Call Back Yesterday by Charlotte Lamb, her first entry in the Harlequin Presents line, isn’t perfect, but it’s a solid start to her career as one of the best authors in this series.
Illustrator: Will Davies
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #253
Published by: Harlequin, Mills & Boon
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
Call Back Yesterday is the first Harlequin Presents written by Charlotte Lamb.
There are two HP writers I absolutely adore: Miranda Lee and Charlotte Lamb. Lamb wrote mostly in the ’70s and ’80s. Lee was a modern woman of the ’90s and 2000s. Both authors had the ability to portray great heroines from vastly different lifestyles.
From poor, innocent virgins to victims who rise above tragedy to mature, sexually experienced sophisticates, they were wonderful to read about.
In Call Back Yesterday, Oriel Mellstock belongs to the latter group. Oriel and Devil Haggard were cousins who grew up together and grew to love each other. (If that gives you an ick-factor, they’re only second cousins).
Cruel fate separates them.
Oriel leaves and marries a man 30 years older. She actually has a normal marriage, sleeps with him (albeit without much passion), and has a child. Her multi-millionaire husband dies, and she returns to her hometown to get a little revenge.
As Call Back Yesterday was Charlotte Lamb’s first HP, it’s a bit milder than her later works. There is no consummation in this book, but she throws a bunch of HP tropes at you:
- The much-beloved manor the heroine fights to own
- A darkly brooding, bastard hero who rides on a black stallion
- The manipulative wife who separates the lovers; a vicious other-woman
- Multiple men vying for the heroine’s affection
- Even a couple of cute kids.
One thing I love about older Harlequins is the quick-moving plots, and this one is no different.
My favorite scene is where Oriel and Devil come face to face at last, and she whips him on the face with her riding crop, then he grabs her crop, takes her over the knee, and whips her backside.
Then he forces a kiss on her, and Oriel is like, well, I deserved the beating, but the kiss was just too much! WTF!
Final Analysis of Call Back Yesterday
The ending of Call Back Yesterday was a bit unsatisfactory. I wanted more of a dramatic reveal at the climax to make this one perfect.
Still, this was a fine outing for Charlotte Lamb.
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When they were young Oriel Mellstock and Devil Haggard had been wildly in love – but everything had gone wrong, and they had parted in bitterness and misunderstanding. Now Oriel was back, in the Yorkshire dale where Devil still lived – but how could she put the clock back? For although she was free now, Devil was married…Call Back Yesterday by Charlotte Lamb