This review is of Timeless Love, book #11 and the final book in the “Bachelor Arms” series. It is the second of two written by Judith Arnold, a pseudonym for Barbara Keiler. (Harlequin Temptation #565, published December 1995).
Heroine: Hope Henley, 25. Black hair, brown eyes. Sales clerk in a retail store.
Hero: Morgan Delacourt, 30. Brown hair and eyes. Cartoonist. New millionaire.
At the beginning of the book, Morgan Delacourt is celebrating his newly minted millionaire status. That happiness, however, is short-lived as Morgan hits Hope Henley with his car. Although it wasn’t his fault, Morgan feels immense guilt as Hope is in a coma as a result of the accident. He vows to take care of Hope, pays her medical expenses, and lets her move in with him.
As they spend time together, we learn more about them, including Hope’s connection to the mystery that began in the first book in the series. They also fall in love with each other, although both try to fight it.
In the end, the mystery of Bachelor Arms and Hope’s part in it are revealed. She and Morgan become lovers. They get married and have their Happily Ever After.
Both Hope and Morgan are likable, developed characters. I liked the fact that Morgan took responsibility and cared for Hope even though he didn’t have to. He and Hope are very nice relatable characters who are the type of people I would love to know as real people.
Slightly nitpicking, but at times Morgan was condescending towards Hope for her beliefs. I probably would be too, but it was still annoying.
Two love scenes that are not graphic but fit in well with the rest of the book.
Other than Morgan hitting Hope with his car, no violence.
Bottom Line on Timeless Love
Readers who like a romance with a caring hero and sensitive heroine will find lots to like in Judith Duncan’s Timeless Love.
Flights of fancy were not Hope Henley’s style. So why did she flee in terror after just one glance at the infamous mirror in Apartment 1-G–straight into the path of Morgan Delacourt’s car? Having just arrived in L.A., Hope reluctantly accepts Morgan’s generous offer of convalescence at his home. Suddenly she is believing in all sorts of crazy notions. Like destined, timeless love with sexy Morgan. But that couldn’t possibly be. Determined bachelor Morgan is tied to Hope by guilt, not by love. And the secret of Bachelor Arms isn’t connected to her. Or is it?
Could the history of Bachelor Arms be about to repeat itself?
Heroine: Jessica (Jessie) Gale, 27. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Social worker and owner-operator of Rainbow House, a social service center for runaways.
Hero: Clint McCreary, 30. Black hair, gray eyes. Former New York City police officer. Recent law school graduate. Clint has a job with the Bronx County DA’s office when he goes back east. (Spoiler: He doesn’t).
The Lady in the Mirror begins with John Clinton “Clint” McCreary, former NYC police officer and the book’s hero, having just arrived in Los Angeles from New York. He is in search of his missing half-sister, Diana.
The first person he meets in Los Angeles is Jessie Gale, the heroine. Jessie is a social worker who owns and runs a social services center for teenage runaways.
From the moment they meet, Clint and Jessie are attracted to each other, although they do have ideological differences.
In the end, Jessie and Clint become lovers. They rescue Diana without any drama or trauma.
Clint decides to stay out west, he marries Jessie, and they have their Happily Ever After.
Jessie and Clint are both fairly nice characters.
Sadly, Jessie and Clint don’t get much beyond the “nice” category. They’re not the most interesting characters in the “Bachelor Arms” series, and I didn’t feel much emotional connection or passion from them.
The only real emotion in the book comes in Chapter 10, where Jessie and the reader learn about Clint’s past trauma.
The love scenes between Jessie and Clint are fairly mild.
There is one scene of assault and battery.
The Lady in the Mirror by Judith Arnold is an about-average book. No more, no less.
Tropes: Ex-cop. Los Angeles. Runaway. Social Worker.
Location: Los Angeles, California.
Rating Report Card
Move over, Melrose Place!
Apartment for rent. One bedroom. Bachelor Arms. 555-1234. Come live and love in Los Angeles with the tenants of Bachelor Arms. Meet colorful neighbors you’ll bump into again and again.
When Blythe Fielding planned her wedding and asked her two best friends, Caitlin and Lily, to be bridesmaids, none of them knew a new romance was around the corner for each of them — not even the bride!
These entertaining, dramatic stories of friendship, mystery and love continue the exploits of the residents of Bachelor Arms and answer one very important question: Will Blythe ever get to walk down the aisle? Don’t miss the goings-on at Bachelor Arms.
Published in 1991,Judith Arnold‘s A> Loverboy is the final installment in the Harlequin American Romance line “A Century of American Romance” series. There were ten books in the series, each one focusing on a decade in the 20th century.
Even though they were published in a category romance contemporary category romance line, all the books could be considered “historical” romances.
All that is, except A>Loverboy, which is more like historical fantasy or speculative fiction. Take your pick.
Because instead of taking place in the actual 1990 when this book was published (1991), A> Loverboy is set at a fictional end of the decade, the end of a century, and the end of a millennium.
The Future Past
A> Loverboy is a funny romance about two coworkers falling in for each other in an unusual way. Before there was “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, there was this book.
Lucy Beckwith is an uptight divorcee working in tech. You can tell I know nothing about computers because of the phrasing I use.
Back in the 1980s, Jim Kazan was a prodigy who’d hacked into the Pentagon. This brought him notoriety and put him on the covers of every major magazine.
Years later, he’s still working in computers, this time in the “new Silicon Valley” of Kansas. In this reality, “The Big Earthquake” finally hit California in the early part of the 1990s. The economy was disrupted, causing many businesses to move out of state.
Lucy doesn’t think much of Jim, except that he’s an egoist who lives off his hacker reputation.
The Future Present
One night Lucy starts getting mysterious messages on her work computer.
A> I crave your body.
Why would anyone crave her body? Lucy wonders. Her ex-husband hadn’t thought much of her shape. Her breasts were the size of lemons, for goodness sake!
A> I want you, Lucy Beckwith.
The messages continue. Rather than being disgusted, Lucy is intrigued. Who was this mysterious admirer?
A> Call me Loverboy.
The flirtatious glowing words on her screen bewilder Lucy.
It’s no surprise that the man behind the messages is the arrogant big-shot Lucy can’t stand, Jim Kazan. Jim tries his best to woo her online and in real life.
Lucy finds Jim’s confidence isn’t so off-putting once she gets to know him. And being desired by a secret admirer is working wonders on her own confidence.
The Future Future
Although the vision of the 1990s depicted herein has “not aged so well,” it’s worth assessing what Arnold’s ideas of a not-too-distant future (that has now passed) entailed. This aspect categorizes A> Loverboy as speculative fiction and romance.
Reading this American Harlequin was akin to watching movies from the ’80s that predicted hovercars and aliens by the year 2020.
I mean, yes, aliens are here hiding in plain sight, as lizard people are wont to do. But we were promised hovercars, too, dammit!
People in this book’s version of 1999 have to wear special lightweight jackets to block out harmful UVRs.
In our genuine “Current Year,” almost everybody wears no less than a minimum of SPF 30 sunblock when they go outdoors in summer. I remember when they sold SPF 5 in tubes, and anything over 10 marked was for only the palest or easily freckled skin. And it was always PABA-free! (Does any modern sunscreen contain that anymore?)
Arnold did get reality TV right. Or at least, programs like “The Bachelor” where people find “real love” in front of cameras and millions of viewers.
Another Element in This Futuristic Romance
There’s a subplot about a teenager named Dara Lynn, who believes that Jim is her father.
Her unmarried mom birthed Dara Lynn during an IVF pregnancy. Jim Kazan–supposedly–donated a specimen to a fertility clinic right before Dara Lynn’s mother sam. She’s connected the dots and set her hopes on Jim as her father.
That subplot is a minor one, however, taking backstage to the main love story.
Jim is a charming rogue, an Alpha nerd who is determined to get the woman he wants. He desires Lucy not only for her body but her brain as well.
What will happen when Lucy realizes the man who’s won her heart like a cyber Cyrano de Bergerac is really the smart-ass, genius whose superior airs and sexy smile drive her crazy?
Final Analysis of A> Loverboy
Despite A>Loverboy not accurately representing the 1990s, I really enjoyed this engaging funny romance.
Lucy was an authentic depiction of an insecure woman who flourished under some much-deserved adoration. Jim was a cute, witty hero.
Change of Life, a Harlequin American Romance by Judith Arnold, seems less a romance and more a story of a woman’s mid-life crisis and journey to self-discovery.
Lila, The Harried Housewife
Lila Chapin is a long-time married woman with several rambunctious young boys. While Daddy is the fun parent, she’s a stay-at-home mom who cooks, cleans, disciplines, and is attentive to everyone’s wants and needs.
On her 40th birthday, when her husband, Ken, and their kids forget all about it, she decides it’s time for a change in her life. She packs up her things, takes her keys, withdraws some money from their bank account, and leaves.
Lila settles into a hotel and figures it’s time to take care of her wants and needs. She informs her bewildered husband that she’s taking one month off from being a wife and mother. Lila feels she’s been taken for granted, and without her around, her family will realize how much they rely on her for everything.
Ken, of course, isn’t amused. He insists Lila come home, but she’s not budging.
A night or two of relaxation at a hotel is fun. However, Lila wants more than just to lay around and be pampered. She’s not fulfilled.
Lila volunteers at a homeless shelter, feeding the poor. She gets to know them on a more individual level and wants to help out as much as she can. Then she starts classes for the indigent to try to enhance their educational skills to gain greater opportunities.
Ken, The Well-Meaning Dad
In the meantime, Ken is doing his best to convince her to come home. Husband and wife meet up for conversations which form into dates.
However, that’s not the only guy Lila is dating! Lila meets a younger man whom she flirts with. She even goes out with him once on a late-night date.
It doesn’t lead to adultery. I wouldn’t like it if a married hero did this to his wife, so it’s not right for Lila to do this to Ken.
Ken’s not a bad guy. He loves his wife, works hard to provide for his family financially, and is a loving father.
That’s not enough for Lila, who wants a man who will support her hopes and dreams. A man who will not be so forgetful about special events like a 40th birthday party. That was rather thoughtless on Ken’s part, though, so he’s definitely not without flaws.
In the end, Lila and Ken come to a compromise, where he will spend time doing more housework and appreciate her. Meanwhile, Lila gets some “me time” working to help the poor.
Final Analysis of Change of Life
Change of Life by Judith Duncan proves one thing: women, as well as men, can be self-centered when they experience mid-life crises.
Being a full-time mother is a meaningful existence; I certainly felt that way when I was doing it. Although I can understand that not all women share the same opinion and need “more.”
It’s wonderful Lila is being fulfilled, but couldn’t she have just talked with Ken?
I’m a woman, and sometimes we feel that it takes a big dramatic show to make us heard.
Leaving your kids with your husband for a weekend to relax is one thing, even a week’s vacation. Abandoning them with no word is just as thoughtless as forgetting a birthday. And going on a date with another man while married? Bad form.
It’s always a good thing to reevaluate your beliefs and situation in life, but it’s important to communicate with your life partner if you’re unsatisfied with how things are. In real life, walking out on your family could lead to divorce.
Lila was lucky that her plan worked. As Change of Life is a romance, it couldn’t have ended any other way.
Rating Report Card
On Lila Chapin’s birthday, something snapped. She packed her bags, wrote a note and left-just like that.
Unbeknownst to her family, Lila was giving herself the present she wanted most: a month’s vacation. She was going to pamper her body, feast her eyes and soothe her soul while Ken and the boys realized just how much they took her for granted.
But Lila hadn’t bargained on Ken’s reaction to her domestic rebellion—and on a side of him that she hadn’t known existed.
Nor had she bargained on the sweetness and wonder of a post-summer romance.