September Harlequin Monthly 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 depending on my mood. 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, plus romance can follow so many formulas there just isn't much to say. Hence, this recap was born. What is it about Harlequins that is so addicting? They are like little soap operas at your fingertips!  Links in title go to Goodreads and description. Trope list can be found here.

By Sara Craven ★★☆☆☆

Harlequin Themes:
Domineering Hero, Virginal Heroine, Misunderstandings

Despite all it's flaws - and this book has several, it's a decent enough read. For some reason it's hard to put down and the main character is basically likeable. The hero is not. He's boring, there's little appeal, and he's plain infuriating. The heroine is sweet so I like that about her but her backbone is so hidden it may as well not be there at all.

Erin's tips of not taking part in a marriage when you refuse to be married but the hero insists you will be:

1. Say no at the altar.
2. Don't leave the room to go downstairs for the wedding.
3. Tell everyone you're held against your wishes and want to be away from the man.
4. Tell the minister and whoever speaks English you will not be married.
5. Just refuse in any common sense scenario you can think of.

There wasn't blackmail involved, I don't why the heroine couldn't get it through her head that just because he insisted, didn't mean it had to be so.

And also I would personally have been much more enraged about the kidnapping, even if one didn't actually take place and it was a misunderstanding. She dropped it so easily.

It was also ridiculous how she ended up knowing she was pregnant. Trust me, I've been pregnant, you can't sense it with a hidden sense when touching another baby. And how depressing is that anyway? I know romance writers for some reason think it's heavenly bliss to end these with a bun in the oven, but I would be super depressed if the man I had slept with once, knew for weeks, and wanted to spend the rest of my life with knocked me up so soon. Whatever happened to the old fashioned notion of spending some time alone together bonding, getting to know each other, having a honeymoon without morning sickness? To me THAT's romantic.

By Kay Clifford ★★★☆☆

Harlequin Themes:
Wealthy Hero, False Pretenses

Book wasn't bad - the heroine was likeable without being too boldly assertive but not a doormat either. She's secretly rich of course so the whole "are you there for my money?" thing works from both ends - hers and the heros. The story is an unusual set-up as she goes with her employer, no romantic interest, to pretend to be his honey bun to fool his ex-wife. Meanwhile she falls in love with the host, and he with her.

I had issues because she put such huge emphasis on virginity until marriage and then I think let go of it much too easily, just didn't make sense. And I see no reason for her to be so attracted to him because he didn't have an award winning personality and hardly seemed around enough at first to build it up convincingly.

Their mouse and cat chase game ended up fun, though, so it was completely readable, even if it didn't stand out as too interesting.

By Emma Darcy ★★★☆☆

Harlequin Themes:
Obsessive Hero, Pre-Existing Child, Previous Relationship, Wealthy Hero

Short, quick read. It's not boring so the story flew by last night. The heroine is likeable enough, even if she's a bit melodramatic. The hero is unusual -obsessive to the point where I wonder about whether psychiatric meds are needed or not. I still like him but let's just say, geez. I usually don't like when a child is involved already, especially from a pre-existing relationship, in these stories, but here it worked since the child was rarely there and was cute when she was. The ending was such a fairy tale it took make believe land to whole new heights.

By Natalie Fox ★★☆☆☆

Harlequin Themes:
Business Relationship, Prior Relationship, Wealthy Hero/Heroine

Okay wow - just wow. Before the ending of this book I was going to smack on a three star rating. The writing style is actually pretty good and the characters likeable enough. Until the end. Wow, that end. Let's just say that my anger would have been so extreme it would probably have burned down the building when I heard the news. 

The old cliche, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, would have had only a weak similarity to my wrath in that situation. First, him, but my rage, yes - RAGE, pure RAGE - would have been directed even stronger at the father. Grrrr. And then the author has it okay again? How could the heroine possibly get over that? Seriously?? Didn't the business matter to her before? All the control slid away and she didn't have a choice. Sympathy my butt, I w.....ugh. Too mad. It brought the rating down a star.

Otherwise - trying to fan the anger here - it was okay. Not too melodramatic although sometimes I wished the heroine had a bit more backbone. Not high on sensuality but it wasn't lacking either. Just, grr, the ending hurt.