Review: The Mistress Deception by Susan Napier

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The Mistress Deception
Author: Susan Napier
Published: 2000
Genre: Category Romance
Series: N/A
Rating: C+


The Mistress Deception surprised me a bit, I was expecting more crazy out of the blue revelations à la The Bellini Bride. Instead, this is a fairly decent category romance.

Rachel is a 30-something personal trainer who co-owns a failing security business. After so kindly helping a rich guy, Matthew, out of his wet clothes at a party where she was working guard duty; Rachel is outraged when incriminating photos and a harassing letter show up on her doorstep. Continue reading

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Review: The Bellini Bride by Michelle Reid

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The Bellini Bride
Author: Michelle Reid
Published: 2001
Genre: Category Romance
Series: Mediterranean Marriage #1
Rating: B –


I’m in one of those moods where all I want to do is sit around watching campy 1950’s horror movies, like Them!, and reading ridiculous melodramatic Harlequin romances. (Even though I’m convinced that nothing can beat Lightning That Lingers, which featured a male stripper with a heart of gold, who owned a pet owl and used his g-string dollars to fund a nature preserve.) However, The Bellini Bride managed to come close by straying spectacularly into crazy soap-opera territory .

The heroine, Antonia, once posed nude for a painting that became famous and brought billionaire Marco Bellini to her door. When the book opens it’s been a little over a year since they got together and things look to be going sour. Marco’s father is dying and wants to see his son married before he kicks the bucket. So, Marco is working up the courage to either break things off with Antonia or marry her.
Continue reading

Review: Lightning That Lingers by Sharon & Tom Curtis

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Lightning That Lingers
Author: Sharon & Tom Curtis
Published: 1983
Genre: Category Romance
Series: N/A
Rating: C+


Lightning That Lingers is a fun read if you’re in the mood for a corny 80’s romance. And when I say 80’s, I mean the time period that this book was written in is extremely apparent.

Phillip is a stripper with a heart of gold. (No, I’m not kidding.) Phillip is a blue blood, who has turned to stripping so he can save nature. The land on which Phillip’s family home rests is apparently a hotbed for all kinds of furry creatures and he has made it his life’s goal to keep that land out of the hands of evil developers. Even if that means he has to shimmy around naked in front of a lot of women. One night, while shimmying, Phillip spots a woman in the crowd who clearly does not want to be there. Enter Jennifer, the most timid character ever. Phillip is immediately intrigued and proceeds to ask her out the next day.  Continue reading

Review: Rage by Thea Harrison

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Rage

Author: Amanda Carpenter (aka: Thea Harrison)

Publish Date: 1984

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: D –


I read Rage purely because I was curious to see what Thea Harrison was writing back in the 80’s under the name Amanda Carpenter.

The novella length story focuses on a pair of wealthy socialites and their relationship. Jessica King is a model who has been the long time lover of Damien Kent. When Damien announces that he plans to marry another woman “for business”, Jessica is devastated and decides that some things need to change in her life. Namely, her relationship with Damien.

Rage had some hardcore 80’s soap opera stuff going on. Glasses were getting shattered dramatically, people were slapping each other’s faces, and the rich protagonists are going around calling each other droll. Now, I love a crazy melodramatic book once in a while but this one did not work. It didn’t go far enough into the ridiculous for me to enjoy it as a campy read. There were no rich male stripper with a heart of gold and pet owl (see Lightning That Lingers) or evil twin. Instead, the underlying plot was fairly interesting and believable. It was just the characters’ reactions to what was happening that was completely overblown. (Like Jessica locking the door on Damien which made him kick it down like he’s the freaking Hulk.) That was the major problem I had with this story. The characters’ extreme reactions didn’t match with the tone of the plot. On top of that, the stereotypical snobby rich tone of the dialog grated on my nerves.

Rage was interesting because it shows have much Harrison has developed as a writer in 30 years. However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a fan of her recent work or looking for a contemporary romance to read.