Thursday, 8 September 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #170
Savage Surrender - Charlotte Lamb
Mills and Boon Bestseller Romance
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 1988
From the back cover:
"Her secret saved her from Alex's charms
Sophie loved Crete. Working there as secretary to Madame Leftas was like a dream come true. It was far away from England and the secret, impossible love for Simon that she had to forget.
When Alex, Madame's playboy son, began a campaign to add Sophie to his list of casual conquests, she was merely indifferent. No one could replace Simon anyway.
Or so Sophie thought... until the night Alex found her in Simon's arms. Then began a campaign of a different sort-one Alex was determined to win."
I asked on twitter and Goodreads for some favourite Harlequin Presents-Mills & Boon Presents/Modern suggestions and this one came up. So I managed to track a copy down on ebay, apologies for the bad cover image above, it was the best I could find online.
The heroine Sophie works hard to try and take her mind off her heartbreak and forbidden love for the man she can never have. It is a dream come true when she is offered the chance to work in Crete as a secretary for the mother of the hero Alex. Sophie loves working and living on Crete, the only times that she feels uncomfortable are when Alex comes to visit. She never knows what to expect from him; sometimes he is rude and standoffish towards her, and others he is charming and flirtatious. As time goes on though Alex begins to make it clear that he wants her, yet his advances are wasted on Sophie as she is simply not interested. This infuriates Alex and he keeps trying to seduce her, and nearly succeeds at one point.
When Sophie goes home to visit her parents Alex follows to try and make amends after an upsetting incident between them. However when Alex finds Sophie with her forbidden love and discovers that she is is love with him, Alex sees red and steps up his pursuit of her, vowing that she will marry him.
I don't really know what to make of this book. It's certainly well written and I really like Charlotte Lamb's style. There are a few, er, details (moments) in this book that I find a little questionable. Obviously I accept that this was written in 1980, times and attitudes have changed a lot so it is understandable that there will be some social differences. I do like the classic romance elements that are indicative of the older Mills & Boon books, and I particularly like the boundary pushing by the author.
The slow build of the relationship between the hero and heroine is very enjoyable to read, and I think this makes it quite believable. Sophie is a great heroine, she comes off as very strong willed (especially for her time). Alex is a little harder to grasp, although there is no doubt that he displays some of the attributes that make up the perfect modern day Alpha hero, even if they are a little on the extreme side. It would have been great to have his point of view included though.
This is a good book; beautifully written with a well developed relationship. But I could have done without some of the less palatable moments.