Harlequin Presents #38: Moon Witch by Anne Mather
“‘What’s wrong? This is your birthday, isn’t it? I just thought I’d make it a memorable one.’
Sara frowned in amazement. ‘How? By kissing me? You’ve got some conceit!’
‘Oh, Sara, stop getting so uppity!'”
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. That’s not the hero talking, btw, just some random jerk.
There isn’t much to say about this; it’s a pretty standard guardian/ward story. Jarrod is accidentally made orphaned Sara’s guardian and immediately gets defensive because she’s so youngly hot/hotly young and he’s twice her age. So he pushes her away with comments about what a gold digger she is. He’s not a great hero — quite controlling, and there’s some wrist twisting — but not that terrible by HP standards, either, especially when he tries to convince her she really should be out living a life instead of marrying him. Alas, poor Sara is not having it.
Part of the story is set in Jamaica, which apparently is peopled entirely by smiling black people who love nothing more than waiting on rich white people, but it’s not excruciatingly racist either. I didn’t hate it but didn’t get very excited about it, either.