Thursday, 23 February 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #337
Mistress, Mother... Wife? - Maggie Cox
Mills & Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills & Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
Drawn to his dark aura, hotel worker Anna Bailey stepped out of her shell and cast aside her usual shyness for a night with magnificent Italian Dante Romano... But five years later her only reminder of Dante is her adorable daughter, Tia.
Dante's fought hard to get where he is today - but nothing compares to discovering he's the father of a child. Marrying Anna is the only option he sees to right the wrongs of the past...so he'll see her at the altar, willing or not..."
Weird how the last two books I read have titles in the same structure [something-comma-something-dot-dot-dot-something]. Must be a theme!
The hero Dante and the heroine Anna meet when Dante is staying at the hotel Anna works at. Dante is grieving after the death of his mother and re-evaluating they way he leads his life. Anna recognises the his sadness and approaches him. They end up spending a passionate and unforgettable night together, but Dante disappears the next day. Five years later, Anna has just learned the her employers are in financial trouble and she may lose her job, which will mean she will have difficulty providing for her daughter. Her worry is made even worse when the person coming consult about the future of the hotel turns out to be Dante. Coming back to the hotel reminds Dante of the feelings he experiences in Anna's arms, but was not expecting to find her still there. He realises that he feels the needs to apologise for the way he left her but his attempts to talk to Anna do not get very far. Anna doesn't know how to tell him that her daughter is his, and is especially worried about what his reaction might be.
This is very much a slow burning story, but I enjoyed it. One thing that is common in Maggie Cox's books is that there is always an aura of sadness about them, and that is the case here but it is not as all consuming as some of her other books.
I really enjoyed the opening scene, reading how and why the characters meet and connect. After that the story drags a little, but I found it interesting and honest.
This is a soft, almost sombre read, but one that is likeable.