Category Archives: year 1993

the other woman

Category Romance Review: The Other Woman by Candace Schuler

Synopsis:

THE LATEST FROM THE TABLOIDS… SOAP STAR SNARES MOVIE MOGUL

Tara Charming-TV’s sexiest seductress and star of the new movie The Promise-has hooked her claws into Gage Kingston of the legendary moviemaking family. Insiders reveal the studio is irate that the movie’s behind schedule. . .all because the lovers spend more time in each other’s trailer than on the set!

Is this a match made in Hollywood heaven? A close friend reveals, “Gage vowed to avoid actresses ever since his ex-wife. It’s hard to believe he’s fallen for Tara. She’s got a reputation for doing whatever it takes to get ahead.” Of course, Tara has had her share of heartache, too. Pregnant at seventeen, she was left to cope on her own. But her track record proves she’s no pushover now.

Can these two tinsel-town heartbreakers possibly be in love–or is it mutual use and abuse? Turn to our inside story for the full scoop.

Hollywood Dynasty

THE OTHER WOMAN by CANDACE SCHULER

Reviewed by Blue Falcon

MILD SPOILERS 😉

The Book and Characters

This review is of The Other Woman by Candace Schuler, book #1 in the “Hollywood Dynasty” series. (Harlequin Temptation #451, July 1993).

Series overview: “Hollywood Dynasty” focuses on three siblings, children of a legendary Hollywood couple, as they make their names in the same industry that made their parents famous.

Heroine: Tara Channing, 25. Strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes. Actress.

Hero: Gage Kingston. 30. Dark brown hair, amber eyes. Cinematographer.

The Plot

The Other Woman begins in Montana, on the set of a movie, “The Promise.” A love scene is being filmed featuring two of Hollywood’s top sex symbols, actress Tara Channing, the book’s heroine, and actor Pierce Kingston. Also in attendance is Pierce’s brother, cinematographer Gage Kingston, the hero.

Tara and Gage become lovers, but both are unwilling to share more than their bodies. They later learn, however, that passion without protection has consequences. Gage gets Tara pregnant, and they break up.

In the end, Tara and Gage realize they truly do love each other. Tara has her baby–a son–and gives up her acting career.

She and Gage marry and have their Happily Ever After.

Upside

The best part of The Other Woman for me by far is Tara. Depending on your point of view, she is blessed–or cursed with a Playboy Playmate’s looks and body. Looking like that, however, means that males–I can’t call them men–only view Tara as a sex object. She is, however, a woman of depth and character shaped by her life, which we learn about. Tara is a very easy heroine to like and root for.

Downside

Although Gage is not the actor in the family–his siblings are and were–he is a player here in three parts. In the first part of the book, he is a horn dog. During the second, he is Tara’s lover and an angry man. In the third part, he finally realizes he truly loves Tara and wants her for his wife and forever love. While I understood Gage’s reasons for being a jerk in the first two-thirds of the book, that doesn’t make it okay or him completely likable. Beyond Tara, there isn’t a whole lot of depth.

Sex

A few love scenes between Tara and Gage. They generate some heat, but not an inferno.

Violence

The only violence is “movie violence,” which is described in the book.

Bottom Line on The Other Woman

Readers who like to know what goes on behind the scenes of television and movies and were fans of early 1990s entertainment may find a lot to like here. Still, Candace Schuler’s The Other Woman and the “Hollywood Dynasty” series as a whole may not appeal to readers who don’t fall into those categories.

Locations: A movie set in Montana. Los Angeles, California.

Tropes: Actress. Cinematographer. Movie making

2.84 Stars

then came you lisa kleypas

Historical Romance Review: Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

book review historical romance
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1993
Illustrator: Max Ginsburg
Book Series: Gamblers Duo #1
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era Romance
Pages: 371
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Historical Romance Review: Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

MILD SPOILERS 😉

The Book

Then Came You written by Lisa Kleypas is easily one of my favorite romances. It has all the key elements to make this one I would adore. There’s a strong-willed (but charmingly so) heroine, a hero in my all-time hall-of-fame, steamy love scenes, and a magnificent love story.

Not to mention a captivating side character who earned his own book and would show up in about a dozen Kleypas novels.

A Heroine to Remember

The heroine of Then Came You was, at the time of the book’s initial release, a unique female protagonist. Today, Romancelandia is replete with hoydenish, unmarried non-virgins who thumb their noses at conventional rules. Back in 1993, the wild Lily Lawson was most unusual for a historical romance heroine.

The novel begins with Lily aboard a fancy sea vessel for a daytime event that bores her senseless. She allows her hat to fly off into the waters of the Thames in an attempt to prod her male admirers into fetching it for her. The reserved Lord Alex Raiford looks on, disgusted by her antics.

Lily is on the fringes of polite society as she is estranged from her family for her shocking behavior. Many years ago, she was involved in a love affair with an Italian gentleman who turned out to be a cad.

Now, she takes pleasure in shocking the ton. Upon hearing that her dear sister has been forced into a betrothal to the stuffed-shirt Lord Raiford and cannot marry the man she loves, “Lawless” Lily Lawson–as she is called–is determined to save the day.

She will use all her will and wiles to stop Raiford from marrying her sister.

A Hero to Die For

When Lily does succeed, Alex vows revenge and in scene after memorable scene, his vengeance turns to passion. (I admit to fanning myself to Alex’s reaction when Lily is painted with a serpent on her flesh!) Then passion yields to love when he realizes that Lily’s outward behavior is just a cover for the dark secrets that torment her.

Lord Raiford is a responsible man. He has a little brother to care for and estates to run. He was looking for a responsible bride to round out his life.

Alex’s first fiancee died in a horseback riding accident, so Alex is hesitant to get close to anyone, especially a woman of such a free spirit. If you know me and my reviews, you know where I stand on that trope, but here it’s no ghost who’s part of the conflict.

Lily has gained even more notoriety as the only female allowed to gamble in a gaming hell belonging to Derek Craven. Lily even shares a bit of chemistry with the sexy, snaggle-toothed proprietor.

Many Kleypas fans prefer Derek, the hero of this book’s sequel, Dreaming of You, as their favorite Kleypas MC. (Or Sebastian from The Devil in Winter which I haven’t read yet.) As for me, I think Alex Raiford was the better man. He’s strong, kind, intense, and deeply loyal.

Although, the scene where Alex confronts Craven about being Lily’s lover does make Derek look amazing!

There are more obstacles preventing Lily and Alex from being together besides being polar opposites who butt heads.

But Alex’s surprising love will make Lily’s impossible dreams come true. I can’t help but gush over a hero like Alex. He’s principled, a little uptight, beautiful, and great with kids!

Final Analysis for Then Came You

What to say about Then Came You? Lisa Kleypas proved herself to me as one of the best writers in the modern era of romance.

There’s so much to appreciate here: an assertive, unconventional heroine, a virtuous hero I adore, and a wonderfully plotted affair. This is one of my all-time favorites!

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4
Overall: 4.8

Category Romance Review: Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee

Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee category romance
Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: 1993
Illustrator: Unknown
Published by: Harlequin, Mills & Boon
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 195
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee

The Book

Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee had everything: sex, humor, and romance. The Australians was a special short run of Harlequin books featuring sexy heroes from the Outback.

If you have never read Harlequin Presents, then maybe this isn’t your style of book, but I loved it!

Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee
Simply Irresistible, 1993, Mills & Boon edition

The Plot

Vivien gets cruelly dumped by her boyfriend and three days later ends up in the arms of the very sexy Ross Everton at the Bachelor and Spinster’s Ball.

They have an amazingly intense one-night stand, then go their separate ways.

When Vivien finds out she’s pregnant, he’s determined to do the honorable thing, even though Ross had another woman waiting in the wings. In fact, the very night she calls him to tell him of their impending parenthood, he had just proposed to his new girlfriend to marry him!

Their shotgun wedding turns from a marriage of convenience into a sexual relationship. But is their physical attraction all Ross and Vivien share? Can they make it last forever?

Final Opinion on Simply Irresistible

This plot has been done countless times before, but with Miranda Lee’s witty dialogue and the simply irresistible hero, it comes off very fresh.

Simply Irresistible is definitely a keeper.

Rating Report Card
Plot
4.5
Characters
4
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
4
Fun Factor
4.5
Cover
4
Overall: 4.3

Synopsis

Ross Everton was the sexiest single guy the Outback had to offer! The most eligible man at the annual Bachelors’ and Spinsters’ Ball, the handsome rancher knew WHO he wanted – and he wanted her NOW!…

Vivien Roberts thought she was a streetwise Sydney girl, but dancing in Ross’s arms made it hard to be sensible – and after tonight they might never meet again…

But neither would forget their one night together: Vivien was expecting Ross’s baby. Irresistible sexual attraction was one thing…being married was quite another!

Simply Irresistible by Miranda Lee
elegant barbarian

Category Romance Review: Elegant Barbarian by Catherine Spencer

category romance review
Elegant Barbarian by Catherine Spencer
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1993
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #1682
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Elegant Barbarian by Catherine Spencer

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW 😊

The Book

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 Plot

The hero pretty much keeps to himself. Nevertheless, whenever they come in contact, he and Laura clash.

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 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

Catherine Spencer’s Elegant Barbarian was a life-affirming romance, designed to make you feel good on a gloomy day.

This nice little Harlequin Presents was a deviation from the regular angtsy books in the line, but I truly enjoyed it. I guess it was just a case of reading the unexpected at the right time.

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
3.5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4
Overall: 4.5