Contemporary Romance Review: Gypsy by Carole Mortimer

Gypsy by Carole Mortimer
Rating: three-stars
Published: 1985
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Signature Edition
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 383
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Contemporary Romance Review: Gypsy by Carole Mortimer


The Book

I have a real love/hate situation with Gypsy by Carole Mortimer, a full-length contemporary romance. It’s got some concepts I adore and others, like adultery, that make me want to toss this book across the room.

Carole Mortimer is one of the few Harlequin authors who regularly features blond heroes (I prefer them to the “tall, dark” archetype), so I have tons of her books. Usually, I enjoy reading them.

She had been his brothers wife, he hadn’t seen her for three years, and yet he had only to think of her to ache with an unrequited desire, knew that he ached with that desire even now.

The Plot

Here, the fair-haired “hero,” Lyon, is a real nasty piece of work. He’s an adulterous husband who refuses to divorce his wife because he feels he owes it to her to stick around.

That made no sense to me. I had a hard time dealing with the adultery concept. For some reason, I can accept it in historicals, but in contemporaries, I don’t have much sympathy.

I couldn’t understand why Lyon’s wife didn’t divorce him.

Worse still is the supposed heroine, Shay. What kind of woman is cool with screwing a married man who lives with his wife, who also cheats, and they all hang out together at parties like it’s no big thing?

gypsy carole mortimer

Yes, she was very young, plus a virgin before Lyon came along and was naïve. But naïve and stupid shouldn’t mean the same thing.

And yes, Shay left Lyon to marry his younger brother, Ricky, when she discovered she was pregnant with Lyon’s child. It’s creepy, too, how now Ricky’s dead and she’s pregnant with his child.

But all that in Gypsy didn’t bother me as much as Lyon being married. He is supposedly madly in love with Shay, yet unwilling to divorce his wife, while they both carried on affairs. I guess everyone has their peeves, and adultery in contemporaries is one of mine.

gypsy by carole mortimer
Gypsy, Carole Mortimer, Mills & Boon, 1986, cover artist unknown

Final Analysis of Gypsy

Still, Carole Mortimer’s Gypsy had this kind of “car-accident” vibe to it, where I couldn’t look away or put the book down.

The serpentine semi-incestuous and adulterous relationships did make for a crazy time. It’s worth a read, even if I felt I needed to shower afterward.

3 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 3.2


Claiming his woman…

Shay is the raven-haired beauty the Falconer brothers called Gypsy. Irresistible to each brother, it was Lyon Falconer who claimed her—when he didn’t have the right… Yet it was Ricky, the youngest Falconer, who picked up the fragments of Shay’s shattered life and married her out of love.

But, with her husband’s death, destiny has hurled Shay back within Lyon’s reach. Now Lyon has a final chance to prove that Shay has always been—and would always be—his!


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