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August Harlequin Presents Lightning Reviews

Naughty Nights in the Millionaire’s Mansion by Robyn Grady.   This book violated the number one HP principle. It was boring.   By chapter five (which is about the half way point in an HP), I noted that there was amost no conflict and that the biggest issue thus far was the heroine being coy about whether she was going to spend another sexually fantastic night with the hero. (um, yes, why not?).   The plot is that pet store owner with a big heart delivers some dogs to a rich man’s home. Rich man takes one look a dog lover and gets excited.   Pet store owner is in need of money. Rich man has it but has complications in getting it into the hands of pet store owner. (This part of the story was clumsy in that rich man is head of a bank and facilitates a loan bypassing appropriate loan guidelines which could lead to trouble for him. Why not just give her a personal loan?)   The conflict contrived by pet store owner at the end was a bit of a headdesker.   She doesn’t want to be a distraction in his life so they can’t be together? Meh.   C-

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Ruthless Billionaire, Forbidden Baby by Emma Darcy.   This book had conflict although it took a while for us to get to the Forbidden Baby part.   Unfortunately, I found the heroine to be shrill and selfish. Her biggest complaint appeared to be that her Ruthless Billionaire didn’t want to attend the myriad of group functions the heroine partook of with her girlfriends and that his refusal to be part of that clique was insensitive of him. After reading the banal exchanges the girlfriends exchanged (which mostly consisted of ‘who are you dating now’ and ‘I’m so in love with x’ and ‘this is what will be at my wedding’) I was in full sympathy for R.B.   The book is styled around the weddings of six friends.   The heroine and R.B. hook up at the first wedding and see each other at successive weddings until they fall into the sack with one another and get to the babymaking but R.B. isn’t a full fledged social creature like the heroine which leads to ARGUMENTS! TEARS! UNHAPPINESS!   C-

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge by Lynn Raye Harris. This is a classic Presents with the uber alpha asshole hero doing his domination and revenge act upon the hapless heroine.   Rebecca Layton struggled to keep her hotel chain afloat after her father died and left the company in shambles.   Unfortunately for Rebecca, her ex lover Alejandro Arroyo Rivera de Ramirez has been waiting and even facilitating the extinquishment of the Layton hotel empire. Alejandro demands her presence in Madrid or her entire company will be torn into little bits and sold off, putting hundreds of employees out of work.   Rebecca concedes to his demands in hopes of negotiating at least one hotel from Alejandro.   Alejandro blames Rebecca’s abandonment of him five years ealier for all the unhappiness in his life but he’s unsure of what he really wants from Rebecca other than to see her miserable.   Rebecca makes half hearted attempts at standing up to Alejandro which frustrated me because he was really mean to her, not so much in his actions but his words.   I know I would have responded better had there been more equality in the relationship if only from an emotional standpoint. C+

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

16 Comments

  1. Lynne Connolly
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 15:27:32

    I’ve read the last one. I wanted to rip the hero’s head off or shout “Run!” at the heroine. Or maybe both.

  2. me
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 15:51:13

    I just don’t get these titles. They’re getting more ridiculous. the dark dudes are hot on the covers though…..

  3. Ann Bruce
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 16:30:10

    Skimmed Read the Emma Darcy one. I totally sympathized with the RB. Why would anyone want to spend time with a junior high-like clique? I expected them to have sleepovers where they would do each other’s make-up and hair and try on their moms’ clothes. Had it been Six Weddings and a Divorce, I would’ve enjoyed it tenfold.

    I’m dying waiting for the next Napier release.

  4. Ann Bruce
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 16:32:51

    @me: HP’s American titles better categorizes the story so readers can quickly pick out the tropes or characters they secretly–or not-so-secretly–enjoy.

  5. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 17:34:11

    @Ann Bruce:

    I'm dying waiting for the next Napier release.

    Me too! Though, I do have a few books from her backlist that I’m rationing.

  6. Ann Bruce
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 17:52:19

    @MaryK: You can ration books?! I bow to your greater willpower.

  7. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 21:05:58

    @Ann Bruce: Mostly by misplaci hiding them from myself. :D

  8. Jayne
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 05:59:54

    Alejandro demands her presence in Madrid or her entire company will be torn into little bits and sold off, putting hundreds of employees out of work. Rebecca concedes to his demands in hopes of negotiating at least one hotel from Alejandro. Alejandro blames Rebecca's abandonment of him five years ealier for all the unhappiness in his life but he's unsure of what he really wants from Rebecca other than to see her miserable.

    So…this asshole is willing to put hundreds of people out of their jobs just because he’s in a sulk? Oh, grab him sweetheart, he’s a keeper. < /sarcasm>

  9. anon
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 10:14:17

    I look at these Harlequins and compare them to the one you recently reviewed and I find it depressing. A Song Begins has a sweet, romantic cover that makes you wonder what the story is about, and a romantic, appealing title, and it sounds like an interesting story. These books have a seriously lame title, a cover that is all about teh sex (snore), and a story that sounds entirely uninteresting.

    Maybe I was born in the wrong time period–but I’d much rather read the older book. I think the golden age of romance was much further back than the 1970′s–back when people still knew how to be romantic. I’m sure there were plenty of boring books back then; but there’s some quality missing now. A sense of charm and mystery, maybe? I’m not sure. And maybe it is an unavoidable change in an increasingly “modern” world. Still, it makes me sad.

  10. Lynn Raye Harris
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 11:33:42

    Maybe it’s silly of me, but I’m so tickled you read my book (and you too, Lynne) that I’m not in the least upset you weren’t entirely thrilled with Alejandro. I wish you had been, of course! But I do know he doesn’t work for everyone. My reader mail thus far reflects either a love him or hate him attitude. There is no in between. :)

    As a new author, I have to say I’ve found it all fascinating. I didn’t purposely sit down to write a horrible bastard. And yet some of you feel that way about him. A perfectly valid response, of course, because as readers you get what you get out of the book. If he didn’t work for you, I’m at fault.

    I do hope you’ll try my next book. I don’t think Prince Nico Cavelli is a horrible bastard — he’s not out for revenge — but then again, I thought Alejandro had good reasons for his bastardy-ness, LOL! So I could be entirely deluded about the next one, but I still hope you’ll give it a try.

    As for those titles, yeah. *sigh* But my next one has an entirely normal title: Cavelli’s Lost Heir.

    Thanks so much for reading my first book! And for the C+. I’m quite tickled about that because I know how tough y’all are here. And thank you, Lynne. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you either, but I hope you’ll try the next one too.

  11. Jane
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 11:38:06

    @Lynn Raye Harris: I’m convinced it is better to evoke a strong emotion than a weak one and I would say that horrible bastard heroes are kind of like HP standard. I expect the heroes to be assholic to some extent (thus my asshole to doormat rating for these books). I just want the heroine to be able to stick it to him.

  12. Jody
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 23:48:12

    Maybe I was born in the wrong time period-but I'd much rather read the older book.

    Amen to that, anon!

    Elizabeth Cadell’s books have been my favorite comfort reads for years, I guess because they’re nuanced, sweet and well, gentle. They were originally published in the 1960s and even earlier and have always been the genre’s gold standard to me. I’d love to see her books back in print.

  13. J L Wilson
    Aug 17, 2009 @ 04:48:57

    ‘headdesker’ is going into my lexicon and will soon be added to my online spell checker. Thanks!

  14. Tammy
    Aug 17, 2009 @ 08:33:16

    Ann Bruce said in response to @me: HP's American titles better categorizes the story so readers can quickly pick out the tropes or characters they secretly-or not-so-secretly-enjoy.

    Or more easily avoid them, as the case may be… I find these titles to be absolutely cringeworthy.

  15. Gennita Low
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 16:26:23

    First time I heard Yays for Ruthless Billionaires! ;-)

  16. Suzanne
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 05:42:26

    Hi,
    Gee, I got sort of shocked coming in here and seeing so many Harlequin Presents novels getting ripped apart.
    I’ve read one of the ones mentioned above and absolutely loved Spanish Magnate-Red Hot Revenge.
    Naturally a title like this says it all. Spanish… Hot, determined and sometimes downright nasty. But he wasn’t nasty, he was a real man.

    Perhaps someone that actually likes the Presents line should review these novels as it seems you don’t particulay like them at all.

    Suzanne

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