Category Romance Review: Darkness into Light by Carole Mortimer

Darkness into Light, Carole Mortimer, Harlequin, 1986, cover artist TBD

Harlequin Presents #892

3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

She decided at the beginning of their relationship that she would only take what he wanted to give, but she wouldn’t be treated as a sex object, only accepted as an equal in his bed.


Darkness into Light by Carole Mortimer is one of those category romances you must read in a comfy chair because you’ll want to settle down for the next couple of hours to enjoy the book in one sitting.

The Plot

Danny is the head gardener of Sutherland Estates and has yet to meet her wealthy, reclusive boss. Then, late one night, while mowing the lawn to relax (because bubble baths are so physically draining!), his hunky nephew Pierce shows up, dressed in a sexy, revealing bathing suit. Being a bit of a flirt, Danny invites herself over for a swim, and the sparks quickly fly between these polar opposites. Pierce is almost 40 years old and is the severe, stuffed-shirt type, while Danny is barely 21 and wears her heart on her sleeve.

There’s no doubt that Pierce is interested in what Danny appears to be offering, and he pursues her. In a short time, she finds herself head over heels for him, but not before Pierce warns her that love is not on the agenda. Sex is all he’s interested in. He was previously married, and after the tragic death of his wife, Pierce has sworn off love and marriage.

I liked how even though Danny was a virgin, she wasn’t hateful about sex due to tacked-on trauma or innate prudery. Instead, she simply was waiting for the right man who made her tingle in all the proper places to come along. And when he does… Pierce should watch out because Danny will get her man!

Danny might be much younger than Pierce, but she knows her mind and is no pushover. Pierce is adamant about limiting the boundaries of their relationship to mere lust, as he had done with all the females in his life. Danny, on the other hand, would never allow herself to be used for sex. She asserts that “his other women may have become accustomed to it, but she never would.”

Final Analysis of Darkness into Light

Generally in romances, I hate the dead wife or lover trope, with Danny even noting that “[Pierce’s wife]’s memory sounds like too much competition for any woman.” However, as a heroine, Danny was so refreshingly open and forthright that she carried the book.

There’s not a lot of plot or any tense drama in this Harlequin Presents, but I liked it all the same. Carole Mortimer hit the sweet spot with this book, not too angsty, not too light, just the perfect read for a carefree afternoon.

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