[ Read Online Stolen Summer (Harlequin Presents, No 843) æ visual-art PDF ] by Anne Mather ¶ Could It Be Than Infatuation You Re Still The Most Beautiful Woman I Ve Ever Seen, Ben Told Shelley And Admittedly She Was Than Flattered By His Interest In Her But How Could She Take Him Seriously Ben Couldn T Love Her She Was Five Years Older Than Him, A Friend Of The Family S, For Heaven S Sake Ben Was Simply Fulfilling A Fantasy From When He D Been Eighteen And Infatuated With Shelley And He Was Ruining His Engagement In The ProcessShelley S Nerves Were Ready To Break For Everyone S Sake She D Have To Do The Right Thing
Every single person in this book is just appalling The h winds up meeting the H enroute to her friends house, she is running away from a London television career and also her boss She has been having an affair with him, found out he isn t separated and in the process of divorcing his wife as he originally told her, but has really been seeing her while his wife dies of cancer When the wife died, the boss becomes this malevolent stalker, determined to make the h marry him.
The h has a nervous breakdown and flees for her artist friend s country home to recuperate She has car trouble and the H, a local vet, picks her up She is really mean to him but the H has the last laugh when we find out he is the h s friend s son, he recognized her but she did not recognize him He is engaged, at the urging s and machinations of his mum the h s friend , to the daughter of his vet practice partner.
The h is very physically attracted to the H but tries to deny it, he lets her know that he is liking her back, and so there is a lot tension that is heightened when the mum keeps throwing them together The H s fiancee makes appearances and she is a catty, snide girl with a witch for a mum and neither can resist taking pot shots at the h s age, career and in general being viciously nasty to and about the h The H s mum meddles as well and insistently keeps setting the h up with a local widowed doctor who has lost his mum and also his child The h doesn t want to be with him, the but the H s mum likes to arrange things and is stubbornly insistent that she knows best for everyone.
None of this stops the H and h from winding up in bed, they both willingly sleep together cause they just have to The H repeatedly dismisses his fiancee as being unworthy of mention and when the H wants to break it off and tells his mum about the h and him, the h demands that they keep sneaking around When the h s boss lures the mum to London in an attempt to manipulate the h again, the mum insists that the H and h stay in her house together.
She gets back earlier than expected and finds them in bed Accusations fly and harsh words are spoken The h had told the H that she was too hysterical and psychotic to be involved with him and when the mum is raging at her, she completely belittles the H and their relationship Supposedly she was trying to salvage the H and his mum s relationship by making herself the bad guy, but the H totally stands up for her and she throws him right under the bus.
She returns to London and gets another job, finally telling her boss off The H s mum shows up and convinces her to see the H, who broke his engagement and wants to go to Africa shades of Sally Wentworth here, she sends her messed up h s to Africa too, where they can t hurt anybody The h goes and seduces the H, they wind up in bed and he proposes and they decide to continue with his vet partnership and the h will give up her job to have kids and live in the same town as his former fiancee, but she thinks it will be okay.
Overall not a nice story, and one that really did not work for me within the rules and confines of HPlandia The h as the OW trope is rarely used and no one in this book is shown in a flattering light The most empathetic character is the widowed Dr that the h is set up with, but while he helps the h clarify her feelings, he isn t an interest and winds up dismissed I can only think of three other times this trope has been used and the h actually engages in a full blown sneaky affair with an H who is otherwise obliged AM in Act of Possession, Roberta Leigh s The Wrong Kind of Wife and most recently Michelle Smart s Helios Crowns his Mistress it doesn t work in any of them and I can t reconcile an h deliberately sleeping with an attached H with the HPlandia I want to visit The author in each book does their best to make the h and H in these stories as sympathetic as possible However the hallmark of the line is the good, mostly kind and considerate h wins against the standard Evil OW by virtue of her unending capacity for martyrdom and willingness to keep a bottle of stain remover on hand to get the tread marks off her best Sunday dress, all the while simpering delightedly at her Alpha H who knows to latch on to a well dressed and loving throw rug when he sees it This line s rules and s should not allow or condone an h s easy slide into an illicit lurve fest where she becomes the ultimate representative of the hated HP OW that OW who has caused so much trauma and angst for so many sweet and deserving h s throughout the whole of HPlandia, the kind of woman that HP travelers always love to hate I can t say much to recommend this one cause it violates my happy HP glow just to even think about it, I am burying this one back on the shelf and looking for some brain bleach, hopefully to never again have to consider this trope in the HPlandia canon.
I m a huge fan of the older woman, younger man trope With the proliferation of older dude, young ing nue pairings in Harlequin Presents dude, you re 35, she barely turned 18 last week it s nice when the older ladies heaven forbid, past the age of 25 shudder get some action, too And I always enjoy that the young bucks who love them are like, I don t care how old you are You re sexy as hell to me and I ve had a crush on you since I was ten years old or something Shelley had a pretty messed up post adolescent childhood experience Her parents died while she was in university and she was an only child, so when she moved to London she really had no one While working for a newspaper, she meets a harried single mother who is also an artist named Marsha Manning The two immediately click and Marsha becomes the older aunt older sister figure in Shelley s lonely life They begin to hang out together all time, even if it s just Shelley sitting around in Marsha s studio while Marsha painted She comes to depend on Marsha as her rock and guiding light But soon, Marsha tires of London and moves to a small out of the way village called Craygill Still, they continue to be friends, writing letters to each other and talking on the phone, keeping each other up to date on each other s lives Years Pass Shelley starts dating her boss, Mike, at the television production company where she works and it s not until she is deeply involved with him that she finds out he is married Mike gives her the old cock and bull about his marriage being a sham, that he no longer loves his wife, that she doesn t understand him, that Shelley is the one he really loves, etc But Shelley is determined to keep him away from her When Mike s wife dies from cancer, Mike is suddenly free and ramps up his terror campaign to make Shelley his next wife With the stress from Mike compounded with exhaustion from her job, Shelley suffers from a nervous breakdown and is told by her doctor to take three months off of work and go somewhere quiet and stress free She finally takes up Marsha s invitation to visit Craygill, packs up her car, and leaves London.
On the way to Craygill, her car breaks down and she is rescued by a super hot, super sexy Farmer Ted type blond guy in a smelly Land Rover, which he tells her he uses to transport animals AND FOR SOME REASON, SHELLEY DECIDES TO ACT LIKE A COMPLETE BITCH, but the guy takes it in stride He tells her his name is Ben Seton and she says grudgingly that her name is Shelley and she ll be staying with Marsha Manning She asks if he knows who that is He gives a wry little smile and says yes Within the confines of the car, Shelley can t stop thinking about how hot and sexy he is and how hot and bothered she s getting about him, considering he s a hick and just some kid She puts on an air of importance and tells him she s a big time television producer in London and the guy just kind of laughs at her Annoyed that he s not taking her seriously and seems to be laughing at her, she demands to be dropped off in the town proper, so she can make her way to Marsha Manning s house on her own Stupid hot blond guy.
She gets to Marsha s house and they have a nice reunion Marsha immediately starts talking about her son Dickon, who is now all growds up and a veterinarian about to get married to a nice girl The last time Shelley had seen Dickon, he was only seventeen years old Wait Marsha and Shelley are the bestest of friends AND SHELLEY NEVER ONCE VISITED MARSHA IN EIGHT YEARS Some friend Anyway, Dickon was supposed to come over for dinner, but some vet emergency came up and he cancelled Shelley and Marsha catch up on each other s lives, but Shelley doesn t mention the young, impudent, gorgeous, Farmer Ted stud that drove her into town The next day, Shelley wakes up and is about to get dressed for breakfast when Marsha tells her not to bother since they re not a very formal household Shelley goes down in her jammies to eat some eggs and bacon and promptly walks into Ben.
As it turns out, BEN DICKON Same guy HUH His name is Benedict Seton He uses his father s last name He prefers to go by Ben, but his mother has always called him by his childhood nickname of Dickon and that s how Shelley knew him as Wait HOLD UP SHELLEY DOESN T EVEN KNOW THE NAME OF HER BEST FRIEND S SON What a selfish bitch Poor Marsha I bet all she and Shelley talk about is Shelley I bet Shelley doesn t even know that Marsha gets teary whenever she hears the theme from A Summer Place Or that she liked Rhoda over Mary.
But back to all the hotness Shelley s love jones get activated at Ben s nearness and she finds herself all flustered and getting hot flashes likes she s fifty instead of thirty Poor Marsha is oblivious to all this and even tells Shelley that Dickon talks about her all the time and used to have a major crush on her when he was younger He is all of twenty five now Meanwhile, Ben IS engaged to a nice girl who is a snide, bitchy, mean girl, really but of course and they just really need to set a wedding date and everyone in town is excited about it, especially since Jennifer s dad owns the vet practice that Ben will be taking over once the old guy retires Marsha proposes a dinner party and invites Ben, Jennifer, and the village doctor, a handsome widower named Charles, for whom Marsha hopes Shelley will take a liking The dinner is predictably awkward, with Charles fumbling attempts to flirt with Shelley and Jennifer s snide comments about Shelley s age, Marsha s peace keeping attempts and this obvious weird tension between Shelley and Ben that everyone frantically tries to ignore Hey, Ben Yeah, you, Captain Obvious McObvioustein, maybe you can direct your gaze somewhere else and stop staring at Shelley for two seconds, huh Ben becomes persistent in chasing Shelley and Shelley, while steadfastly telling him to cut it out, is slowly weakening What do you want from the girl She s recovering from a nervous breakdown and had just barely escaped from another ardent suitor and now she has to deal with this Her best friend s son, all virile and golden tan and handsome and muscled and sporting six pack abs, wants to get it on with her and keeps telling her she s the most beautiful woman he d ever seen and he s been in love with her since he was a teenager Even Mother Theresa would be like, Staaaahp it And the ever oblivious Marsha just keeps pushing the two of them together She s busy in her studio and worries that Shelley s getting bored, so she s on the phone with Dickon, telling him to pick her up and entertain her He takes her on a picnic, they get full on meat pies and couple of beers, and while dozing on the grass under the sun, here s Ben all of a sudden on top of her, nuzzling her and feeling her up OF ALL THE NERVE Knee that presumptuous bastard in the balls But of course, Shelley gets all melty but then she remembers that Dick ON is engaged and she s best friends with his mother and she should really stop this harloty behavior, so she pumps the brakes and tells him she has to pee I d have to pee after a couple of beers, but that s a good enough excuse to stop with the making out Anyway, Dick ON gets mad and basically accuses her of being a prick tease, drops her off at his mom s house, and doesn t talk to her for 2 weeks, neglecting even his own mother What a prince.
In the meantime, Shelley tries to go out on a couple of dates with Lonesome Widower Charles, but of course he s as boring as day old bread although he s got this whole darkness thing going on his wife is dead, his baby died as an infant, his mom just died not too long ago jeezus There s just no connection with Poor Chuck And Dick ON is still on a rampage, openly ignoring Shelley and paying a little too much attention to Jennifer, who loves it And Mike, the crazy stalker suitor that Shelley has been trying to hide from is suddenly calling her at Marsha s house demanding that she return to London and yes, they ll be getting married the moment she steps foot in London Damn it supposed to be avoiding stress Shelley and Dick ON finally have a showdown in the town square and they end up in his house and GET IT ON like it s going out of style And Shelley s all, Nope, I m not going to regret this That was awesome, that was what I really needed but then Jennifer calls and reality intrudes and Shelley s all, Nope, still not regretting it, but that s so not going to happen again REALLY, THOUGH YOU DON T REGRET SLEEPING WITH A GUY WHOM YOU KNOW IS ENGAGED Come on, Shelley Shelley and Dick ON do this push and pull dance for a bit meanwhile, Marsha gets manipulated by Crazy Stalker Mike into coming to London and suddenly Shelley and Dick ON are alone in Marsha s house because Dick ON s like, Yes, I have my own house, but this is my mom s house and I can stay here if I want to So nyeeeeh That night, Shelley, who s been feeling crappy, looks at herself in the mirror in her nightgown and decides she looks like the Crypt Keeper and realizes that Dick ON must see her this way, too, so that he ll leave her alone forever She rushes into his bedroom and starts babbling about being old and seriously, skank You re thirty Shut up Anyway, they get it on The next day, they get caught by Marsha and Marsha s super pissed and tries to kick Shelley the Harlot out and Dick ON s all, She s not a skank, I m the one who seduced her AND I LOVE HER, Mother I m going to marry her But of course, Shelley had to cut in with, It s not what you think, Marsha Of COURSE, I m not going to marry Dick ON So Dick ON gets pissed at Shelley and leaves her to deal with his angry, rampaging mom.
What a hot ass muddle It wasn t until I started writing this review that it hit me that BEN CHEATED ON HIS FIANCEE by sleeping with another woman TWICE AND Shelley was OKAY with that In the romance forums, we re always up in arms about Heroes Who Cheat, but this is a Hero Who Does Cheat, even if the person he s cheating with is the heroine That s not right.
Shelley is a hysterical mess one Xanax away from a complete and total breakdown and Dick ON is a cheating bastard Not only that, Shelley makes too much of a big deal about their age difference FIVE FRICKIN YEARS If I were Marsha, I d be worried about my son getting involved with an obviously disturbed woman And I m totally not comfortable with a woman getting it on with her best friend s son It s like, Hey, your baby boy got hot Rawr Can I take a bite out of him Gross And you can t even talk about your sex life with your best friend any because the guy you re doing it with is her son So you can t be like, Dick ON is such a useless bastard He always finishes first, then just turns over and goes to sleep I m sooooo unsatisfied Wow this is not a bad read, but I couldn t empathize sympathize with ANYONE in this book I guess I can muster up some sympathy for Marsha I even totally understood when she got pissed at Shelley and kicked her out after finding her with Dick ON I would have done the same thing Having sex with MY son under MY roof while I m out Dude, that is so disrespectful Plus, she knows, the bitch knows that Dick ON is engaged to be married As Marsha says, Shelley is older SHE SHOUDDA KNOWN BETTER But she sure didn t Oh, and Dick ON is a cheating bastard I just had to say that one last time.
Oh, and I guess I felt for Lonely Widower Charles, too His wife and kid are dead, then his mom just died He could talk about it easily enough to Shelley, that I got the feeling he milks the widower thing from time to time to get laid I mean, maybe he s a good guy he does kind of help Shelley and Dick ON get back together after the whole blow up , but I don t think he s above using the sympathy angle Poor Lonely Widower Charles I d like to read his book.
I should have enjoyed this book It had lots of elements I like the older heroine, blond hero I m even not opposed to the heroine being the OW But the characters were blander than porridge I don t recall their names, their motivations, anything They feel like paper figurines.
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