Monday, 7 November 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #206
Heiress Behind the Headlines - Caitlin Crews
Mills & Boon Modern
Harlequin UK, 2011
From the back cover:
"Out of the limelight and into the fire...
Haunted by one scandal too many, tabloid-savaged and vulnerable, Larissa Whitney turns her back on her gilded fortune. Desperately hiding from the paparazzi’s relentless flashbulbs, Larissa escapes to a small secluded island, seeking refuge. But she’s not alone – instead, Larissa finds herself face to face with Jack Endicott Sutton...
Now she’s trapped on an island with a man she had a wild affair with five years before... A man she’s still achingly attracted to. A man who knows the truth is even more scandalous than the headlines..."
I have been reading a lot of older books recently, so I'm coming back to some newer ones now.
The heroine Larissa has been in sort of hiding for the last eight months, after recovering from a very public collapse/breakdown. After waking up from a coma Larissa realised that she needed to re-evaluate the mess she has made of her life and the only way to do that was time away from the fish bowl society of New York's upper class. Her new found peace is shattered when the hero Jake turns up and she is forced to play her spoilt-and-heartless-heiress persona once again in order to protect her vulnerabilities. Jake is a reformed upper class bad boy, and now hates the seedy world he was once a part of, he makes his feelings towards Larissa perfectly clear, while Larissa takes all of his venom with her ususal devil may care attitude but is hurting deeply inside. Neither of them have ever forgotten the time they spent together five years ago, and despite their shared animosity it's not long before they give in to the passion between them. Being together far away from the harsh reality of the world they live in makes their feelings for one another grow, but they know they can never have a future as their world is far too soul destroying.
I have been looking forward to this book since reading 'The Replacement Wife'. The character of Larissa was introduced in that book, and I was very intrigued by her and her story.
This is a really interesting book, that had me hooked from the start. At times I wasn't sure if liked it or not, which, for me, adds to it's appeal. I enjoyed the honesty that Caitlin Crews used in writing about the harshness of the hero and heroine's lives, there was no self pity/poor little rich kids attitude, just a rather grim acceptance. Jake is a brilliant hero, complex and appealing, the internal battle he faced with himself over his feelings for Larissa is very gripping and his reactions are unpredictable, which makes his character feel very real. I also liked Larissa, the sadness she seemed to carry around had real depth.
I would have liked to know a little more about why Larissa collapsed and why her father hates her so much (her father, by the way, is a fantastically evil character!), but this doesn't effect the overall enjoyment of the book its just my curiosity!
Overall, this is really enjoyable book, as far away from the 'Cinderella' romance stereotype as you can get!