Book Review: Taken by the Highest Bidder by Jane Porter

February 11, 2015

Title : Taken by the Highest Bidder
Author : Jane Porter
Series : -
Genre : Romance/ Harlequin Presents
Published : December 2005
Rating : 3 of 5 stars

Cristiano Bartolo, a Formula 1 driver. Not many Presents’s hero with this occupation. I seem to remember one, but he already retired. But Cristiano, despite he had an accident before, and seems to retired after that, but actually not. He is still active in racing, which become a problem between him and Sam, the heroine. At first, at his first appearance, he seems like an asshat. Forcing to separate Sam with her stepdaughter, when actually the stepdaughter was his aim.

Samantha van Bergen. She’s an orphan and former nanny of Gabby van Bergen. She married Gabby’s father to take care of Gabby. When Johann, the husband, lose a game from Cristiano, Sam was sold to this Formula 1 driver. Her life kinda full of tragedy. Her parents died when she was six and she ends up at orphanage. At the age of twenty, she became a bride and a widow at the same night. Her husband died in a car accident, that’s why she really afraid of cars, and Cristiano’s occupation is a really huge issue for her.

After her husband lost a game with Cristiano, Samantha was sold to Cristiano. Afraid that Cristiano would separate her from Gabby, her stepdaughter, she fled to her old orphanage in England. But surprise, surprise, Gabby was the one which Cristiano wants. So Cristiano brought them back to Monaco and ask her to marry him instead. Unique point from this book is the Monaco setting. I’ve never read this kind of setting from Presents before, but it fits with hero’s occupation, I guess. Weird point is, for me at least, that Gabby seems too intelligent for a kid her age. And Cristiano teach her to drive Formula 1 car at the age of five? Behind Sam’s back no less? That was so wrong. Sam’s fear about Cristiano’s career is the main problem for them after their marriage. It kinda weird to not know about your husband-to-be occupation, but, well, their situation isn’t common enough. I can relate Sam’s fear about cars because of her past, moreover, it’s racing we’re talking about. The risk is so much higher to had an accident. And Cristiano doing nothing to reassure her, or, I don’t know, something, to help her overcame her fear. He’s too stubborn and hard towards Sam. But kudos for Sam to finally had enough courage to fight her fear, to fight for Cristiano. I really love the ending of this book.

“I love you more than I hate cars, so I decided I'd try to face my fears and take some risks."
Samantha van Bergen


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