October Harlequin Romance Recap

Another Paperback Stash Feature

Since Harlequins are about as addicting as candy and can be consumed almost as quickly, I typically go through several of these a month. Many of the ones I read are older and not even near their new-release dates. It seems silly to post a full review for some of these with their own post since it's unlikely anyone will go and hunt them down based on the review. Hence, this monthly recap was born. What is it about Harlequins that is so addicting? They are like little soap operas at your fingertips!

As always, check out this post for the guide on Harlequin Theme Notations at Review Bottom.

By Margaret Mayo

FINALLY a good Harlequin for October! It seems all year when I pick these up it's a trend to be disappointing. This oldie was a lot of fun. It held high drama which is the main thing that attracts people to these in the first place, like a written soap opera. The back makes it sound typical in the drama department, but it's not. There are other major levels at play here.

The obstacles are fierce, and I won't be spoiling anything but explaining some of plot which the back blurb left out: Tamara is upset her father died and left the company to someone she never cared much for. That "someone" is Kiel, who she always felt her father liked more than her and helped raise. Kiel hates Tamara and plans to make her life miserable because he blames her for the death of his sister a year earlier in a car accident. Yep, good guilty-pleasure kind of stuff.

Plenty of tension and no, they don't let their hatred of each other override their judgment all the time for "chemistry" like some silly Harlequins. Their passion is more realistic and they hold back well. There's little sappiness and cheesiness for this kind of book. *Does reader cheer* The characters are likeable and have genuine reason to be at each others throats - a lot of the books make the reasons too flimsy and easy to toss away, not this one. Sex is rare but when it happens it's realistic and a bit hot. Both of the characters are well rounded. It's a shame I don't have more Margaret Mayo books waiting around for me to try out :(

 Harlequin Themes
Unrequited Love   Revenge   Love turned to hate   Boss/Employee

By Vanessa Grant

Having the hardest time finding a Harlequin I love lately. It's easy to fall into these short treats, but lately I keep digging into mediocre ones.

Vanessa Grant did write this with a beautiful tone, so no complaints there. The heroine was troubled and almost seemed mentally unbalanced at times! Can't say there was much appeal for "The Mountain Man," even though any romantic scenes were written tastefully enough.

The plot isn't complex. Overall a decent way to pass the afternoon if this book is laying nearby.

Harlequin Themes
Unrequited Love Steamy/Erotica

By Rosalie Henaghan

Meh, it's so-so. 

Writing isn't really bad, it's just not realistic. I didn't really care if they fell in love or not and can't understand why she suddenly fell in love with him. Personally I'd been a lot more outraged over the cottage units. His ending was too snappy of a wrap up and it was obvious where it was leading.

I would also feel a bit offended by my father for caving in like he did. The author shows her falling in love with the guy early, but to me he's a little unapologetic for changing her dreams. I just don't see much of the charm and it seems forced to me. The plot by itself, if you divide it up into sections, is interesting enough for one of these. 

Harlequin Themes
Wealthy Hero

By Anne Hampson

The back cover blurb for this sounded promising - she's taking care of her sister, recently paralyzed from an accident, in another country. She's always secretly been in love with her sister's husband but feels it's her sisterly duty to help the sister now. A neighbor intrudes and sees right through her.

It held massive potential for being entertaining but fell amazingly flat. For one thing the writing was very dry and formal, and the pace and scenes were dull in several sections. There weren't many plot changes and little excitement or twist of events.  The relationship wasn't convincing; they had NO passion between each other. The marriage excuse made little sense to me, and I can't get how he was ever in love with her the way he acts, even at the end. At most the last two pages show something.

The belief of why she agreed to the marriage thing didn't make sense to me either. I can see his argument as an excuse, but her accepting didn't ring true and seemed too convenient. Overall a very lackluster Harlequin that's hard to shuffle through and lost my interest quickly.

Harlequin Themes
Marriage of Convenience   Wealthy Hero