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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Intrigue, #5
Hero: Ben O’Hanlon
Heroine: Rachel Chandler
Date of Publication: March 15, 1994
Started On: December 11, 2011
Finished On: December 12, 2011
So my Anne Stuart reading binge continued, this time with a Harlequin Intrigue that was published in 1994. Tangled Lies though an earlier story by the author was nevertheless a great one that compelled me to keep on reading, to find out the truth behind the tangled web of lies and deceit that is spun throughout the story, something Anne Stuart is so very good at.
Rachel Chandler makes her way to a little island in Hawaii to meet her brother Emmett Chandler after being estranged from him for 15 long years. Emmette disappears in the late 1960’s when Rachel was just around 12 years old. The news that Emmette has surfaced again in the island propels Rachel to face her fear of flying to meet her brother, to ease that loneliness that has always been a part of her ever since he went missing.
When Rachel meets the man who is playing the role of the 40 year old Emmett Chandler, there is a spark of awareness that shoots right through her, though she quickly tamps it down as part of the joy of being with her brother once again. The Emmett that she discovers is unlike the gentle and kind brother that she knew, this man being an all around tougher and harder version that makes Rachel want to hug him close and ease and soothe his wounds.
Ben O’Hanlon has his own reasons for agreeing to the scheme of pretending to be Emmette Chandler, one he would never divulge to Rachel no matter how tempting she might be. From the first moment that Rachel invades his personal space, its a losing battle that Ben fights with his baser emotions and the possessiveness that takes a hold of him. Though he would like nothing better than to feel nothing towards the woman who shares the ramshackle cabin with him, there is no denying the fact that sparks fly whenever they are together and that the sexual tension could be cut through with a knife.
Rachel is torn apart at the very thought that she has “feelings” towards her older brother. She goes through so much emotional agony because of the fact and when the truth comes to light, all bets are off as Rachel is devastated with anger and the sting of betrayal that courses through her. But once again, the strength of her feelings towards Ben dictates that she give in, that they both give in to the heady desire that escalates out of control with each encounter.
I loved Tangled Lies though there was a bit of an icky factor with Rachel lusting after her “brother” even though the reader knows that he is not her brother in reality. The angst and the tension that is part of this novel was well done and I loved the explosive culmination of their desire for one another.
Ben is a man who is hellbent on vengeance not to be deterred by the pretty haunting eyes of Rachel who occupies every thought that races through his mind. That subtle jasmine scent that clings to the air whenever she is around practically drives him nuts, and even that bitter and cynical heart of his is no match when it comes to Rachel’s soothing touch that sets all his senses afire. Ben fights his feelings until the very last minute, once again Anne Stuart giving her readers a taste of the ruthless alpha heroes that she creates exceptionally well.
Rachel is a bit naive when the story starts, but she is in no means a pushover when it comes to those whom she loves. She is tenacious, loyal and stubborn when it comes to love, all required when you fall hopelessly in love with a man of Ben’s caliber.
Recommended for fans of Anne Stuart and fans of ruthless heroes!
His head moved down, his mouth taking hers in a kiss that held the passion of a thousand years as his body molded against her trembling frame. His lips were hard and hungry as he fought against her resistance, and he pulled his head away for a moment, looking down into her desperate eyes with no pity at all. “Open your mouth, Rachel,” he said.
And closing her eyes, she did, sliding her helpless arms around his body, pulling him closer against her yearning form. Just once, she told herself. Just this once. And she gave herself up to the searching demand of his kiss.
Ben scooped her up in his arms, holding her high against his chest as he carried her back into the cottage, past the shrouded, familiar shapes of the furniture into the night-dark bedroom. They were alone now for the first time. There was no Emmett, no Harris, no lies or masquerade or motives or revenge. There was just Ben and Rachel, together in the darkness.
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