Harlequin Presents #366
Margaret Pargeter’s Savage Possession begins like any ordinary Harlequin Presents, with the hero & H meeting under unusual circumstances with the situation soon getting heated afterwards.
In this case, Melissa’s car is trapped in the snow and along comes the hero, Ryan Trevelyan, to give her a lift. She’s dressed in bulky winter clothes so he assumes she’s a boy. As they’re driving along in his car he’s berating ‘him’ for driving under such horrible circumstances. When she takes off her cap, Ryan realizes, “Oh noes, she’s this unbelievably beautiful, green-eyed, redhead woman! How easily mistaken I was to think she was a boy because she was wearing a hat and coat! Well since she tricked me, I’ll force her to spend the night at my house even though there are plenty of other places in town that she can stay. That’ll her teach her a lesson!”
I wondered to myself just where this book was going. It was weird. It seemed all over the place on plotting.
The heroine does not act like do not act out as the HP caricatures they’re supposing to: swooning, selfless, kind to all, and eager to work hard to prove her worth. Melissa has just returned home after years of mooching off her wealthy socialite aunt. Auntie wanted to name Melissa her heir, but only if Melissa married the man of her choosing. Not up for that, Melissa returns home to her family’s financially-troubled farm.
Her parents are all too keen to pimp her out to Ryan, their landlord, for their past-due rents. Mom is 3 YEARS behind on the payments, and Ryan hasn’t evicted her—yet. So mum and stepdad make the not too subtle hints that Melissa should sell herself out to save the farm. Melissa angrily refuses. She may be a mooch, but she’s no whore!
Eventually, Melissa begs Ryan to give her mother another chance to save the farm. Melissa promises to work at the family store selling their farm goods. Despite her pleading, she refuses to do anything to help mum save her home.
Melissa doesn’t feel like going to work, instead spending her days with other men. She’s utterly lazy, a slacker. I have never related to a heroine as much as this one! XD
The only decent fellow in this whole story is Ryan Trevelyan. Who, despite his sensible inclinations, keeps giving Melissa and her family chance after chance to make due on their past balances.
But did I mention that Melissa is:
L… A… Z… Y…
Ryan gets fed up with her and sparks fly. The plot here doesn’t matter; it’s the interactions with these complicated three- dimensional characters that make this a fun read. The writing isn’t overwrought, and the sarcastic banter between the two mains is great. And at the end, Melissa actually grows as a character, realizing she needs to be a better person.
Looking forward to reading more of Pargeter’s work, as she was a Harlequin author I was unfamiliar with before this book.