Illustrator: Len Goldberg
Published by: Harlequin, Worldwide
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
MILD SPOILERS 😉
Written in 1983, Anne Mather‘s Stormspell was anachronistic even for its day. A rare full-length, single edition romance from Mather, it’s certainly chock-full of crazy Harlequin antics.
First, the big age difference that skirts legal lines: The heroine is 17 and the hero is 33.
Ruth was raised on a small Caribbean island by her elderly father and is so sheltered she makes your typical Harlequin Presents heroine look like a fusion of legendary romance sluts Skye O’Malley & Anita Blake!
Ruth rescues a stranger when he washes ashore after a shipwreck. A couple of stolen moments later, she’s in love and they consummate their relationship.
Then Dominic–he’s the supposed hero of this book–drops the anvil: he’s engaged and has no intention of dumping his fiancée!
Fast-forward to England a few months later. Ruth’s an orphan now and has come into money. She gets a sophisticated makeover. Dominic pursues Ruth while still engaged.
Oh yeah, they’re gonna do it again.
Final Analysis of Stormspell
Anne Mather’s Stormspell was a fun read.
The hero is a complete dog, but I guess I like jerk heroes because I really enjoyed this Stormspell.
What’s interesting about this is one–at least by 1982 romance standards–is the first half of the book is purely from the heroine’s perspective. So when Dominic betrays Ruth, you really eel it, as the reader has been a voyeur in Ruth’s head witnessing all her turbulent emotions.
Then Anne Mather switches gears and the second half is mostly from the hero’s POV. He’s still slimy, but he’s set up sympathetically despite being such a callous love -them-and-leave-them cheater.
Mather’s writing was at her best here. As a full-page-length novel, this book allowed her to explore deeper avenues that had been restricted in a Mills & Boon/ Harley with half the page count.
If you like cheesy romances–(and I do!)—Stormspell is a keeper.
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Ruth was young, she was beautiful, she was ripe for love…but she was innocent, until Dominic invaded her island home, and her heart…
Dominic was rich and powerful, bored and world-weary, fighting a temptation he had never before had to face…
Indigo was the island, Indigo: Warm and colourful, and seductively romantic; drenched by the tropical sun and washed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean…
And in the aftermath of the storm, it cast its own spell…STORMSPELL by ANNE MATHER