Wednesday, 12 October 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #187
From Dirt to Diamonds - Julia James
Mills & Boon Modern
Harlequin UK, 2011
From the back cover:
"He'll stop at nothing to settle old scores!
When Angelos Petrakos spies supermodel Thea Dauntry in a swanky London restaurant, he knows she's not really the effortlessly elegant woman she seems to be...
For Thea, Angelos's reappearance is disastrous! Dining with a viscount on the verge of proposing, the last thing she wishes to be reminded of is the street-smart, quick-tempered girl she once was.
A lucky encounter years ago with the gorgeous Greek tycoon enabled Thea to make something of her future. But Angelos can't forget how she used him - and he'll stop at nothing to bring her down. Even seduction..."
I love this cover, it's gorgeous! I have been looking forward to reading this one for a while as I actually quite like Julia James's books, which I think I have already told you!
At the begining of the book, the heroine Thea is dining with her boyfriend and he proposes. Thea is happy as she finally feels like she may be safe for the first time in her life. But this comes crashing down when she sees the hero Angelos and reminds her of both her difficult life and of the devastating events of five years ago. Angelos has never forgotten those events and vows revenge on Thea. We discover that Thea and Angelos met at a model casting for Angelos's business, at that time Thea was very brazen, standoffish and rough as a result of her upbringing in the care system. She was desperate to land the modelling assignment due to her very difficult situation. Angelos has initially cast her but then had withdrawn the offer. When Thea had gone to him to ask why Angelos misunderstood what she was offering. In desperation she had done something that drove Angelos to take actions that destroyed her life. Five years late and Thea has managed to rebuild her life and now Angelos is demanding she ends her engagement on the pretence of being in love with him or he will tell the truth about her past. He takes her to his home and they begin to get to know one another; Angelos begins to realise he may have been wrong about her, but Thea can never forgive him for destroying her life for the second time.
One of the things I like most about Julia James's books is that they are always full of angst. And that is DEFINITELY the case for this book. While on one had I couldn't stand this book, on the other I literally could not stop reading it. It's like car crash reading!
The hero behaves so badly that it's just beyond belief, yet strangely it really works. The heroine is really quite heartbreaking, her background and manner are really quite daring of the author as they are as far away from the 'romantic fantasy' as possible. Some of the events in the book had me cringing, but I'm not sure if the could, or should, be changed. Although the ending is far too rushed, which did annoy me.
Only Julia James could write a book like this and somehow pull it off; it's full of her usual misunderstandings and very angsty, yet it's totally compelling. It is very reminiscent of the older and 'classic' Harlequin/Mills & Boon's so, perhaps, it will not be for everyone.
But I enjoyed it, much like I enjoy cake but know it's really not very good for me!