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The Bellini Bride is the story of Marco and Antonia.Marco is the Bellini heir, and has been having the gorgeous Antonia for his mistress for almost an year now But, although he feels magnetic attraction to her, he is sure he doesnt love her His feelings go haywire when Stefan, an artist that Antonia had once known and posed nude for returns, and so does Marco s distrust.Are his feelings complicated than what he imagined.I think this book has finally forced me to make a new book shelf toxic love The couple is hopelessly addicted to one another, especially the heroine, so much so that despite hurtful words and actions, she cannot leave the hero The hero has his own trust issues, and always thinks worst of the heroine But since they boink pretty well, they cannot let go.The whole plot with artist dad family secret talent was a small surprise, but I would have liked if the hero was less possessive and loving, because at times he just seemed obsessed with her without consideration for her feelings.Anyways, alls well that ends well.Safe SWME view spoiler H is kissed by OW as h kisses her old friend to make each other jealous hide spoiler Wonderful Intense story,enjoyed it from pg 1 till the end,wanted to smack Marco sometimes but he did redeem himself and all my anger melted.Antonia adored her one strong woman who stood for whatever she believed and way she fought fair with Marco what ever cruel things for way he treated Antonia made sure she gave him back the taste of his won medicine Wanted to Anton Gabrielli specially the way she hurted and said those cruel words to his own daughter and not a remorse he has for the way he treated his wife and mistress Overall a good readRecommend it I usually love Michelle Reid, but this wasn t one of her best IMHO I was torn on whether to go with a 2 or 3 I suppose it s technically a 2.5.There were some interesting twists, which gave it that extra.5 stars and Reid always keeps me interested But my major problem was with the heroine I m not so sure she was very bright and, given her background, I think she d have been cautious about getting herself into the situation she was in.Also, the hero was such a belittling ass who very clearly did not think the h was good enough for him I still think he was ashamed of her This can be a fun wall banging angsty plot at times, but their were reasons this didn t work as well for me and most of them had to do with the heroine.HP fans know the score An often sheltered naive young lady falls head over heels for some Mediterranean tycoon She eventually ends up losing all her independence to him and wearing fancy clothes, jewels to please him She believes she s his girlfriend He, of course, sees her as a mistress Then there s the inevitable moment where that misunderstanding comes to light and she is hurt mortified Ahhhh I love that trope.This was different in that the heroine knew exactly what she was True, she wasn t a money grubber and she didn t ask for material things She was there simply because she loved the H But she had a background that should have given her a flipping clue as to how unwise the situation was She knew good and well that becoming a rich man s mistress was not the way to HEA unless you know you re in an HP In my opinion a mistress is a very exclusive, highly paid prostitute with extra perks Also and this is bit spoilery, so stop reading now if you want to go in unspoiled view spoiler She acted the part of the bimbo She dressed like one, acted like a spoiled, pouty prima donna, etc She hid the fact that she was a virgin when they met, she went on allowing the H to believe she had lived with a lover for years before coming to him and various other things Perhaps we re supposed to believe she had low self esteem from her background and therefore let the world believe she was what she appeared to be and played into the part Perhaps the H wouldn t have believed the truth in typical arrogant, sexist HP tycoon fashion But she could have at least had some self respect Every time I felt like she was gaining some, she chickened out or played some childish game with the H to get him riled or jealous so he could prove he owned her traitorous body They were the fighting, tempestuous relationship type That crap always annoys me and made the heroine highly frustrating and hard for me to identify with hide spoiler Moved to 4.5 stars on reread Awesome drama compared to a lot of the lukewarm crap out there A hero who loves a woman and isn t a cheater But the usual cowardly copout on heroine s bad rep Silly neat fairy tale resolution that never would happen in real life Would have been so much braver had heroine s reputation been founded in truth and hero loved her anyway What a dunce that he couldn t tell she was a virgin There are very few Italian billionaires, even in a booming economybut her father is also one But hero s love rocked because he truly loved and chose her even given what he thought of her and the ridiculous double standard I didn t mine the cruelty as it was part of their volatile rages at each other and their love was so powerful and passionate Why was his other lover fine but heroine beyond the pale Was this secretly set in the 1800s There were scenes of piercing dialogue and several powerful moments the original proposal.wow Best ever line to her POS father I want everything you are worth and then she clarifies that he is worth nothing More needed to be made of the mother s cut direct. I liked this one much better the second time around The first time I read it a few years ago, I thought is was good I re read because of the 0.99 kindle price and the low to high ratings between my GR friends and those I follow I liked both the H h I liked that the H was into the h and the reader was able to see his realizations regarding his feelings toward the h H was tested to some degree and not only did he pass the test, he exceeded in making sure h knew he loved her and only her 4 2nd time around stars. I m in one of those moods where all I want to do is sit around watching campy 1950 s horror movies, like Them , and reading ridiculous melodramatic serial romances It s why I spent close to two hours trolling for Harlequin Presents titles that tickled my fancy Even though I m convinced that nothing can beat Lightning That Lingers which featured a male stripper with a heart of gold who owned a pet owl and used his g string dollars to fund a nature preserve However, The Bellini Bride managed to stray spectacularly into crazy soap opera territory mid way through the story.Antonia once posed nude for a painting that became famous and brought billionaire Marco Bellini to her door When the book opens it s been a little over a year since they got together and things look to be going a little sour Marco s father is dying and wants to see his son married before he kicks the bucket, so Marco is trying to work up the courage to either break things off with Antonia or grow a pair of balls and marry her.Marco, of course, is a douche nugget The way he handles the stress coming from family and society is to verbally lash out at Antonia His favorite barb is to constantly remind her that everyone thinks she s a big ole ho bag because she s naked in some fine art painting drawn by her ex lover His other favorite thing to throw out is that pretty women are a dime a dozen and he can replace her with a snap of his fingers Such a dreamboat, eh For the first half of the book I didn t find Marco s ass y behavior all that infuriating because Antonia bit back just as hard and made him apologize for being a dick And for a terrifying moment I thought that I had accidentally stumbled across a Presents title that lacked the wonderful flavor of absurdity that I had been looking for After all, I had an awesome heroine who was experienced and unashamed of her past despite the fact that everyone around her seemed to want to shame her, including the hero That was until I hit the halfway point and Reid pulled the rug out from under Antonia s character The crazy hits the fan when Antonia and Marco attend her ex lover s newest art exhibition Suddenly it s revealed that view spoiler Antonia is not actually the female model in the famous painting it s really her mother who looks exactly like Antonia And that ex lover that Marco has been blowing a jealous gasket over for the whole book Never Antonia s lover He was actually her dead mother s lover and is Antonia s father ish figure, which adds a lovely creepy tone to an earlier scene where Antonia is practically feeling him up at a party to piss Marco off Oh and by the way, all that sexual experience Antonia supposedly has is all in your imagination Marco is the only lover she s ever had And the ridiculous doesn t end there Oh no Antonia s real father magically pops up at the art showing and its revealed that he s a billionaire they must grow on trees in Italy who had her mother as his mistress but cut things off with her when he found out she was pregnant OH And even better, Antonia is apparently the one who painted the famous painting and she s been working on one of a nude Marco without his knowledge hide spoiler Here is an unusual book Antonia is not Marco s mistress because she has to financially nurture family members or repair a house she s with him because she quite likes the sex Oh and she s in love Marco s in denial He first saw Antonia naked in a painting, and he bought the painting and now it s a famous image on postcards and while he s thrilled to have the real thing in the flesh, he s a bit too posh to marry a girl everyone s seen with her kit off.Marco and Antonia have a lot of fights about how Marco treats Antonia, and she s not asking him for anything he s not prepared to commit to, although he could maybe be a bit nicer to her in public sometimes and not get all weird about her being friends with the artist who painted her naked So most of what s going wrong is them being passionate and jealous and not going into what s important to each of them.Antonia is refreshingly different because she s not gloomy, has her own stuff going on which thanks very much, has nothing to do with Marco and he can keep out of it unless and until they take their relationship to a deeper level Marco s fine once he decides he might actually start talking to Antonia, rather than giving her orders and then giving her presents to compensate for the orders. Soo much angst, drama and intensity Unsuitable mistress isn t wife material but she and hero love each other so much u can feel their pain at not being able to really be together Heroine s secrets came as a shock to me and hero s final act of love and devotion was super romantic Great book that only needed a better epilogue A picture is worth a thousand words Unfortunately, in this case the picture, a nude painting of the heroine is a thousand words of misunderstandings and lies of omission Not my favorite conflict in a romance However, this is Michelle Reid the writing and the intensity of the story did sweep me along I just never warmed up to either the H h The H h have been dating living together for a year H is a rich Italian business man and art collector The heroine is his longest running mistress something all of his acquaintances tell her on a regular basis The heroine s mother was also a beautiful woman, and had never married The heroine seems resigned that this will be her fate although she loves the H with all of her heart The hero is also conflicted He can t quit the h, but he hates how jealous he is of her other lover, the artist who painted the nude portrait They both contemplate breaking it off from each other because they have reached that point in the relationship stay and invest or cut loses and go MR does a great job with those very uncomfortable feelings view spoiler There s not a lot of action much of the page count is the H h s inner monologues and agony There is a party where the H s mother snubs the h There is an unveiling of the artist s new painting The h s father shows up and is horrible The h decides to leave The H decides to propose The h comes back The h s own artistic career is revealed HEA I wasn t keen on the h keeping the identity of the painting from the hero it was her mother, not her I also didn t like how she didn t trust him with anything from her actual relationship with the artist to her to her own efforts to be a painter Hero was a jealous wreck and took a long time to understand his own feelings This isn t an usual trait in an HP alpha but he wasn t the nicest to the heroine as he worked through is own trust issues The big reveal with two nude portraits that were supposed to shock the conservative Italian society guests was a nice piece of symbolism, but it didn t feel all that realistic There s nude art all over Italy That the h was the famous subject of a nude painting didn t seem a good reason to not marry her or for the mother to snub her But it made for compelling reading hide spoiler ^FREE DOWNLOAD ☙ The Bellini Bride ↡ Wanted A Suitable BrideMarco Bellini Thinks He Has It All Success, Wealthand Antonia His Beautiful, Sensual MistressThen His Father Becomes Ill, And Marco Feels Bound To Marry And Produce An Heir To The Famous Bellini FortuneBut Who Should Marco Choose As A Bride Antonia Isn T Suitable, But She S The Only Woman He Wants In His Life And His Bed Dare He Take His Mistress To Be His Lawful Wedded Wife