Although I tend to steer clear of contemporary romance, the premise of “The Millionaire Daddy Project” caught me in a moment where I thought I’d give it a go, and for the most part, this was a great decision.
The blurb describes a story of millionaire Dane Bergman suddenly finding himself father to an adorable five year old girl, and his personal assistant Pamela Atwater who gets convinced to join him on his island resort for a month of helping him adjust to his new life.
There aren’t really any surprises in this story. We’re 99.9% sure that Dane and Pamela are going to end up together, but the trick is how Roxanne Snopek gets them there, and the backstory that she unfolds. As with most romances, this is the bit I really love.
Dane and Pamela both come from fatherless homes, so this idea is used repeatedly by Pamela to overcome Dane’s resistance to fatherhood, and to encourage him to develop a sense of empathy. Yet his child doesn’t take a prime roll, she’s a plot point, but not overly developed.
The voice is Pamela, and we get her inner thoughts about being attracted to Dane as well as her resolution to keep things professional and not fall for him like the “dimbos” in his life. Although the term makes my skin crawl, I take the derogatory use of dimbos to reference Dane’s past girlfriends (of which there only seems to be one at a time) as a subtle dig at Pamela’s jealousy.
Pamela annoys me at the start of the story with her “he’s sexy but I’m not going to go there” inner refrain. Thankfully Roxanne develops her beyond just being an annoying, but very efficient, PA and into a character that becomes more human, with depth of personality and emotion.
Dane is oblivious, he seems to wander through life assuming everyone likes him, or not worrying if they don’t. Yet as his backstory unfolds this no longer seems to sit with the personality we see. This aside, Roxanne has created a character with very real emotions and the ability to grow as he accidentally finds himself on a journey of self-discovery (orchestrated in part by Pamela).
The worst line in the entire book is “The kid considered him sloppy seconds.” I do wonder if the author doesn’t know what this phrasing means – as there is no WAY this is appropriate. While rather gross at the best of times it just becomes horrifying in the context of Dane feeling like second fiddle to Pamela in Dani’s eyes (no offence to violin players).
I think I’m well on record for my terrible habit of skipping the majority of sex scenes in books outside of erotica. I’m afraid that this didn’t change for The Millionaire Daddy Project. Although the lead up to the sex scenes was very well done, with lots of drawn out tension and build up. Scenes of Pamela being fed food blindfolded fit in perfectly with the story (Dane’s testing out a recipe), but Roxanne manages to make this terribly erotic. Roxanne’s ability to make a seemingly non-event into a very erotic moment is certainly a skill well-honed in this book.
Overall, this is a nice easy read, with lots of sexuality and some fun word play. We have all our lose ends tied up nicely, and a beautiful (if very abrupt) Happy Ever After. Romance is the driving factor of the story, and everything else is just a prop to help the romance develop.
A great light read for the romantically inclined.