A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

A Past Revenge by Carole Mortimer

on January 23, 2015

Yesterday I DNF’d one of the creepiest books I’ve ever encountered: Wanting by Penny Jordan. The “hero” is a model of the entitled rapey guy who thinks that his attraction to a woman means she belongs to him, and any rejection on her part is “teasing.” (Which, of course, makes him even MORE entitled to her.) And the heroine’s best friend aides and abets him in stalking and trapping her! Seriously ugh!

This book was similar in some ways, yet also an excellent antidote. The hero is the same kind of instantly possessive guy, aggressive enough to make advances to the heroine right in front of his current lover. But Danielle has been rather handily inoculated — they have past history, although he doesn’t recognize her — and she utterly loathes him, with good reason. When Nick forces a savage kiss on her, she’s had it and decides it’s time for revenge:

She has tried to treat him like any other client, had intended being polite to him if nothing else, but he had made that impossible from the first, was intent now on punishing her for the fact that she didn’t want him as he wanted her. But she had been punished enough in the past by this man, wasn’t prepare to accept his cold-blooded arrogance for a second time.

As you can see from the excerpt, the prose gets pretty sloppy with the comma splices; these aren’t even the worst examples. But it’s a hell of a story. I love the way Danielle continually challenges Nick’s offensive behavior, even getting pissed enough at him not to melt in his arms, as all good Harlequin heroines are required to do. She genuinely has the power in the relationship, which is pretty rare, and she knows it and uses it. I think she’s a little too forgiving in the end — Nick isn’t quite as bad as she thought, but was still very cruel to her — but I’d say he suffers enough for satisfaction. Great read.

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3 responses to “A Past Revenge by Carole Mortimer

  1. Barb in Maryland says:

    Willa
    Back in the day (let’s call it the late ’70s,early 80s) I read a boatload of HPs. I was almost addicted. But even then, I had a few authors that I quickly learned to avoid and Penny Jordan headed that list.
    I probably read the Mortimer, but it didn’t stick enough for a re-read. Revenge stories were a staple of the HP line for years, so I know I’ve read a number of them. I think all the authors at that time did at least one.

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