Harlequin Presents

Category Romance Review: The Italian’s Wife by Lynne Graham

Lynne Graham’s The Italian’s Bride is unusual from her other books I’ve read in the past.

Holly Samson is the first Graham heroine I can recall who was not a virgin, and who’s borne another man’s child. The hero is typical of her heroes: dark-haired, ultra-masculine, ridiculously wealthy, smitten with the heroine, and of Italian descent. 3.62 Stars

lynne graham the italians wife

Category Romance Review: An Outrageous Proposal by Miranda Lee

Miranda Lee’s An Outrageous Proposal is an outrageously sexy Harlequin Presents. Laura had been happily married to Dirk Thornton. Laura was so obsessed with having a child, however. Soon their difficulty to conceive led to a divorce. But now Laura wants Dirk back. 4.5 stars

an outrageous proposal

Category Romance Review: Beloved Deceiver by Flora Kidd

Flora Kidd’s Beloved Deceiver still sticks out in my mind for one big reason. It’s the only Harlequin/Mills-and-Boon I’ve read to feature a hero from the Dominican Republic, which is my parents’ birth country. 3.45 stars

flora kidd beloved deceiver

Category Romance Review: Wish on the Moon by Sally Wentworth

Wish on the Moon by Sally Wentworth has gotten mixed to low reviews around the internet, but it’s a romance I fully enjoyed. This is an unusual romance because technically, the heroine is “the other woman.” She comes in and breaks up a seemingly happy engagement–and not just a random stranger’s but her cousin’s. 4 stars

wish on the moon

Category Romance Review: Moon Witch by Anne Mather

Harlequin Presents #38 Moon Witch by Anne Mather In this vintage romance, a much older man falls for his younger ward. It’s an uncomfortable, but compelling read. 3 1/2 stars

moon witch sinclair

Category Romance Review: A Passionate Affair by Anne Mather

In Anne Mather’s A Passionate Affair, the heroine, Cassandra, is a divorcee whom the hero pursues and they engage in a…passionate affair. This was revolutionary. Before this book, lovemaking in this line had been restricted to married couples or “forced seductions” of initially unwilling virgins whose bodies “betrayed them.” A solid romance. 3.5 stars

passionate affair oakley

Category Romance Review: Lovers Touch by Penny Jordan

Whenever I see an “Award of Excellence” ribbon on a Harlequin-published romance, I know I’m in for a mediocre read. For me, Penny Jordan is an author who’s all over the place. One book can be great, another full of crazy-sauce, others on the blah side. Sadly, her Lover’s Touch is kind of blah. The two protagonists are kept apart by big misunderstandings and lack of communication, which is never fun. 2.5 stars

lovers touch

Category Romance Review: Hard To Get by Carole Mortimer

Oh boy, when I read “the heroine in pursuit plot” synopsis for this Harlequin Presents, was I ever excited to read it. Heroines who are determined to get their men are my favorite kinds! Alas, when the object of said pursuit is a mean arsehole, the chase isn’t worth it. Still, Hard to Get by Carole Mortimer was a wild, emotional whirlwind. With a more charismatic hero, I could have loved this as opposed to liking it. 3.62 stars

hard to get mortimer

Category Romance Review: Guilty Love by Charlotte Lamb

Charlotte Lamb’s Harlequin Presents romance Guilty Love is so crazy and full of over-the-top drama. I loved every wild moment of it. As always, YMMV, although this sort of book is right up my alley. But a word of warning: it handles a dark subject that may cause readers some discomfort. 5 stars

guilty love charlotte lamb

Category Romance Review: For the Love of Sara by Anne Mather

For the Love of Sara isn’t one of Anne Mather’s bests. It features a rather unlikeable hero, which is par for the course for Mather. It doesn’t help that he’s a functioning alcoholic who keeps cans of beer in his glove compartment to help him deal with stress. The heroine isn’t any better. She’s a professional martyr who’s made a lot of poor life decisions. When the book opens, she’s about to embark on another bad choice, but in this case, she’s doing it to save someone she cares for. 2 stars

for the love of sara don sinclair

Category Romance Review: Marriage on the Rebound by Michelle Reid

Michelle Reid’s Marriage on The Rebound is about keeping it all in the family. Shaan Saketa is unique for a Harlequin Presents circa 1998 heroine, as she’s of mixed ethnic heritage: English and Lebanese. It’s her wedding day. Unfortunately for Shaan, she’s about to be dumped at the altar. 4 stars

marriage on the rebound

Category Romance Review: The Honey is Bitter by Violet Winspear

Along with Anne Mather and Anne Hampson, Violet Winspear was one of the three original authors for the Harlequin Presents line when it launched in 1973. Her bestseller, The Honey is Bitter, was originally published in 1967 by Mills & Boon. It had about 30 reprintings under Harlequin. Paul, a Greek tycoon, blackmails Domini into marriage. 4 stars

the honey is bitter

Category Romance Review: Merry Christmas by Emma Darcy

Simply titled Merry Christmas, Emma Darcy’s category romance foray into the holidays will have you near tears. It may have you wishing some evil villains get their well-deserved comeuppance. This book is an angst-filled yet ultimately very happy Christmas Harlequin Presents. 4 stars

merry christmas

Covers of the Week #33

It’s time to appreciate category romance covers again! For this edition of Covers of the Week, we’re focusing on Harlequin publishing in the 1980s. For the week of Monday, November 22, 2021, to Sunday, November 28, 2021 (boy did November fly by, or what?), let’s look upon these passionate category romance covers from Harlequin.

second to none

Category Romance Review: Song of the Waves by Anne Hampson

Wendy Brown is a not-yet-21-year-old Englishwoman who’s been given the worst news imaginable: she has an inoperable brain tumor and will die in a few months. Rather than spend her last days wallowing in despair, Wendy decides to make the best of her lot. Alone in the world, she sells her family home and buys a ticket for the maiden voyage of a glamorous cruise ship that’s set to sail the world. Thus begins Anne Hampson’s Song of the Waves, a vintage Harlequin Presents written in 1976. 4 stars

song of the waves

Category Romance Review: Stranger in the Night by Charlotte Lamb

Charlotte Lamb’s Stranger in the Night deals with a sensitive topic she’s approached several times: rape. No, it does not employ the controversial trope of “dubious consent” found in many Harlequins from the 1970s and 1980s. This is a healing love story about a traumatic assault that upended a woman’s life and affected her relationships with men. 5 Stars

stranger in the night

Category Romance Review: Driving Force by Sally Wentworth

Driving Force, a Sally Wentworth Harlequin Presents, offers few surprises but is a satisfactory read regardless. West Marriot– our hero, not a 3-star hotel but a famous race car driver–was terribly injured in a race several months ago. Madeleine French, a nurse and physiotherapist, had been married to West for four years. 3 1/2 stars

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