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Except My Love

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  262 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
When Erica Murril married her boss she was under no illusions as to the nature ofthe marriage. She knew that for Oliver Leyne it was merely one of convenience,that he would never have considered her had he not lost the woman he really loved. All the same, Erica did love him, and she couldn't help hoping that with time and patience her marriage might turn into something dee ...more
Published 1969 by Mills & Boon (first published January 1st 1937)
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Ok, this is weird. I KNOW I had a review of this book here, and Hmm.... At least I can copy/paste from Amazon.

This was a nice trip into romance nostalgia. Originally written in 1937, Harlequin reprinted it in the 70s, so it's truly a vintage romance. Overall, it has the feel of one of those "women's pictures" from the golden age of Hollywood (though the setting is British). As I read it, I could imagine the cast for it and saw it unfolding in good old black and white. Loretta Young as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2012 Melanie♥ rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I could really feel for Erica. I thought that despite her doormat tendencies early on, she made a very likeable heroine. I totally sympathized with her unrequited love for Oliver. Her inner musings added depth and angst to the story.
Oliver faired a bit lower on the likeability scale. Perhaps if we had anything from his point of view, it might have given his character more depth of understanding. The outward clues to his feelings were pretty telling, though.
This would have been a 5 star
Feb 24, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

First, you know I had to find the title. Sorry, it's a thing I do compulsively in these old harleys.

Oliver Leyne to Erica Murril when he proposes a marriage of convenience:

"You understand - I'm offering you everything I have, except my - love. That I cannot and I will not give again to any woman." (24)

Why? Why can't he give her his love? Well, because that "man-catching bitch" Dreda of the big red hair and the cream and scarlet sports car used it all up, leaving him heartbroken and des

An hp made me cry! This was a very emotional read which I enjoyed reading. I felt so hurt on the heroine's behalf. The hero treated her abominably and her love for him was so one sided. talk about unrequited love! Talk about me wanting to kill the OW that the hero was so foolishly in love with! This was a far cry from a fairy tale romance, but it was so engrossing. You will want to do physical damage to this beta male hero for being led on a string like a puppy dog
Sep 03, 2012 Leona rated it liked it
Shelves: hqn-presents
Wow..This was different. The story felt rather dated. That actually helped me to feel some compassion for the situation. I cut the characters some slack given that people had different moral standards back in the 30's. Otherwise, I think this would have been a one star.

Issues I had with the order of priority.

1) The hero, was an absolute idiot and a sniveling coward...There was absolutely nothing sexy about him. At one point, I wanted to scream "Oliver, just grow up and put on your big
I am conflicted between rating it as okay or good read,wanted to kick both Erica-Oliver,Oliver is one jerk whom i wanted to kick,as story progressed he realizes his mistake and comes to his senses but the reason was not good enough for me,Erica was too good and forgave easily.After the way Oliver cruelly threw her love back at her face still she fought for it and lost,i was really glad she made a life for herself.IMO Oliver had loads of grovelling to do for the things he said to his wife and way ...more
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Jan 23, 2012 sbf20112011 rated it really liked it
I almost wanted to give this one 5 stars, for holding my interest so well. I've never read a Harlequin this old (my oldest ones were in the 70s, maybe the 60s), and the lack of sex in it made it a very different read. I didn't realize it was so dated until halfway through it, and I realized I had totally missed the first time they had sex on their honeymoon because it was such a subtle hint (he basically asks if he can stay with her because "there's such comfort where you are" and then it descri ...more
Jan 22, 2012 Mareli rated it it was amazing
5 stars

I found this book had all the things I love most. A marriage without love (or not reciprocated), a secret child and the usual bad other woman!

I think Erica was not a doormat. She stood up for her opinions, she had some courage to go and face her love rival and she was always very dignified. He was marred (in his opinion) and I think he had some self-respect problem, but the fact the woman he loved left him after a bad incident, surely didn't help. But the real doormat was him, unable to f
Dec 11, 2011 Tia rated it it was amazing
One of the best books that I've read EVER! The emotions, highs and lows, the freely given love, it was beautiful!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fiona Marsden
Apr 03, 2012 Fiona Marsden rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like old fashioned romance
Recommended to Fiona by: Author preference
Another early Mary Burchell this is a heart breaker. A marriage of convenience between the hero Oliver and his secretary who has loved him all along. Oliver was on the rebound from a beautiful actress and turns to his secretary. It all looks like a possible happy ending until Oliver learns his wife kept a letter from the actress from him just before the wedding. Like many of Burchells heroes, Oliver has a little of the spoiled but lovable little boy in him. Unfortunately that spoiled little boy ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: print
4 1/2 Stars! ~ This is such a poignant story of a hopeless love. Marrying for companionship not love seemed to be a good situation, and our couple were actually quite happy together. Of course, Erica does love her husband and has high hopes that he'll be able to return that love one day. These hopes prove to be impossible and Erica is compelled to end what has become an unbearable marriage. Ms. Burchell had me in tears several times and I was unable to put this book down until the HEA. What a ma ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Tishke rated it liked it
Although I did not care for the male lead character AT ALL, I did feel the despair of the main female character. I did not necessarily agree with her choices and could not understand as to why she continued to strongly love her pathetic excuse of a husband... but I could see and feel the story happening. I wasn't just reading words that didn't effect me, it made me have some strong emotion and that is why I am giving this book a three star. The OW is just the way I love them to be, a real mean, ...more
Aug 20, 2007 CLM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This was one of the first Harlequin romances I ever read, and resulted in a lifelong devotion to Mary Burchell, who really transcended the limitations of series romance in her many novels. This one is not her best - it is about a secretary who falls in love with her distant boss (who does not deserve her devotion and treats her badly) - but it certainly got me hooked!
Nov 29, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I've gotten out of the habit of reading genre romances, but I've read quite a few in my life and I kept a box of them from many years ago. I'm going through them and reviewing them on goodreads.

Mary Burchell (Ida Cook) is my favorite romance author. According to Wikipedia, "Ida Cook and her sister Mary Louise Cook rescued Jews from the Nazis during the 1930s. The sisters helped 29 people escape, funded mainly by Ida's writing." Knowing this makes me enjoy her writing even more!

I've read about 50
I respect the heroine since she is courageous. From the start, she declared her love to her husband despite the marriage condition.
I is also fast paced and we get to read from the beginning of the marriage to the end and finally to the reunion.
When she was pregnant, i was like "what?they didn't bed!" but i get it, old books...

Aug 01, 2013 Mydearloverboy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the heroine (very understanding)...I thought the hero could have at least said he loved her in the end (which he didn't do even once in the book). Plus, the ending was abrupt IMO. However, I thought this was one touching HQ romance.

Overall, 4.5 stars;)
Jul 09, 2015 Adensanti rated it it was ok
Just saying., erica, the heroine in this book, when she died, her soul will go straight away to heaven. but in doing so for her to go to heaven, im gladly to help her. maybe beat her up, or maybe i torture her a bit. no? ofc not.she's a lovely girl, an angel without wings, a pure spul with kindness. apart from that, that didnt stop me to grind my teeth reading her so called love-romance- journey, AND im itchy to smacked her soul out of her body for not only once, but all along the story. coz i j ...more
Elle Markov
Aug 06, 2014 Elle Markov rated it liked it
Ugh, I hated this story. Oliver was such a jerk, he marries Erica and although at first it's a marriage of convenience; Erica really does love Oliver. When Oliver tells her he doesn't want her love and that he's basically still in love with his ex, who by the way was a total bitch. Erica finally leaves Oliver.

Oliver, doesn't even really have any feelings for his ex, he only goes to see her because he wants to show Erica that her opinion doesn't matter. Oliver appears to be hurt when Erica leaves
Apr 24, 2012 GeckoEcho rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: aspiring doormats and marytrs everywhere
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.

The doormat factor in this book was dialed up way too high. There's such a thing as being too understanding, and the h crossed that line a long ways back. The glove thing was unintentionally hilarious to me, but the laughs stopped when she was willing to sacrifice the well being of her child for this self absorbed moron of a non-husband. I understand the book was written a ways back so I can forgive the undelivered letter gimmick in the book. This wouldn't be allowed
Nov 29, 2015 Rongbu added it
Can't believe I read a romance novel written in 1937. Though both H & h were weak, and I felt like screaming at them all the time, I still enjoyed reading the book, taking into consideration that the book was written so many decades ago. Of all the characters, I like Carol the most.
Feb 28, 2014 Griffinyarn rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Rating: 3.5 stars

This story was really quite ridiculous and I enjoyed it anyway; at several parts I even got all misty-eyed. Don't expect huge amounts of realism - this is purely escapist romance.
Jul 23, 2013 SeptemberTenth marked it as to-read
Shelves: reviewed
The cover reminds me of Thelma from Scooby Doo...
Erica Matthews
Jun 28, 2013 Erica Matthews rated it it was amazing
Great story! I can read this one over and over.
Jul 02, 2015 Feronica rated it did not like it
the main plot is interesting but the writing is sucks for me. every moments seems like it's being rushed. I couldn't feel any chemistry between the hero and heroine since it's too fast.
Apr 28, 2016 Saintlyjuliet rated it did not like it
1. The cover looks more like it is the hero and the other woman rather than the hero and heroine because the heroine's personality is nothing like the one of the woman shown on the cover.

2. It's a slow read.

3. The heroine is a major doormat and the hero is kind of an idiotic jerk. He's not the usual harlequin hero.

I am in the mood for the books with stories that have macho heroes, insecure heroines and evil other women. However, while this book had so much potential, I NEEEED my heroes to be mor
Feb 16, 2015 Melinda rated it it was ok
I really disliked this hero. The spoiled selfish immature type does not appeal to me.
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  • House of Mirrors
  • Crescendo
  • Loveplay
  • A Man to be Feared
  • Marriage Meltdown
  • The Fourth Child (Family Matters #3)
  • The Marriage Deal
  • Substitute Wife
  • The Final Price
  • In Name Only
  • Saved from Sin
  • The Dark Side of Desire
  • Never Call It Love
  • Wife by Agreement
  • The Failed Marriage
  • Purchased for Revenge
  • Savage Obsession (Harlequin Presents)
Ida Cook was born on 1904 at 37 Croft Avenue, Sunderland, England. With her eldest sister Mary Louise Cook (1901), she attending the Duchess' School in Alnwick. Later the sisters took civil service jobs in London, and developed a passionate interest in opera. The sisters helped 29 jews to escape from the Nazis, funded mainly by Ida's writing. In 1965, the Cook sisters were honored as Righteous Gen ...more
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