Review: Wildfire Encounter by Helen Bianchin

Format: E-bookFront
Read with: Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #527
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Rafael Savalje
Heroine: Sara Adams
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: September 1982
Started On: August 24, 2010
Finished On: August 25, 2010

This was a book I saved onto my Kindle long before I read my first Helen Bianchin novel. Ms. Bianchin started writing in the 1970’s, way long before I was even born. But even back then, her stories pack a punch with her larger than life heroes and willful to the point of being irritating heroines.

Blair Adams, Sara’s father, borrows money from richer than sin Rafael Savalje, makes a couple of bad investments and ends up debt ridden up to his neck. Next thing Sara knows, her father has committed suicide, leaving her and her mother at the mercy of the hateful Rafael for whom Sara feels  nothing but contempt, loathing and hatred blaming him unjustly for her father’s suicide.

With no way out of their debt-ridden situation, Sara has no choice but to agree to marrying Rafael. Rafael proposes marriage stating that he wanted a motherly influence for his young daughter Ana whose mother had died shortly after prematurely delivering Ana. Ana was already pretty taken with Sara who was a  teacher who actually cared about her students.

Within less than a week, Sara finds herself wedded to the man she despises more than anything on this Earth. Sara who is a pretty willful character, finds herself always at odds with the virile enigmatic man that she married. I found myself often irritated with Sara because no matter how well Rafael tried to treat Sara, she always ended up verbally or physically attacking Rafael which in the end left a bad taste in my mouth.

Though Sara finally does admit to herself that she loves Rafael and that she cannot live without him, I didn’t feel that Sara was really worthy of the kindness and love that Rafael continued to shower on her although Rafael tended to face life with cynicism that was apparent in his drawl and his mannerisms. I felt like shouting out at Sara “Are you fricking dumb or something?”. Anyhow, I made it through the novel, a novel filled with Sara’s childish tantrums and Rafael’s childlike treatment of his bride, which I say is what she deserves! Ugh!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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Review: Sweet Tempest by Helen Bianchin

Format: E-bookFront
Read with: Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents #744
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Jake Stanton
Heroine: Stephanie Matheson
Sensuality: 2.8
Date of Publication: November 1, 1984
Started On: August 24, 2010
Finished On: August 24, 2010

I always come across books by Helen Bianchin though I have never given them a try before today. Having some free time and coming across this quite old Harlequin Presents romance, I wanted to indulge in a book where I wouldn’t have to think much and invest myself in the book. Surprisingly I found myself turning the pages quickly, fascinated in spite of myself in the drama that you can always find in a Harlequin romance.

Stephanie Matheson works as a secretary with her father who holds his own veterinary practice in Bacchus Marsh, south-west Victoria. When the opportunity to attend a conference which is to take place in Los Angeles for a month comes knocking on James Matheson’s door, he is more than excited. And when through an unexpected turn of events, Jake Stanton the son of one his long term friends, who has returned from the states recently agreed to look after the practice for the month whilst he was gone, it was a too good an opportunity for him to turn down. Entrusting the care of Jake to his daughter and making arrangements so that their housekeeper would take residence at their home for the duration, James leaves her daughter Stephanie with a feeling of trepidation ever since the moment she lays eyes on Jake.

Jake with his sardonic drawl and a cynicism that never leaves his eyes invades the thoughts of Stephanie far more than she likes. And when the housekeeper that was supposed to live in with them breaks her leg and has to be hospitalized, Stephanie knows that she would have to bear with Jake and his irritable presence.

When her boyfriend Ian, who lives with his mother and who in turn despised any male or female that might threaten her relationship with her son finds out that Jake is living with Stephanie, all hell breaks loose in their relationship front. Before long, a lifelong friend who turned into something more turns into a stranger who can’t seem to get over his jealousy of Jake and his presence at Stephanie’s home.

Though Stephanie denies that she feels anything for the ruggedly handsome Jake, her body betrays her every time Jake takes her in his arms. When Jake’s beautiful ex-wife Alana comes calling, Jake resorts to using Stephanie as a shield to prevent Alana from getting her claws once again into Jake and his fortune.

Stephanie doesn’t know how she ended up playing the role of a doting fiance to a man she despised. There were times when I wanted to hit Jake on the head for the cruelty he showed to Stephanie. And there were times that I wanted to shake Stephanie so that she would grow a spine or two. But all in all, the book served its purpose and gave me a light and fast read which was what I wanted in the end.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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