Harlequin Presents #14: Storm in a Rain Barrel by Anne Mather
The heroine looks just about as pouty in that picture as she acts.
Best line: “He was probably terribly sophisticated and ‘with-it” and would use all those awful exaggerated adjectives she had heard artists use at the local coffee bar…”
Notes of interest: Heavy petting! Unmarried heavy petting! How creepy is it that the most explicit scene in my old HP reading so far is between a 17 year old girl and her 36 year old guardian? Also, there’s an actual spanking scene. No fall and unconsciousness for the heroine this time, although she does get bronchitis.
This is a slightly lugubrious coming-of-age romance. Orphaned Domine has been living in a convent school thanks to the generosity of her Great-Uncle Henry. When he dies, his illegitimate son James takes over her guardianship. (There’s a weird continuity error here — Domine early on ponders about Uncle Henry refusing to acknowledge James, then is shocked to learn James is his son.) James takes her to her uncle’s lonely old house on the moors,
Misslethwaite Manor Grey Witches, where she starts to dress and act (and feel) more adult. The antagonistic interactions between her and James are pretty immature and unsatisfying though, even with the unexpected boob action.
I was amused by this scene between Domine and the inevitable Nice Boy who wants to marry her:
“Love is being with someone, sharing life with them. Sharing troubles as well as happiness!”
Domine half-smiled. So that was Vincent’s definition of love. Well, it was vastly different from her own.
“I think what you’re talking about is liking one another,” she murmured unhappily. “Loving’s altogether different. Loving is needing someone so desperately that you wonder how you can live without them. Love is like a fire in the blood that burns you up with its intensity!”
“That’s infatuation!” exclaimed Vincent chillingly.
Vincent is depicted of something of a ridiculous mama’s boy, but I’d say he’s right on the money here, and quite a lot of evidence agrees with him.