Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Michelle Reid's Debut Romance 5 Stars

The latest model
IBM computer in 1988
A Question of Pride (Harlequin Presents, #1140)
I made myself some overalls in grey velour
corduroy for my 1987 pregnancy.
This is Michelle Reid's debut romance with HM&B dating from 1988. I think the theme was fairly rare in the eighties but is quite a common one these days.
Clea is the personal secretary to Max, the CEO of a Computer Hardware Company. On a sidelight it is quite interesting recalling how things have changed in the past 20+ years in the office and with computers.
Max has a commitment phobia and in a rare aberration he makes Clea his mistress by night with very strict rules. By day he is all boss with no indication of their out of office arrangement. Clea is only 20 to his 34 and Max takes advantage of her naivety to control the relationship.
Both Clea and Max are starting to struggle with the intensity of their feelings and we see this in the opening of the book. Clea has fallen in love with Max, totally, and finds the businesslike arrangement painful.
Max is also struggling with his feelings and we see this fairly clearly. Unfortunately his response is to date another woman. When Clea finds out it only confirms her decision that she has to leave before he dumps her. Because, against the rules, Clea has fallen pregnant, and she knows Max is an honourable man. No way does she want him marrying her against his inclinations simply for the baby.
This is where the story gets really interesting as these two people, who we (the omniscient reader) know are in love with each other, make all the mistakes that will keep them apart.
For both of them, but particularly Clea it is a question of pride.
It takes Clea's health problems and the interference of Clea's stepfather to get them back on track for their HEA
Michelle does a lovely job letting us see the POV of the hero as well as Clea in show not tell. Max has a hard job ahead of him to convince Clea that he has been, and will be faithful to her after his foolishness in dating the ditzy model behind her back. It is very satisfying when we find that he was actually faithful not only with the model but through the months when Clea wouldn't be with him.

Top of the range word processor in 1988

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