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Substitute Lover

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  106 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
He needed a make-believe lover

It was such a strange request - Gray Chalmers asking Stephanie to pose as his lover to help him resist the attractions of a beautiful but married woman.
Gray knew Stephanie, knew she didn't even like being touched. Yet he insisted she come back to the village to play the part of the femme fatale.
But Gray had never pried into the bitter marriage
Paperback, Harlequin Presents #1105, 187 pages
Published September 1st 1988 by Harlequin Books (first published August 1st 1987)
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Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie (who’s 28) and Gray (34) have been friends for many years. But, unknown to Stephanie, Gray has been madly in love with her all this time. (Stephanie married Gray’s cousin, Paul, ten years ago. Paul ended up dying in a boat accident when he was swept overboard after he went out in dangerous weather.) Gray persuades Stephanie to come back to the village (she now lives in London) to temporarily help him out with the boatyard business. He has designed a new boat that he wants to run in a r ...more
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Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The hero, Gray, had loved Stephanie, the heroine, for years but she married his cousin. It was a disastrous marriage. Her husband abused her and after he died the heroine avoided men and relationships. The hero thinks she is still mourning her asshole husband but she is in fact afraid of men. When Stephanie believes Gray is having an affair with a married woman she realizes she is in love with Grey but she doesn't dare confess her feelings.

Delicious angst and sexual tension! Penny Jordan was su
I quite enjoyed this angsty HP. The hero had loved the heroine for years since before she had married his cousin. Turns out the cousin was abusive and after he died the heroine, Stephanie, had closed herself off out of fear of men while the hero, Gray, thought it was because she was mourning the dead husband. That's all in the very beginning so no big spoiler. There was POV from both the heroine and hero so you knew what was going on with both of them. Well done and well written with pretty well ...more
To think that I was barely six years old when Substitute Lover was initially published, and I am enjoying this book after so many years have passed since then, attests to the talent that authors like Penny Jordan wielded in the romance genre. Though Penny Jordan is no more, I read her older books with the fondest of memories, memories of how her books used to spin and weave magic for me, which made me want to read more of the same. My reading did move onto other circles, especially given the fac ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fairly standard Penny Jordan story where the hero has loved the heroine secretly for a number of years. Normally I love these, but either I wasn't quite in the mood for this one or it was a little off -- I found the numerous, erroneous assumptions they each made pretty silly here. This is standard Penny Jordan technique, but at some point it's like -- ok, the most obvious explanation for why you are repeatedly making tender love together is not that each of you loves and wants someone else, but ...more
Wonderful,sizzling,intruging and Mindblowing with a smitten hero who fights for the tortured heroine.

Gray Chalmers and Stephanie`s love-story are a mindblowing one.I love their friendship and partnership,and i could see from the start that Gray was secretly in love with her.But thinking she still mourns for her dead husband,his cousin..we can see how he deeply hates it as he always hated his cousin.

It was finally time for our heroine Stephanie to draw herself out of her hidden self,and let the p
Tatiana Stefan
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
3rd reading*(June 11, 2016) still love it. Felt so bad for the anguished love the H had for the h. It took forever for the h to get a clue!!


Sweet devoted hero, somewhat naive heroine (like uh, really? otherwise, love it!!, November 9, 2011

This review is from: Substitute Lover (Harlequin Presents # 1105) (Paperback)
MY THOUGHTS: Spoilers: Ok, I love this book. I always love it when the hero super duper loves the heroine and is devoted even to point of somewhat being celibate. I just fee
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
When Stephanie was eighteen she fell in love with a man named Paul and married him. Little did she know that Paul was abusive both verbally and physically. He was a cruel man and started slapping her around right after there honeymoon. Embarrassed and ashamed, Stephanie hid this fact from everyone. One night when Paul and Stephanie were fighting, Paul took off, took his yacht out and drowned. Stephanie was finally free of his abuse but her guilt ate at her for years.

Ten years later, Paul's cousi
Grace Harwood
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book although it isn't really a very good example of Jordan's work. It's not a romance as such but more the tale of a woman getting over her abusive husband's mistreatment of her. It's set in a seaside town - I'm thinking somewhere like Lymington/Isle of Wight way as it refers to her driving down through the New Forest when she first returns there. This is also a departure for Jordan as she normally goes for the Cotswalds/her native Cheshire, occasionally London and ...more
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
One of those extremely angsty HPs. Heroine is a widow who had an abusive marriage, but now finds herself returning to the town where they used to live and her husbands best friend. After all his help he now asks her to help him get rid of an annoying suitress. (What's the female version of suitor?).

Stephanie has a lot of ghosts in her closet, and it doesn't help that she's been keeping it secret for all those years. Gray is mostly understanding, though he's also a bit scheming.

The dress on the c
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
A sad back story but I found myself truly rooting for her to be triumphant in the end which, of course, she was.
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Penelope Jones Halsall
aka Caroline Courtney, Annie Groves, Lydia Hitchcock, Melinda Wright

Penelope "Penny" Jones was born on November 24, 1946 at about seven pounds in a nursing home in Preston, Lancashire, England. She was the first child of Anthony Winn Jones, an engineer, who died at 85, and his wife Margaret Louise Groves Jones. She has a brother, Anthony, and a sister, Prudence "Pru".

She had