3 stars and a half

Category Romance Review: No Gentle Possession by Anne Mather

No Gentle Possession, Anne Mather, Harlequin, 1980, Don Sinclair cover art

Harlequin Presents #105

3 1/2 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Anne Mather‘s No Gentle Possession consists of two plot points she’s employed many times in her works like Stormspell: separated lovers and cheating.

The Plot

Well, in this book, it wasn’t so much a case of separated lovers as two people who briefly dated in the past. The heroine broke it off with the hero when she thought his relationship with his young stepmother was a bit too close for comfort and creepy.

Karen Sinclair likes her life just how it is. She has a job and a boyfriend and lives in a nice little town. Sure she’s not wealthy like some other families in town, but she’s happy. What more could she ask for? To her shock and dismay, she meets up again with Alexis Whitney, a man from a well-heeled family she’d been involved with years earlier and never forgot. For Alexis, however, their relationship hadn’t been significant (they didn’t have sex), so he doesn’t even remember Karen.

Karen’s pride is a bit wounded, although she tries to put on a brave face. While Alexis may not recall their time together, he seeks to remedy that by starting a new relationship. So he begins pursuit of Karen, which baffles and insults her while intriguing her at the same time. But she has that steady boyfriend who’s a better suit for her than the love-them-and-leave-them type. Besides, Alexis’s stepmother is still in the picture and still seems to have an unseemingly interest in him.

Nevertheless, Alexis always seems to be wherever she goes, and soon enough, Karen is having those old feelings for him. Despite her commitment to her current boyfriend, she finds it hard to resist Alexis’s aggressive passes at her. I sort of wanted to give Karen a good kick in the rear to get her to wake up; she’s so inconsistent in her feelings. Even so, I like Alexis as a hero. He was an arrogant douchebag, but an arrogant douche bag with style and charisma.

Fun Fact:

No Gentle Possession was—like many other HPs—offered free with dish detergent:

 photo No Gentle Possession FREE.jpg
No Gentle Possession free with Ivory Liquid Detergent

Anne Mather must have been the bomb back in the 1970s and early 1980s. Her books were often reprinted to great success, and one of her Harlequins, Leopard in the Snow, was made into a movie starring Mr. 2001 Space Odyssey Canadian cutie, Keir Dullea. Despite being a box-office failure, it was quite a big deal for a little category romance to be made into a major motion picture.

Final Analysis of No Gentle Possession

Anne Mather was one of Harlequin Presents most popular authors, especially in the line’s early years. She rarely disappointed, and No Gentle Possession is a good oldie romance. There are a few loose ends with the stepmother, and the conclusion is a bit abrupt, but all in all, I liked this one.

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