Games for Sophisticates is a good name for this book, because it is about playing love like it's a game. Of course we know someone always gets hurt inGames for Sophisticates is a good name for this book, because it is about playing love like it's a game. Of course we know someone always gets hurt in that particular game. Quilla is put in the difficult situation of being asked by her brother to attract the attention of powerful businessman and ladies man Fraser McGill so that he will end his affair with her brother's wife. Quilla loves her brother and would do just about anything for him, but she knows she's out of her league making a play for Fraser. It turns out Fraser falls for the bait. His eye is on Quilla and he spends the rest of the book pursuing her, in various ways.
Quilla doesn't like Fraser at all. She has contempt for his love 'them and leave them ways' and she has to balance that dislike with the need to keep him on the hook so that her brother can repair his troubled marriage. Yet the more time she spends with Fraser, it grows harder to resist his seductive allure, and her feelings of dislike are conflicted by growing feelings of attraction to him. Occasionally, glimpses of the gentle, good man show through and gain her affection. However, she soon reminds herself that everyone knows (and he says it himself) he's incapable of staying with a woman and loving her. Quilla is a love and marriage (eventually) girl. She has no time or inclinations for an affair, even with a sexy man like Fraser. So, she makes it clear that all she feels for him is contempt as soon as she can. But Fraser is not a man to be played with. He gives her an ultimatum that ups the ante, and she has to show her hand or fold. But no one walks away from Fraser McGill.
This book is quite full of emotional/sexual tension. I liked that about the book. Set in the 80s, you can see the change in social mores and dynamics. While Quilla isn't sexually active, she doesn't come off as anachronistic in her personal morals. Instead, she's shown as a careful, somewhat introverted woman who has been focused on career and family, not playing the dating game. In that sense, it is not unbelievable that she would be susceptible to Fraser. However, she uses strength of will and cruel words to keep herself from becoming sexually involved with Fraser for most of this book. I didn't blame her for not wanting to get her heart broken by him. However, I did feel she was very mean and cruel in a lot of things she said and did to him. Usually, I feel that the hero is the one who is being mean to the heroine. In this case, Quilla takes that role. Fraser actually is quite nice to her. Of course, he's trying to get her to sleep with him, but he's not given the opportunity to truly know Quilla and her value system because she's stringing him along. He thinks she's up for the usual sort of relationship dynamic. When he finds out she won't be easily brought to heel, he resorts to some manipulations that aren't fair play, but considering the way she shuts him down continually, I didn't hold it against him. I felt that compared to how mean Quilla was to him, it was fair play.
I didn't rate this one higher because of the mind games and mean things Quilla said and did to Fraser. I understood why, but I winced at poor Fraser when he gives her something very beautiful and from the heart and she rejects it cruelly. I also didn't like how her brother was using his fairly sheltered sister against a known rake instead of manning up and saving his marriage the right way instead of manipulating his wife and her so-called lover. I felt that part was pretty immature and silly.
Overall, this is a good book. I liked Quilla's friend and business partner Nico. I couldn't quite figure out how he felt towards Quilla and wondered what his intentions were. I'm assuming he was respecting the friend barrier, but he would have taken things further if he had any indication Quilla was willing. That was one part I didn't mind, Fraser's jealousy about Nico, although it was mean on Quilla's part at the same time (she told Fraser a lie about their relationship). As I've said before, I like a jealous hero. I think that despite a lack of an on-the-page consummation, this was sensual and full of sexual tension. The end is very good, and I liked that for once, Quilla had to do the work in their relationship. Poor Fraser deserved as much.
A pretty good HP for readers who like their 80s output.
Lynne Graham excels in getting the reader's juices flowing, particularly in her older books. I pulled this one off the pile as part of my Harlequin PrLynne Graham excels in getting the reader's juices flowing, particularly in her older books. I pulled this one off the pile as part of my Harlequin Presents Binge because I knew I'd get something cathartic. I wasn't disappointed.
I liked the fact that Vito is quite sympathetic. He is actually a nice guy, although he does tend to want things his way. He did and said things the wrong way to Ashley, but He had no idea about how traumatic her upbringing was. So I can't really hold that against him.
Even though Ashley was hard to get along with, I liked that about her. I get tired of the heroine who is the hero's dumpbucket, there to be kicked around except for in bed. Ashley isn't shy about standing up for herself or telling Vito what for. Her aggressiveness about certain topics is 100% linked to her past, and I think that if she had felt free to open up, I don't think they would have broken up in the first place.
I think Ashley is definitely one of Graham's most tortured heroines, despite her flaws. Frankly, her homelife sucked, and the abandonment she faced by her family was lousy. Because of her parents highly dysfunctional marriage and her father's abuse (both mental/emotional and at times physical), she has a low opinion of marriage and any sort of commitment, and she was raised to disdain anything feminine. I like to think that Vito could have been the family she lacked, if he had been given full disclosure on her past. Instead, he thought the worst of her instead of digging to the deeper issues beneath her posturing. He took her aversion to commitment and marriage as a sign of a moral failing in her, instead of a sign of emotional scars. They missed out on three years together as a result.
While Ashley is still argumentative and abrasive, she genuinely loved Vito and was heartbroken about their breakup and a loss she suffers shortly thereafter. She has the time to revisit her past strong opinions about marriage and family, realizing a lot of them weren't her own. But now Vito has cast her in the role of heartless jade, although he never got over her. I like that Vito still went after her, even though he thought the worst of her and knew she could hurt him. It showed that his love for her hadn't died. And this time, he wasn't going to settle for a non-committed sexual relationship. He wanted marriage, as he had before, and he wasn't afraid to blackmail to get it this time around.
There is a lot of tension, both sexual and relationship, and plenty of drama in this book. I don't know if I ever read this back in the day. I didn't own it, and I think I would have remembered if it had read it. The feels like Classic Lynne Graham and is worth having in the collection of serious fans of hers. ...more
I think Jennie Lucas might give Lynne Graham a run for her money with the sweet, naive heroine theme. Josie is as sweet as they come. She really seemsI think Jennie Lucas might give Lynne Graham a run for her money with the sweet, naive heroine theme. Josie is as sweet as they come. She really seems out of her league with Kasimir. It seems like shooting fish in the barrel. But Kasimir never knew what hit him. Before he knew it, his plans for revenge that involved Josie were flying away like birdies, and he was stone cold in love.
Jennie Lucas understands the appeal of escapist fantasy romance and she delivers it. While most of the readers of this genre won't know what it's like to swept off our feet by a ruthless billionaire, and probably don't want it in real life, Lucas gives us a 2 hour read that allows us to explore the possibilities. That's why I like this series of books so much. It's a different world and I like that I can spend two hours in that world.
Kasimir is a very bad man. Well, at least he was. I mean, he wants to be. But I think deep down, he's a decent fellow who forgot what was important in life. He lost everything, and when you lose everything, you have nothing to lose. Josie teaches him what it means to love and to sacrifice for love. She teaches him what it means to be a genuine person. And she teaches him to follow his heart and love passionately.
I really liked the first book, Dealing Her Final Card, but I think I liked this one even more. It felt more like Princess fantasy. I liked that they are actually married, and she's not just a mistress. And I think the change in Kasimir is more dramatic than in Vladimir. I also think it's because this was not a reunion romance. The feelings between Josie and Kasimir develop on the page before my mesmerized eyes, and I enjoyed every page of it.
Plus the ending was so sweetly romantic, it made me sigh.
I was disappointed with this one. I love Fiona Brand's Silhouette Intimate Moments series about SAS soldiers in New Zealand, and I was excited to readI was disappointed with this one. I love Fiona Brand's Silhouette Intimate Moments series about SAS soldiers in New Zealand, and I was excited to read a new book by her. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the love or the passion in this story.
What went wrong?
Fundamentally, I like a hero who is psycho crazy about the heroine. I want to believe he couldn't live without her. Not that he was merely sexually attracted or fixated on her. In this book, I did not think Constantine ever lost his cool truly. He always stays in control. Even when he does make decisions/moves to bring Sienna back under his control, it doesn't speak of passion so much as manipulation. And even up to the end, he never really trusted her or let go with her. That failed him as a hero to me. I don't mind a manipulative hero when it's out of passion or intense love for the heroine, but I hate when a hero is manipulative out of sense of arrogance, control or just out of a sense of his incredible power. That master of all he surveys thing doesn't work for me at all. I'm was not convinced that Constantine truly loved Sienna when this over. I felt as though he was going through the motions. And worse still, I felt Sienna was always the one at risk, giving of herself, and out of control, while Constantine held all the cards. What Constantine did at the end didn't relieve me of this feeling. It felt like a move of desperation because he couldn't do anything otherwise. I'd have preferred a passionate declaration of crazy love. But that's just me.
I guess it's just a case of too high expectations. This wasn't a bad book. It was pretty good, especially if it had been by an new author, rather than one who had wowed me so much in the past. I just loved Cullen's Bride by her! Others might like this one more than I did.
No Way to Begin is a weak four stars read. I found the passionate aspects very appealing. I loved that Anton is a possessive, jealous hero (one of myNo Way to Begin is a weak four stars read. I found the passionate aspects very appealing. I loved that Anton is a possessive, jealous hero (one of my favorite types of heroes), and that he fell like a ton of bricks for Nina months before the book takes place. That part of the story reminded me of Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas where Simon falls for Annabelle and indulges in a lighter form of heroine stalking. Yes, the stalker-type hero isn't for everyone, but I like them. Don't judge me! I don't condone real-life stalking at all. I also like that he clearly is willing to do anything to get her, and in his own rough way tries to take care of Nina.
On the other hand, I think some parts were a bit dry. I don't know if it was a mood thing. I have gotten where I love to see a lot of snappy dialogue and back and forth between the couple in a romance book, and so the older books don't seem to have that as much. I think good dialogue builds up and enhances the chemistry and dramatic tension in a romance book. I felt that Nina was a bit too much the fainting/wilting heroine. I do have to acknowledge that for a 20-year-old who is not worldly, that makes sense, but I wished she was a bit more feisty at some times. Yes, she does do the slapping/hitting thing when cornered, but that's not really what I consider feisty. I think I prefer a heroine who is mouthy and can tell the hero off when it's warranted. Not in a fishwife type way, but a don't cross that line with me kind of way--setting boundaries. I do give her props for how she got her mother-in-law told. I wish she had done that a little more with the hero. He was older and a bit on the domineering side and I feel she should have established some boundaries a bit more with him. I guess I have to take into consideration that she felt she was in a rock and a hard place. One part that really annoyed me was when Anton tells Nina she has to give up college. Oh, my blood pressure went through the roof on that. Because, why? His excuse is he wants her with him. It felt more like a 'my wife doesn't need school because I can take care of her and I want her dependent on me and at my beck and call' sort of thing. That attitude always gets my goat. Might not bother another reader at all, though.
So I think four stars is fair, because some things really worked for me:
*I love the blackmail marriage scenario! *Possessive/Jealous/Stalkerific heroes give me shivers in a good way! *The ending was great when they both lay their emotional cards on the table. That alone helped to bump this book up a notch when I was feeling a bit bored. *Although this is a fade to black book, I thought the sexual tension/chemistry parts were off the charts. *Good visuals of Greece, and the use of symbolism and allusions to Greek mythology to draw the contrast between Nina's redhead English looks and Anton's dark Greek looks worked for me. *The reveal on Nina's father's enmity towards Jason, her first beau, and what had gone on with her mother--classic vintage HP drama!
I forgot to add one thing I didn't like:
Anton calls Nina a bitch like four times near the beginning. Hard to describe the situation without spoilers, but I am not fond of verbal abuse, so it didn't work for me.
Overall, a good read. I'll add this to my keeper shelf, although I prefer Michelle Reid's newer books overall.
I recommend it to fans of forced marriage and intense, stalkerific heroes who are magnetic and signficantly older than the heroine. ...more
If you want an emotionally-intense story in the Harlequin Presents line, I recommend Michelle Reid. She delivers in this story.
First of all, I lovedIf you want an emotionally-intense story in the Harlequin Presents line, I recommend Michelle Reid. She delivers in this story.
First of all, I loved the very prominent point of view of the hero, Anton aka Luis. It's really his story, as he comes to terms with his hidden heritage, and the lost love he never got over. He is a vibrant character, that I admired and wished the best for. I was really impressed with the growth that Ms. Reid managed to show in this story. Anton's journey wasn't easy. It was fraught with emotional baggage and damage, and it took some real courage to face that head on.
Cristina, the heroine, suffered greatly in the intervening six years after her and Anton broke up. She said something truly terrible to Anton to make him leave, and he never got over it. But he had no idea how much anguish she went through alone. I think Cristina showed a lot of strength of character, although part of me wishes she had just been honest with Anton years ago. Because she wasn't, they missed out on six years together, and it turned Anton into a man that he probably wasn't meant to be. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Michelle Reid knows how to pen a passionate read. This book will scorch your fingers. It's not excessively detailed in the love scenes. But they are written with so much sensuality and vibrancy that they come off as being pretty erotic, in a good way. All the things that couldn't be said between this couple are expressed physically. You know that what they shared is not, and never will be over.
The Brazilian's Blackmailed Bride has a poignancy and a power that touched me when I was reading it. Because of the deft handing of the characters by the author (although the storyline is fairly familiar to this longtime Harlequin Presents reader), I cared about them, and wanted them to be together and to find their happy ending. It's one of those books that feeds into my Harlequin Presents reading addiction. I want to keep reading them, in the hopes that I will find another book that gives me the zing and the enjoyment that this story did. Highly recommended....more
What can I say about this book? After reading the last pages of this novel, at approximately 1 am, I set it down, knowing I couldn't possibly be readyWhat can I say about this book? After reading the last pages of this novel, at approximately 1 am, I set it down, knowing I couldn't possibly be ready to write a coherent review. Reviews are like soups or dishes with tomatoes and hearty seasonings. They should sit and rest, letting the spices and the tomato paste mingle together, so that the flavor can be maximized. Accordingly, I let myself ruminate in a bovine fashion about what I would write in my review of the latest historical by one of my favorite authors, over the far too short weekend.
First and foremost, Ms. Kleypas wrote yet another wonderful book that cements her place on my keeper and favorite author shelves. Secondly, she took a concept that I thought I was familiar with, but managed to surprise me, and keep me on my toes as I read. I thought I had this story all figured out, by some of the comments from my Goodreads friends, and in Amazon.com romance forum discussions, and my own preconceived notions based on the blurb, and what I know about how Ms. Kleypas writes books. But, I was still surprised.
Harry Rutledge: This is a hero that is very hard to define. At times, frankly, I disliked him. I thought, he's not a nice man. He's very cold, and he's ruthless. But I loved him, at the same time, for being all the things I mentioned. He is definitely a standout for me because of the complexity of his nature. And I loved how Ms. Kleypas was unstinting in showing Harry in the worst light possible. She didn't go the heavy-handed route, in steering us into loving him because he was the hero of the story. And I respect her for that. In fact, I am glad for the naturalistic approach she adopted. Because, as I read this story, the man that Harry is, deep down, the man he wants to be, shows through. And for that, I have to give this author a high five. Harry is a carefully engineered survivor. What he went through in his childhood is not even close to the worst I have read about in fiction. However, for this admitted idealist who believes children should be loved and cherished, valued and tended carefully like the creations of beauty and worth that they are, it was pretty awful for a child to suffer that way. Harry grew up priviledged, but he was neglected in all the ways that count. If that wouldn't make a social maladroit out of a person, I'm not quite sure what would. But, at the same time, Harry managed to make something of himself. He didn't become a shiftless dilettante who did nothing but drinking, fornicating, and spend other people's money. He became a brilliant inventor, businessman, and empire-builder. Even a few of his enemies respected him enough to name their children after him. To be able to do that, I have to respect him. He was a monolith of admantine will, but so vulnerable in some ways, that few were privy to. In truth, only Poppy, that I could perceive, reading this story.
When Harry Met Poppy: We all have defining moments in our lives. Harry had several. But the one that would change the course of his life irrevocably, was when he encountered Poppy. Ever wanted something so very much, the fierce desire for it burns like thirst in a parched throat? That's how Harry wanted Poppy. And that motivated him to do some very lousy things. In his mind, it was okay because Michael Beyning didn't deserve her. I think that he was right about the last part. Beyning didn't deserve a woman that he wouldn't fight for to all the heights and depths of his available resources. He barely even tried for her. And Harry's actions proved that. In medical terms, he performed an elective surgery that was more agressive than needed, but achieved results that no one could argue weren't successful. Yet, there were some significant side effects. For one, Poppy married him with the cold precision of a general going to war, and told him that she would never love him. Not the ideal way to start a marriage. Yet, in Harry's unfathomably analytical mind, he didn't care, because all he needed was her as his wife. The ends justified the means.
What does a man do with a wife? What does a wife do with a husband that didn't fit her expectations of the husband she always wanted? Harry and Poppy had to learn these things. He couldn't put Poppy into a little cubbyhole to take out and amuse himself at his limited leisure. He couldn't wind her up like an automaton. Poppy was a living, breathing, force of nature, that would settle for no less than what she deserved. At times, Poppy came off as immature, in a sense. Hanging onto a fairy tale dream of marriage. But, I had to admire her for sticking to her guns about what she would and would not tolerate from her husband. She needed to do that, because Harry was very used to getting exactly what he wanted, by using the powerful force of his personality, and threats, if necessary. And Poppy did show that she could compromise and surrender in the ways that were important to make a marriage work. It's about meeting each other half-way, and they both had to learn to do that. I liked the dynamic between them, how they danced around each other, getting to know each other as husband and wife. Although the circumstances are purely out of romantic fiction, I think that aspect of marriage is very true to life. A young couple has unrealistic expectations of what they will experience in marriage, and the first year is a wakeup call, as they realize that real life isn't as cut and dried. Marriage takes compromise, time and energy, and lots of communication. You could see this being played out between Poppy and Harry. This is one deeper level that took me by surprise, although, knowing Ms. Kleypas, it probably shouldn't. She writes extremely romantic stories, but there is always some degree of realism in the intricacies of interpersonal relations that play out in her stories. I think she writes married stories very well, but then, she's been married for a long time, so she probably draws on the bank of that experience to develop such a rich narrative.
Family, the Beauty of it: I realize that the Hathaway books aren't high on the list of some of Ms. Kleypas's fans. But, I love this series. It was like going to visit some friends in their family home, and seeing their family interactions, reading this book. So intensely familiar, and heart-warming. I was immersed in the love and the chaos that is the Hathaway family, which is ever-expanding. I got the opportunity to visit with some characters that I easily grew to love in prior books: Cam (he is such a show-stealer), Amelia (the mother hen), Beatrix (how adorable she is with her animals, and her sharply- perceptive understanding of human nature), Kev (intense and forthright, as always), Win (sweet, loving, and peaceful), Leo (who is really coming into his own, has a wonderful sense of humor, and a surprising strength of character that I love), and Catherine Marks (she is shaping up to be a very tortured character who has me very intrigued).
Rounding up my thoughts: Tempt Me at Twilight turned out to be a very satisfying but hard to define read for me. There is something seemingly basic about it, compared to some of Kleypas's other books, but complicated at the same time. This book really is a book about marriage, and about letting the fairy tales go, and embracing the beauty in what is real, and accepting that your destiny doesn't come in the pretty packages that you shop for. Also realizing that the pretty possession that you wanted so bad, comes with a cost, and takes an emotional price in return. I feel that this book presents a deeper message about how your destiny comes exactly the way it's supposed to, although it may take growth on your part, and the partner that fate has decreed for you, to fully realize the potential that is there. As usual, Ms. Kleypas nails the Victorian period with the beauty of an Impressionist painting, not heavy, bold strokes, but with a light, careful, bright, and dreamy touch, that is all the more captivating to me as a reader. The end of this book marks the beginning of the next arc of this story. I am full of some reservations, and fears that my gentle heart is going to face some anguish ahead. I have questions and theories that have been brought to life by the conclusion of this story, if you can call it that. I suppose I will have to remember the adage to all readers of series: Keep Reading. I trust that I will be in for another delightful reading experience if I am able to do exactly that....more
This is a fun, well-written update of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (actually one of my faves by him). In this case, Carling (Katarina) is an onlyThis is a fun, well-written update of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (actually one of my faves by him). In this case, Carling (Katarina) is an only child, the spoiled society princess of a Texas Congressman and wife, and Kane (Petruchio) is a principled, hardworking, focused rancher. If you don't like a heroine with a sharp mouth who isn't particularly nice to the hero, you might want to avoid this book. I was quite impressed with how Kane took many of the verbal darts from Carling cheerfully. I love a hero who doesn't give up on the woman he wants and shows honor in the pursuit. Yes, I love a bad boy, but not a sleazy guy. Kane is an earnest, strong-minded guy and that comes through in his actions and personality. He's not exactly domineering, but he definitely has his ideas about how things should go. I'm not into the whole "I want my wife to stay at home with our kids and just be my wife" type guy, but if that works for a woman, than Kane will definitely appeal. As it was, I still liked him and found him sexy and attractive in this book. He has a rugged, cowboy vibe that really works.
Carling has some growing up to do, but down deep, she is a decent, good-hearted woman, unfortunately a product of her shallow environment. But she has a lot to offer Kane as a wife, and I'm glad that he picked the right woman to pursue in the end. Their love connection made for a fun, sexy reread.
I'd recommend this book to folks who like the Taming of the Shrew dynamic, as well as modern western/ranch-set romances with sexy cowboy heroes....more
This book had the promise to be very dramatic and exciting, but it didn't quite get to that level. It was a bit dry, in fact. I was hoping I wouldn'tThis book had the promise to be very dramatic and exciting, but it didn't quite get to that level. It was a bit dry, in fact. I was hoping I wouldn't have to put it aside, and perservered; when finally things did start to pick up. I do have to say that the love scenes were good. I think that I would have liked it more, if we had seen the angst that Luc hid in his heart a little sooner. The focus was on the anmesia angle more than the hidden intensities of Luc's feelings for Belinda. You got the feeling he was a ruthless, possessive, determined man, but you don't quite know why he feels that way about Belinda soon enough. Towards the end, it got pretty good. I could see why Belinda reacted the way she did, and Luc did exactly what I hoped he would do. That part almost made the book four stars. But, since it was so draggy at first (and being bored is the kiss of death to me as a reader), I'd have to give this one 3.5 stars. Ms. Lindsey has some good ideas, and she does a great job with the sexual tension. And, she writes a very good hero. So, I'll definitely read more of her books.
I ended up giving this five stars because there was such a WOW factor on the reveal at the end. I did a complete 180 on Alex. He was giving me a serioI ended up giving this five stars because there was such a WOW factor on the reveal at the end. I did a complete 180 on Alex. He was giving me a serious a-hole factor for a lot of this book, and by the end, I really 'got' him, and I just wanted to hug him.
I guess because I am getting older, I am less enchanted (if I ever was) with the dewy, very young heroine. I started out sort of rolling my eyes (in a "Yes, I'm a fan of this author although I'm not feeling this plot element" fashion) at Kerry being eighteen when she married Alex, and becoming a mother. However, I think this was so much a part of their love story, it worked. Kerry and Alex were meant to be, and they would have stayed together, and worked through their issues, if it wasn't for what Kerry's sister did. I mean that was so wrong!!! She really ruined two (and almost three) lives. I don't know how she could have borne the guilt of that for four long years! I think I would have gone crazy, although I would hope I wouldn't do anything that lousy.
This is one of the books where I thought the hero was a b*stard, but when I found out what his issues were, I totally understood his crazy reaction to what he dumped Kerry for. It made sense, considering his history, and Alex turned out to be pretty darn tortured. Kerry is a suitably tormented companion for him. She was a feisty woman by nature, but she assumed guilt for something that wasn't her fault and it killed her spirit for four long years. When she finds out that she wasn't guilty, her normal spirit returns, and she gives Alex a run for his money.
This book touches on the destructive aspects of male jealousy. I admit I like a jealous hero, but I could see that Alex's jealousy was extremely unhealthy, and it made him impossible to be married to. It was sweet how Alex really tried hard to be a good husband to Kerry once he realized how scared Kerry was of his jealousy. It was sweet that he bought her a shop to continue her antiques business he made her give up when he blackmailed her back into marriage. I do have to say that Lynne Graham does a good job of showing that Alex is crazy about Kerry, although Kerry doesn't see it that way. She thinks he just wants to punish her, and to use her as a wife and mother to his son.
I loved how Alex's mom comes and talks to Kerry after he leaves when he realizes how wrong he was about Kerry. This is one of the best reveals I think I've read in the Harlequin Presents books. It makes you see a jerky hero in a really new light, and that's a good thing. In this case, it was totally right for Kerry to go to Alex, and those final scenes brought a smile to my face. (view spoiler)[ And she even resolved the one aspect that was a bummer for me. I hate the unfairness of the heroine staying celibate while the couple is apart, but the hero having affairs. In this case, Alex just couldn't. He dated, but he couldn't have sex with them. He was still too in love with his wife. Big sigh! (hide spoiler)]
I've been reading Lynne Graham for a long time, and I am a big fan of hers. This book showcases her unique style and why she has such a large Harlequin Presents following, and myself. Definitely a new fave of mine by this author, and it deserves the five stars I gave it when I finished reading it....more
When I read a Lynne Graham book, I usually shake my head numerous times at the standard plot elements that I am assured will be offered in most of herWhen I read a Lynne Graham book, I usually shake my head numerous times at the standard plot elements that I am assured will be offered in most of her books. The heroine doesn't think she's very attractive, but the hero is completely fascinated with her, although he doesn't want to be. The hero has devasting appeal that never fails to slay the heroine and break past her defenses, leading to the couple being horizontal within the next five to ten minutes of reading. The hero who doesn't understand why he's in love with the heroine, and is in denial about it, but does just about everything he can to keep her in his bed, and will marry her because he doesn't like the idea of another man having her. (Shaking head).
Having said that, I really liked this book all the same. There is something so comforting about curling up with a good Lynne Graham Harlequin Presents. You know that there's going to be lots of verbal sparring, sexy, intense love scenes, creative declarations of love, and a hero who ends up doing his share of wooing, despite being clueless about his emotions. It's a great way to wind down for me. And, in the case of this book, there are the adorable twin babies, who steal their father's heart by the end of their first meeting together (and mine too). I, for one, cannot resist cute babies in a romance novel. I also like LG's heroines, when they aren't being too ditzy. Katie wasn't a ditzy one. She was very emotionally honest, probably to her detriment at times. But she was strong and intelligent, and a survivor. What's not to like about her? At times, I wish she was a little more resistant to Alexandros' appeal, but Cupid's arrow had bitten her deep. What's a girl to do? Alexandros wasn't really a jerk, although you might think he is, when you learn that he dumped Katie after her declaration of love during their short, but fruitful affair eighteen months ago. He did have some motivations for what he did, when you learn about the burden he was carrying at the time they met. And he was willing to take responsibility for his children, and to believe that he could very well be their father, even before the DNA test insisted on by his lawyer. He was a bit bull-headed about admitting his love, but he was driven to get his woman, which did earn some brownie points. And did I mention the cute babies? Okay, I am one of those people who think babies are cute enough to eat (as the saying goes).
Read this book if you want to enjoy a spicy, quick, interesting, attention-grabbing romance, and you do enjoy the above formula. It's a lot of fun, if you don't take it too seriously, but at the same, have an open mind and go into with an attitude for some hours of good reading entertainment....more