Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Michelle Reid Reunion Stories
I just reread The Markonos Bride and realised how similar it is to the recent release The Man Who Risked it All
The Markonos Bride - 2008 *****
This book has everything I love in a reunion story and in general Michelle Reid does these so well. This is not unlike her recent book The Man Who Risked it All.
The hero and heroine married young when Andreas makes Louisa pregnant in a summer affair. Through it all they had to fight the antagonism of Louisa's parents who considered Andreas a louse who carelessly got their daughter pregnant. His family are less than thrilled with his teenage bride and constantly make Louisa aware of what a mistake Andreas made in marrying her.
Perhaps they might have weathered the storms if their young son Nikos hadn't died in a tragic accident on the way to the beach. Louisa had taken him by herself when Andreas let them down, choosing work over his family. Both are consumed by guilt and Andreas makes the mistake of running away to hide his grief, believing it unmanly to succumb. During that time, Louisa's family persuade her to leave and feeling abandoned by Andreas she goes, expecting him to follow and claim her.
This is where the family really get into the act, preventing them from contacting each other and by the time Louisa is able to return to Athens she finds Andreas asleep in the arms of another woman.
It is now five years later and Louisa is on her annual pilgrimage to visit the grave of Nikos when she walks straight into Andreas.
It is clear immediately that the past is not dead for either of them, the physical attraction that got them into so much trouble eight years ago still sizzles. But there is a lot to get over and a lot to clarify before they can reach a happy ending.
Minor spoiler. The thing that really lifts this book for me which disappointed me in the more recent 'The Man Who Risked it All' is that both hero and heroine were faithful to each other in that time. I find that believable and a sign of the intensity of their love for each other. It helps me to truly believe in a HEA.
The Man Who Risked it All - 2012 ****
Michelle Reid is usually a no brainer when it comes to whether to read her books. I particularly love her reunions. This is another in the same vein as The Markonos Bride. They are both very young and meet when Franco and his friends are playing around for the summer. As a result of a bet he sets out to seduce Lexi, a newcomer to the Mediterranean playground. Lexi ends up pregnant and broke and Franco marries her. Almost immediately his friends are trying to destroy the relationship, feeding Franco's insecurities with tales of Lexi's promiscuity. When the baby is lost they separate.
When Franco follows her, Lexi's friend also misled her husband, suggesting she was sleeping with him rather than just sharing an apartment. Almost immediately after that Franco is seen with a blonde in a compromising position.
Fast forward three years and Franco's best friend reveals that he was lying about Lexi being promiscuous. Just before trying to kill them both. Badly injured Franco wants Lexi and Lexi comes running, believing Franco near death. As she stays with him during his recuperation much of what happened is revealed and they start to understand better what went wrong and the mistakes they both made. Especially Franco with his suspicions. There is a lot of dialogue in this book between the two protagonists and some people might think it a little slow but I was interested in the development of their relationship as they interacted.
Minor Spoiler: The thing that stopped me giving this book five stars was the fact that it seems fairly clear that Franco was unfaithful while they were separated. The excuse given was that he had just left her apartment in England believing she was unfaithful. I don't care. I like my heroes to be bigger than that. Or at least to become impotent when confronted by temptation ;-]. All it would have taken to make me give this book five stars was one little sentence to say 'Yes I went out with her but nothing happened. I couldn't, wouldn't, didn't.' This was a disappointment to me because in other books like Lost in Love the hero was also faithful during a separation. I don't think it is unrealistic for a man who truly loves to be faithful and go without sex for lengthy periods of time. They can do it in the real world.