Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents Extra #90
Hero: Alessandro Caretti
Heroine: Megan Reynolds
Date of Publication: January 21, 2010
Started On: October 3, 2010
Finished On: October 4, 2010
First of all let me just cringe over here a bit from the hideous title of the book. *Shudders*. Moving on, here’s my short and sweet review.
Storyline: Megan Reynolds born and raised in the countryside of Scotland would love nothing more than to settle down with the man she loves in a small house surrounded by a white picket fence in the country teaching at a small school. But she rather unfortunately falls head over heels in love with Alessandro Caretti who is half-Italian and half-English who is the polar opposite of Megan in everyway. Alessandro who had grown up witnessing two parents who had literally worked to their deaths to provide for him has a deep seated driven need to succeed and make a name for himself in the richest and most powerful circles of the world. In Alessandro’s skewed perspective Megan doesn’t fit into the world that he is trying so hard to fit into and when Megan strives to surprise Alessandro by popping out of a birthday cake whilst Alessandro is in a meeting with the wheelers and dealers who could turn his life around, Alessandro breaks things off with a heartbroken Megan and leaves her behind to pursue his ambition of making a name for himself by moving to London. The story continues seven years later when Megan moves to London and it turns out that Alessandro is engaged to the mother of one of her students – a woman who is more suited to Alessandro than Megan could ever hope to be.
The first meet: A 25 year old Alessandro had met 19 year old Megan at a bar to which one of Alessandro’s university colleagues had dragged him off to claiming that Alessandro needed a break from his books.
Time period: Present day.
Awareness between the two characters: There is always a constant hum of awareness between Megan and Alessandro that is palpable. Even when Alessandro is breaking things off with Megan at the beginning of the story, the sexual zing between them ends up in a sinfully seductive scene after which Alessandro being the massive jerk he is at the beginning continues with his intention of breaking up with Megan. When these two meet again seven years later on Alessandro’s turf, its as if they had never been apart. Even though Alessandro is engaged to marry Victoria, a woman who is as career-driven and focused as he is and would fit seamlessly into his ruthlessly driven life, the simmering attraction that sizzles between Alessandro and Megan is something that cannot be ignored. Though encounters between Alessandro and Megan are far and few in between and not explicit, it still manages to draw in the reader into a web of sensual awareness between the two characters.
How the relationship grows: Things between Alessandro and Megan pick up where they left off when Alessandro turns up on Megan’s doorstep one night soaked to the bone claiming that things between him and Victoria were over and that he wanted to explore what Megan and he still had together. Megan agrees on the condition that their affair be only a sexual one, not wanting to put her emotions and her heart on the line the second time round. Alessandro finds himself getting more and more frustrated with the distance that Megan seems to want to keep between them. And when Megan finds out the actual reason behind Alessandro and Victoria’s break-up Megan walks out on the man who fills her heart so completely but keeps such rigid control over his heart and emotions that would always prevent him from ever making himself vulnerable enough to feel an emotion such as love.
The turning point: The turning point in Alessandro and Megan’s relationship comes about when Megan walks out on Alessandro after they embark on a purely sexual relationship with one another seven years after the breakup.
Ending: I liked the way that this story moved gradually forward, without Alessandro just abruptly declaring his undying love for Megan when he had been so reluctant of love and other touchy feely emotions from the very beginning. A journey that takes them through a seven year separation hardly seems to have made Alessandro more malleable but rather more ruthless and cynical than before. Megan who has been hurt so bad by the fact that Alessandro thought nothing of just walking away from what they had had together seems to have grown a backbone or two for herself during the period of separation. Megan fights for what she wants, though she still feels heady with love and desire whenever Alessandro is around. The fact that she has the courage to walk out on him the second time round and Alessandro has to pick up the pieces of their relationship and work towards wooing Megan who seems reluctant to give an inch made this book a winner for me. Loved the fact that Alessandro couldn’t manage to stay away from Megan though he tries his damnedest to do otherwise.
Likes: The fact that this story surprised me with the rare depth of character development that takes place for a Harlequin romance. I loved the fact that this story takes place with a believable time frame giving both Alessandro and Megan time to work through their issues to attain their happily ever after.
Dislikes: The immensely cringe-worthy title of the book. I wouldn’t have given this book a second glance if not for a recommendation from a friend who had actually managed to forget this hideous title but remembered the profound effect the story had on her.
Recommended for: Those who love Harlequin romances. This proves to be a little bit different from the usual rich guy stakes out the virgin heroine and terrorizes her until she succumbs to ever lasting love.