Harlequin Presents #3: Sweet Revenge by Anne Mather
I’m pretty sure I never read this one as a teen, because how could I possibly forget that cover? Though my aesthetic sensibilities were quite different then, as you will see if we ever get to Harlequin Presents #158.
So, just 3 books into the Harlequin Presents series, and we already have the start of a bingo card:
— Exotic locale = local color + cultural insensitivity
— A meet-dangerous, in which the hero almost runs the heroine over.
— A dark, foreign hero to fetishize. Also rich and titled.
— A heroine who Just Can’t Understand why all the boys want her.
— The hero immediately accuses the heroine of flirting with the guy who was stalking her.
— The Evil Former Wife made the hero cynical about women.
— The hero is almost 40, the heroine is in her early twenties.
— The hero doesn’t reveal anything of his true feelings until a burst of logorrhea at the end.
A surprise: The heroine calls the Evil Other Woman a bitch.
I found this one pretty boring. The heroine loses her job as a nanny because the children’s father comes on to her. (I have a sudden yen to read Pamela.) She then agrees to pretend to be the fiance of an old acquaintance she happens to run into in Portugal. But his uncle the Conde turns out to be the hot guy who had almost run her down earlier. He finds out who she is, believes her employer’s assertion that she tried to seduce him, and to punish her… for something… makes her stay… as his daughter’s governess… where she spends most of her time hanging out on the beautiful beach. Anyone who wants to punish me in that way, just give a ring.