Friday, 1 April 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #17
A Stormy Spanish Summer - Penny Jordan
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
"Bound by duty, drawn by desire…
Felicity Clairemont has come to Spain to claim her inheritance. Unfortunately that means spending time with the Duque Vidal y Salvadores – and the darkly handsome Spaniard has always made it plain how little he thinks of her.
The last time Vidal saw Fliss he desired and hated her with equal measure. But now honour demands he must help her. As the truth about Fliss’s family comes flooding out, and the power of their attraction takes hold, can Vidal admit how wrong he’s been about her...?"
I have read a lot of Penny Jordan books, which is not surprising considering she is somewhat of a legend in romance writing! I like the majority of her books I read, however, for me, this one just doesn't live up to the promise.
The story is of Fiss, who after her father (whom she has never met) passes away is named in his will. She travels to Spain in order to see and secure her inheritance and hoping to learn a little about the father she was never allowed to meet. As we discover Fliss's father was adopted into the aristocratic Spanish family the male character Vidal is the head of. Her father had an affair with Vidal's Au pair (Fliss's mother), which was revealed quite innocently by Vidal to his matriarch grandmother who banished Fliss's mother back to England and forbade her father from contact and involvement with their lives.
In an innocent attempt to get to know her father when she was 16 Fliss was visited by Vidal after he intercepted her letter to her father, where he informed that she could not do it again. An incident involving a drunken teenager trying to have sex with Fliss left Vidal with the impression that Fliss was promiscuous.
When they meet in Spain, the hostility they both have for one another is always there as well as an intense sexual attraction.
The synopsis of the story had me quite looking forward to reading this, it sounded exciting and interesting. In regards to the story it had all the classic elements of a great romance book; intense sexual attraction, conflict, forbidden love. But if there was one misunderstanding, there was a hundred. The characters were constantly bickering and insulting each other that it got tired pretty quickly. Vidal was, quite frankly, a bastard and Fliss was uptight and a bit of a doormat (my opinion of course!). A perfect example of both these character traits was in the moment they were about to make love for the first time where Vidal put on protection and said;
"I am not such a fool as to take the kind of risks with my sexual health that intimacy with you would involve without this protection. You may be the sort of woman who boasts that her pleasure is increased by the danger of unprotected intercourse, but I am not a man who wants to put either my own or my future sexual partners' health at risk by going down that road."
And she let him continue after saying this... well I was quite flabbergasted! If that was me, I would have punched him right in the face, then punched him a second time, and possibly a few more times after that!! (btw, I don't condone violence!) Suddenly when he realises that she is a virgin and his nasty thoughts were all in his horrible mind he does a complete about face and decides he loves her? hmm, I couldn't warm to it at all.
Now, you might think I have been quite negative, so I am going to give a few positives now. This book was saved by the beauty of Penny Jordan's writing, her writing is very descriptive and the settings are described wonderfully, and she certainly loves those metaphors! If you read this book and don't like it, as I found, please don't let this put you off Penny Jordan's other books, she really is a wonderful writer.
Wow, I feel worn out with all that honesty!