line and characters as well. It was quite interesting and chemistry between Sydney and Lucas was off-the-charts, which is a definite plus.
Sydney doesn't think of herself as a perfect daughter but she tries her best. Even then her parents are never happy with her. She knows that her parents may not love her the way she wants but she loves them and that is enough to garner family loyalty. For them she is willing to marry someone she doesn't love. At least Tyler respects her and they have friendship. Then Lucas come along. With his plans of revenge and it seems that Sydney is going to be a pawn in his grand scheme.
Lucas has lived his life in hatred and all he has ever wanted is to destroy one person who is responsible for the destruction of his family and his happiness. he doesn't care about methods he might have to use in order to accomplish that, after all "the only way to fight is dirty." What he didn't count on was the feelings which Sydney aroused in him. He wanted to protect her rather than hurt. But will that be enough to move him, to make him forgo his revenge, let go of the past and move on with his life with Sydney.
Profile Image for Emery LeeAnn.
Author 72 books545 followers
August 8, 2015
Lucas has lived most of his life Hell bent on revenge against the man who has ruined his life and his father's.
The Beast of Baybridge will stop at nothing to get his satisfaction including blackmailing the daughter of the traitor to marry him for one year to protect her father.
Sydney is the perfect daughter. Oh not in size or stature but in loyalty. For her parents, she has accepted an engagement from her close friend Tyler so her family would profit from his family's name. Knowing it would be a loveless marriage was ok with her. After all, didn't she deserve it after the tragedy she was blamed for. When Lucas blackmails her, what else is a girl to do but accept his terms to save her father.
What neither of them anticipated is the chemistry between them. And look out when they seal the deal! I swear there was smoke coming off of my kindle!
I am a huge fan of Naima Simone's but I must say this is my favorite book by her!
Sizzling sex scenes set against an amazing story!
If you haven't experienced the brilliance of Ms. Simone, this book will make you a fan for life!
Profile Image for Katherine 黄爱芬.
1,996 reviews230 followers
November 29, 2018
Lucas Blake sudah merencanakan rencana keji pembalasan dendamnya ini bertahun-tahun. Butuh banyak kesabaran, keuletan dan kegigihan utk mewujudkannya.

Pertama, dia menjebak Sydney utk memilih dirinya di acara Bachelor Auction. Kedua, dia memaksa Sydney utk menikahinya. Ketiga, dia akan memaksa Jason, ayah Sydney utk mundur dr jabatan CEO.

Tapi rencananya tidak berjalan spt yg dia inginkan. Lucas terjebak pd rencananya dan tidak menyangka dirinya akan jatuh cinta pada Sydney, si pewaris yg biasa saja ini.

Ini pertama kali saya membaca karya author. Plot cerita sebenarnya bagus dan simpel, cuma eksekusi finalisasinya terkesan dipaksa secepatnya HEA. Chemistry juga baik dan melebur diantara mereka berdua. Hanya saja gaya menulis author sering dgn hiperbola yg lebay dan hanya bisa dimengerti kalau pembacanya juga tau sejarah. Overall, saya menikmati novel ini.
Profile Image for Bette Hansen.
5,051 reviews37 followers
August 1, 2015
When Sydney casually made her bid for the bachelor at the auction, she expected the masked man to be her fiance Tyler. Never did she expect the ruggedly handsome stranger, Lucas Oliver. Really though, what could it possibly hurt to have one dinner with the man. A lot apparently!

Lucas Oliver is out for revenge. If it weren't for Sydney's father, his own father would still be alive. He assumes when he forces the man's daughter into an unplanned marriage that cancels out her planned marriage to Tyler it will devastate him. The only problem...his unexpected attraction to Sydney.

I really enjoyed this one! It was so much more than the typical fake marriage trope. Lots of emotion, passion, and romance. I definitely recommend this one.
Profile Image for Amira.
197 reviews11 followers
August 26, 2015
Good revenge read. The sexy times were scorching!
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