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MandyM

MandyM

Stuff I'm reading... Mostly romance and Scifi/Fantasy.

Review: Tainted Love

Tainted Love (Dangerous Liasons) (Harlequin Presents) - Alison Fraser

Dear Author has started a new review series by authors. They've been invited to submit reviews of books that get very little attention but that they liked very much. Furthermore the books must be by people they have no real contact with. The first review was of Tainted Love by Alison Fraser. After reading it I think author Amber Lin chose very well.

 

The heroine (Clare) seems very unconventional for a Harlequin romance. She's an ex-con with a very sad back story who is reluctantly employed by a history professor (Fen) as his housekeeper. Dr Fen Marchand has a troubled son recently returned to his care after the death of the boy's mother.

Clare is a bitter and prideful young woman. When Fen interviews her, after having been talked into it by his sister, his disdain for Clare is obvious and the two clash horribly. They finally part with Clare smacking him a good one right across his face. And he definitely deserved it. He treated her abominably. Circumstances, and Fen's manipulative son, bring Clare back and they begin their emotional and volatile journey towards trust and true love. 

 

The back and forth between Clare and Fen is really what makes this story. Their antipathy is electric although towards the end they almost seem to goad each other just to be contrary. Fen's lonely son Miles is another stand-out and his antics to drive Clare away swiftly change as he starts to see her as a constant in his life.

 

The sex scenes are less graphic than we are used to these days. Fen doesn't pay much attention to Clare's "No's" but it didn't worry me in this instance. It ended fairly abruptly as if the author was given a limited word count and she reached it when the story was only 4/5 finished. So the ILY's and the awkward little 'epilogue' at the end were not as satisfying as the rest of the novel deserved.

 

Tainted Love was written in the 90's and even though it was actually a contemporary romance for the times, it feels almost historical. Mostly because this trope is very popular in historical novels but also because of the way the romance and sex scenes were handled, and the non-egalitarian views of the characters. 

 

I really enjoyed this and will check out Running Wild, which was also recommended, when it is released in digital format.