by Anna Campbell
Today, I'm reviewing three delicious category romances by Sarah Morgan. CAPELLI'S CAPTIVE VIRGIN. POWERFUL GREEK, UNWORLDLY WIFE. ONE NIGHT...NINE-MONTH SCANDAL.
Yup, we're in the land of Harlequin Presents (called Modern in the U.K. and Sexy in Australia - which gives my Aussie Presents writer friends the chance to say, "Hey, I'm a Sexy Author!"). The land of virgins and billionaires and sheikhs and Greeks. Secret babies. Marriages of convenience. Revenge. Oh, my!
I grew up reading Harlequin Presents (Anne Mather was my favorite when I was a teenager - oh, my sainted aunt, she was pretty hot for back in the Dark Ages!). Except they were called Mills and Boons back then - all published under one line. It's a while since I've had a real binge on Presents. I read all three of these in one day - talk about total immersion!
Sarah is an English writer and all these books feature unworldly English heroines - although these girls are from from the wimpy virgins of legend! The heroes are all larger-than-life Mediterranean tycoons, one Italian, two Greek.
ONE NIGHT...NINE-MONTH SCANDAL sounds like it should be a secret baby story but actually the baby is pretty much common knowledge from close to the beginning (where we have a very passionate encounter!). This story charts the reunion story between Alekos Zagorakis, passionate Greek shipping magnate (of course!), and innocent teacher Kelly Jenkins. In best Cinderella style, Alekos sweeps Kelly away to a life of glamour and drama in Corfu. Lucky Kelly!
POWERFUL GREEK, UNWORLDLY WIFE is also a Cinderella story - another reunion tale between Leandro Demetrios, Greek billionaire banker, and humble farm girl Millie who he married after a whirlwind romance. Sarah Morgan loves these matching-of-opposites tales, and throws in a nice dollop of juicy English class system for good measure. This one has elements of the Princess Di story (especially when it comes to the role of the paparazzi) and is a real page-turner.
CAPELLI'S CAPTIVE VIRGIN uses one of my favorite romance tropes - the passionate lover and the woman of (supposed) ice caught in an attraction they can't resist. To save her sister, relationships consultant Lindsay Lockheart (great name!) accepts a short-term post as secretary to celebrity Italian divorce lawyer Alessio Capelli. He whisks her off to his private island in the Caribbean - and you can imagine what happens after that. Let's just say it's not just the weather that's hot!
As you can probably tell, these stories are all classic Presents. But they're more than that - a lot of elements make them stand out from the crowd. Sarah Morgan writes really beautifully and she has a great ear for witty dialogue. These women might be socially inferior to the men who pursue them, but they're no pushovers. A Sarah Morgan heroine is perfectly capable of standing up for herself and putting her arrogant Greek/Italian in his place when he tries to ride roughshod over her. The relationships are the give and take of equals - and it's lovely seeing the arrogant hero driven to distraction because he's not getting his own way for once. Sarah also writes sexual tension that you can cut with a knife.
I devoured these books like chocolate! And went to the Book Depository and ordered three more. Clearly I'm putting my money where my mouth is.
My verdict - wonderful, irresistible fun!
So are you a Harlequin Presents fan? Are you into Greeks and sheikhs? Does the prospect of a secret baby fill you with quivering excitement? How about a marriage of convenience that you know is going to be SOOOO inconvenient? Are you ready to be whisked off to Corfu?
NEWSFLASH! NEWSFLASH! SARAH HAS VERY KINDLY AGREED TO GIVE AWAY A SIGNED COPY OF HER LATEST RELEASE THE TORTURED RAKE/A NIGHT OF SCANDAL TO ONE COMMENTER TODAY. HOW COOL IS THAT? GOOD LUCK, PEOPLE!