Dark Enchantment - Helen Bianchin
Mills & Boon Romance
Mills & Boon, 1986
From the back cover:
"'There was never any question of whom you would marry, merely when!' Jared Chayse told Kris adamantly. And as Jared was rich, handsome and undeniably attractive, what was Kris worrying about? Merely the fact that, as they were both well aware, their forthcoming marriage would be nothing but a matter of expediency; they were co-heirs to an enormous business empire, so what more suitable than a merger? And the fact that Kris had loved Jared for years was small consolation - when she was only too well aware that he didn't care two straws for her!"
Another recommend Presents...
The heroine Kris arrives back home after spending a year in Europe at a finishing school. She has no idea what is next for her after having most of her life since her father's death dictated by her inheritance trustees; her rather social conscious stepmother and the son of her father's business partner Jared, the hero. Feeling a bit lost by her lack of direction she goes along with the endless stream of parties her stepmother takes her to, as well as the dinner invitations from Jared. Jared soon informs her that he plans for them to marry, and Kris knows that the marriage is only intended in order to merge their two families and thus make their combined business, of which Jared is CEO, even more powerful. Kris agrees as she feels there is little other course for her. She has always had a secret love for Jared but is realistic enough to know that he will never love her.
I'll be honest and tell you that I don't really like Helen Bianchin's books. Her writing style just doesn't work for me, but I have heard that her older books are much better than her more recent ones (which always seem to contain some psycho-stalker-esque plot) so I thought I would give this one a go... Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it. The story itself is interesting and had potential, but the devil is in the details and they were poorly done. I found it very difficult to sympathise with the characters, they were so snobbish and whiny. I don't mind books set in a wealthy world, but this book was just ridiculous. Readers need to be able to put themselves in the character's shoes, not be patronised by them - that is what this book did in my opinion. Let me give you an example -
"Her eyes assumed a shrewdness far beyond her years. 'It's just as much a pain being born rich as it is being born poor. Although the poor wouldn't agree with me!' She laughed..."
Yeah, somehow I don't think those who can't feel their children would agree with you. Why would the author write that?! And what is with all the designer's names chucked in, seriously there is tons, it's unnecessary and a little tacky.
The writing is so repetitive, every damn thing the heroine did was described and sometimes in mind numbing detail. I lost count of the amount of times the heroine did the following (all in the same order) - had a shower, "completed her toilette", put on underwear, chose clothing, put on make up, and brushed her hair. Very frustrating.
One last thing - in the HEA the hero admitted he had been in love with the heroine for over five years and waiting for her. The heroine only just turned 21 in this book and the hero 34, so that means he has been lusting after her since she was 14/15 and he 29... Make of that what you will.
The reason this got two stars not one, is that the actual plot was interesting.