Harlequin Presents #662
The Lion Rock by Sally Wentworth has an exotic setting, but plot-wise is your typical Harlequin Presents/Mills-Boon.
Cordelia, a young British woman, visits her birthplace of Sri Lanka with her emotionally distant father. Her father has a heart attack, and Marcus Stone, an older, sophisticated gentleman, comes to her rescue. They both experience a deep, instant attraction, but Marcus is cold and pushes her away for some mysterious reason. There’s a nasty other-woman who makes trouble and a younger guy who’s mad about the heroine. Cordelia dates him and makes him think she likes him even though she’s in love with Marcus. Drama ensues. Some mild nookie. Happy ending.
The Weird Stuff
This was a perfectly adequate book, not exciting, but worth a couple of hours reading. One thing I found funny was that Marcus kept pushing Cordelia away because he thought she was only wowed by his celebrity status. His claim to fame? He’s a writer of popular non-fiction books about history and global politics, not unlike Francis Fukuyama or Thomas Friedman. Fine, worldly men, true enough, but I hardly consider them glamorous sex-symbols, who seduce legions of 20-year-olds out of their panties.
(Or am I wrong, ladies?)
The other thing that stands out from this book is that the–how do I put this?– less-than-gallant attitude depicted toward the Sri Lankan setting. I try to imagine how the brainstorming for this book went on:
Editors: Hullo, Sally, how was your holiday to Sri Lanka?
SW: I hated it. This place sucks; it’s too hot, the food is too spicy, the people are lazy, there are no hospitals, the native dances stink, the local guys are creepy. Ceylon, pardon, Sri Lanka, is lost without Europeans to guide it. But at least there are some nice Buddhist statues to take pictures of.
Editors: Great. Now you know our readers love those exotic settings, so we want you to set your new book there. Make it as authentic sounding as you can.
SW: Oh, I‘ll make it authentic all right. (grumble)
Final Analysis of The Lion Rock
Ho-hum romance, but a pleasant way to pass the time on a train ride. Despite the book’s odd points, I’ll give it a tepid thumbs up.