Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Selection of Sweets

Millionaire to the Rescue by Ally Blake   2007    ****

Millionaire to the Rescue (Harlequin Romance, #3984)This is the second Ally Blake book I've read. This is an interesting read because we see the hero is in love with the heroine pretty much right from the start. Brooke is a recently widowed mother of two.   Her husband Calvin, who would have been ex if he hadn't driven off a road with his trashy new girlfriend, was a racing driver and Australian icon.

Unfortunately he also managed to offload the very substantial fortune he'd made over the years leaving his wife and children destitute. Enter Danny, Calvin's boyhood buddy and best mate. Together they'd risen to the top, Calvin as a driver and Danny as a sports manager.

It was only natural that while Calvin travelled on the racing circuit that Danny should be there helping out. Brooke relied on Danny, even though she knew he didn't actually like her all that much.

If Wishes were Fishes, as Danny always said. Funny thing is that Danny wasn't altogether sure he liked Brooke. He'd spent the eight years of her marriage making sure he knew she was off limits. Even though there had been a time when he regretted the fact that Calvin had seen Brooke first.

But what was an honourable man to do when faced with his friends widow in such tragic circumstances. Offer her a home and a job...maybe something more.

Brooke found herself fitting far too easily into Danny's lovely home and her children turned easily to the man they'd known all their lives. Both Danny and Brooke have a lot to deal with, with the ever present shadow of Calvin. 

This is pretty much just a very sweet romance with a hot capable guy who isn't used to family and emotional stuff and a woman who has had to learn to be strong and self sufficient and doesn't quite know how to let go. I very much enjoyed the read and the fact that, apart from the fortunately dead husband, there weren't any 'bad' people in the story. Not even a raft of mistresses to prove the heroes virility which made a nice change.

The Pregnancy Bond by Lucy Gordon  2003     ****

Now I've always said I love a reunion story. This is an interesting one, starting as it does on the night the
 heroine is celebrating her divorce. Jake Linley married Kelly when they were both quite young, him a brash young reporter and her barely out of school due to an unexpected pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Bond  (Maybe Baby) (Harlequin Romance, No. 3733)The strains of his job and her loss of self esteem over losing the baby and having to put aside her dreams of university to make a go of their marriage when Jake was only starting out, took a toll on their marriage.  When it seems that Jake has cheated on her, Kelly decides enough is enough and sues for divorce.

Jake never really believed she would go through with the divorce and is thrown off balance when he arrives in the midst of the celebrations to find Kelly living large with a bevy of men at her beck and call.  Nevertheless it is Jake who she finishes the night with before sending him off with well deserved thanks for the best night of goodbye sex.  It was time to get on with her life.

Until she sees Jake wounded on television and comes to the hospital to see him.  Jake is a changed man.  Gone is the cocky self confident reporter.  It is a long hard road to recovery and when he realises Kelly is pregnant he is determined to make everything up to her.  The sacrifices she made to help him on his career path hang over him as he sees her pregnancy about to cost her the chance to make the new life she's chosen, studying for her degree.

Kelly's independance is rocked by the pregnancy but when she sees Jake's pain and is reminded of how alone he is she allows him to move in.  She would keep an eye on him as he recuperates and he would pay rent to enable her to live and study.

As they interact over the next months we see them learning more about each other.  Kelly's doubts about whether Jake ever truly loved her are still a barrier and it takes a whole lot of things, including Jake's emotional collapse from depression, to awaken her to the true nature of their bond with each other.

This is really a very interesting story with a hero who while appearing alpha is very far from perfect in some ways.  But he is a wonderful hero who deserves his second chance. I very much enjoyed watching both of them grow and change and learn to see each others reality.

Like Strangers by Lynda Trent    1988 Silhouette Special Edition       ***

Like Strangers I hadn't heard of Lynda Trent until someone mentioned her on the Harlequin boards as their first romance. Having grown up on Mills & Boon, many Silhouette authors are unknown to me. In fact many U.S. authors are unfamiliar to me apart from Janet Dailey.

This is a reunion story. I particularly chose this as an introduction to the author as I love reunions.

The story begins with us meeting Lani Cameron whose husband supposedly died in an air crash five years ago while carrying freight to Mexico. Lani has made a new life for herself as a potter, including an interesting line of faux Mayan gods she sells to a regular customer.

When her husband Bryan turns up, thin, dirty and dishevelled, Lani doesn't quite know how to greet him. After five years in a Mexican jail, her husband is not the same man.

Both Lani and Bryan have big adjustments to make both to each other and for Bryan, a new life without his air freight business. He also wants revenge on the anonymous smugglers for his false imprisonment.

There is a little bit of intrigue as Bryan and also Lani work towards uncovering the secrets behind his wrongful imprisonment.

I did find some of the internal dialogue of both of them a little irritating at times as they worried about whether the other person had decided the marriage had no future. That went on a little bit too long before things sorted out.

Otherwise I found it a good story and it held my interest right to the end.

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