Illustrator: Bob Kebic
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #366
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Buy on: Amazon, ThriftBooks
Margaret Pargeter’s Savage Possession begins like any ordinary Harlequin Presents series romance. The hero and heroine meet under unusual circumstances. Then the situation quickly gets heated.
The Characters and the Set-Up
In the case of Savage Possession, Melissa’s car is trapped in the snow. Along comes Ryan Trevelyan, to give her a lift.
She’s dressed in bulky winter clothes so he assumes she’s a boy. As they’re driving along in his car, he’s berating “him” for driving under such horrible circumstances. Then she takes off her cap.
Ryan thinks: “Oh no, she’s this unbelievably beautiful, green-eyed, redhead woman! How easily mistaken I was to think she was a boy [whom I was mildly attracted to] because she was wearing a hat and coat! Well, since she tricked me, I’ll force her to spend the night at my house even though there are plenty of other places in town where she can stay. That’ll teach her a lesson!”
I wondered to myself just where this book was going. It was not what I expected.
Melissa does not act like the HP caricature heroines are supposed to: swooning, selfless, kind to all, and eager to work hard to prove her worth. No, she’s a slothful freeloader with good, old-fashioned morals.
Home, Sweet Home
Melissa has returned home after spending years mooching off her wealthy socialite aunt. Auntie wanted to name Melissa her heir, but only if she marries the man of Auntie’s choosing. Not up for that, Melissa returns home to her family’s financially-troubled farm.
It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Melissa. Her parents are all too keen to pimp her out to their landlord as payment for past-due rents. Mom is 3 YEARS behind on the statements. The family hasn’t been evicted—yet.
Who is their patient, benevolent homeowner? Why Ryan Trevelyan, of course!
Mum and stepdad make not-so-subtle hints that Melissa should sell herself out to save the farm. Melissa is outraged and defiant. She may be a mooch, but she’s no whore!
Eventually, Melissa begs Ryan to give her mother and stepfather more time to keep the grange. She promises to work at the family store selling their farm goods.
Yet, despite her pleading, she refuses to actually do anything to help mum save her home.
Melissa doesn’t feel like going to work, you see. Instead, she spends her days with other men or relaxing. She’s utterly lazy, a committed slacker. I have never related to a heroine as much as this one! 😁
The only decent fellow in this whole story is Ryan Trevelyan, who–despite his sensible inclinations–keeps giving Melissa and her family chance after chance to make due on their past balances.
But did I mention that Melissa is:
L… A… Z… Y…
Final Analysis of Savage Possession
Ryan gets fed up with Melissa and sparks fly. Slowly a love evolves between these two very different people. Is it meant to last?
The underlying story in Margarate Pargeter’s Savage Possession doesn’t matter. The interactions between the complicated three-dimensional main characters make this a compelling read.
The writing isn’t overwrought. The sarcastic banter between the two mains is excellent.
By the end, Melissa grows as a character, realizing she needs to be a better person with drive and purpose. Ryan is to die for.
Looking forward to reading more of Pargeter’s work, as she was a Harlequin author with whose work I was unfamiliar.
The future held no bright prospects.
Melissa’s wealthy cousin Helen tried to pressure her into a loveless marriage, so Melissa fled back to her Cornish home.
There she found that the small market garden business leased by her mother and stepfather had declined during her six absent years. Now it was nearly bankrupt! Worse still, their landlord, the handsome, aggressive Ryan Trevelyan, was demanding the three years’ back rent—unless Melissa agreed to his despicable plan.
She found herself trapped between concern for her mother, and Ryan—a man who had set himself to run her life!Savage Possession by Margaret Pargeter