Category Romance Review: Elegant Barbarian by Catherine Spencer

Elegant Barbarian, Catherine Spencer, Harlequin, 1993, cover artist to be determined

Harlequin Presents #1682


5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Plot

In the aptly titled Elegant Barbarian by Catherine Spencer our heroine, Laura, needs a break from it all and is vacationing at her grandmother’s beach house in Canada. Things there would be fine if it weren’t for her grumpy neighbor, a barbarian of a man who lives off the ocean shellfish, washes with pink soap, and smokes Cuban cigars.

The hero pretty much keeps to himself, but still, he and Laura clash several times. Then a cute baby seal washes ashore and the two have to care for the baby together and they bond because of it.

Despite his gruff outer shell, the hero, Jackson, seems much more of a cultured man than he initially appears.

This book would have been better suited for the Romance line rather than the Presents, as the drama is mostly based on internal hurts rather than from outside sources. Jackson spent several years in prison as he was falsely imprisoned for embezzlement and has a difficult time trusting people.

Jackson’s unexplained meanness to Laura might be a turn-off for some, but strangely I liked watching his cold exterior slowly melt as, against his better judgment, he falls for her. Unfortunately, I wanted Jackson to do some chasing, but nope, it’s mostly Laura in pursuit, up until the end.

Final Analysis of Elegant Barbarian

Still, this was a sweet, tingly read designed to make you feel good on a gloomy day.

I don’t know why I liked this nice, little Harlequin Presents so much. I guess it was just a case of reading the unexpected at the right time.

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