Review: House of Glass by Michelle Reid

Format: E-bookhouseofglass
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Hero: Dane Norfolk
Heroine: Lily Norfolk
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 11, 1993
Started On: April 26, 2014
Finished On: April 27, 2014

Every now and then, I like to revisit the classic harlequins that practically kick started my love for romances. There are few authors whose books I painstakingly go through to find one I might’ve missed out on and Michelle Reid’s House of Glass turned up on my book shelves just like that.

Lily Norfolk and her brother in law Dane Norfolk has always had a tumultuous relationship at best. When her husband Daniel dies after a horrific accident, it is Dane that comes striding into her life, the all powerful male who has the ability to render her into a quivering mess every time their eyes clash with one another’s.

Dane doesn’t trust Lily all that much. He perceives her to be a liar, the woman who continued to cuckold his brother by living in sin with another man right under his brother’s nose. Dane only sees the version of truth that he is ready to accept, the convenient perception of the truth which should make it easier for him to turn his back on the need that practically eviscerates him whenever he is in Lily’s company.

All the hate, derision and the need that Dane tries to deny comes to a brutal end with the death of his brother, the self disgust that he feels which runs rampant every time he gives into the hot flare of wanton need that consumes them both every single time one that cuts him to his very knees.

House of Glass brings forth a hero that might not sit well with some. But I understood him and accepted the continuous struggle he underwent with his desire for his brother’s wife and the self recriminations that must’ve made his life a living hell. The fact that Lily seemed to respond to his advances and couldn’t help but give into his caresses seems to fuel the anger as well as the passion between them but for both of them to have even a possibility of a future together, Dane would have to come face to face with the actual truth and make peace with everything.

Lily tended to wilt every now and then, understandable I suppose under the sheer pressure that she must’ve been under with the continued barrage of contrasting emotions that she must’ve been undergoing. But I liked the fact that she had enough strength within her to put the distance that was required between herself and Dane, and her ability to stay away until Dane took that first step towards her.

I think the ending makes up for the ass that Dane pretty much made himself out to be through the first half of the book. It suffices to show the change love has wrought in him. I fell in love with the terse fax massage that Dane sent Lily’s way. Even though it wasn’t an undying declaration of love or a grand gesture of the likes of showing up on her doorstep, for a man like Dane it was a monumental step in my opinion and that made this book worthy of the four stars that it earned.

The sexual tension in the novel is thick enough to cut with a knife; there’s sensuality that an author can bring into a story without going all out and explicit and that’s what makes authors like Michelle Reid and Susan Napier such a treasure in my opinion. Recommended for fans of Michelle Reid and fans of old school harlequin romances.

Final Verdict: Intense & ruthless on the emotions, just the way I like em’.

Favorite Quotes

He dragged in a strangled breath as his heart began to thunder out a command older than time itself. One of his hands lay along her silken thigh, his chest, heaving against the pressure building inside his lungs, could feel the twin thrust of her aroused breasts pressing into him. The T-shirt had ridden up around her waist—a waist so slender and firm that he was almost choking on the desire to span it with his hands, caress her warm skin, feel her respond—respond to him as she had never responded to any man.

They were both shaking, the air around them throbbing with a high tensile stress which matched the tensile throb of his heart. He clenched his teeth together, stared angrily into her beautiful eyes, then down at her inviting mouth. Then with a raking grasp at his self-control he rolled away from her. And left the room.

And he took her mouth again, smothering it as he grasped one of her restless hands and dragged it down his body until he’d placed it where he wanted it most to be. She gasped, shocked to her very roots by the sweet, pulsing intimacy. But before she could even think of pulling away his own hand had slid along her thighs and she became lost in more sensation— the kind that made her cry out his name, arch, then go tensely still as tiny coloured explosions began hurling themselves at the backs of her eyes.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo

greatread

Review: Passion Becomes You by Michelle Reid

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #1752
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Leon Stephanades
Heroine: Jemma Davis
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 1, 1995
Started On: July 3, 2011
Finished On: July 3, 2011

Passion Becomes You by Michelle Reid is an okay read, that somehow didn’t live up to my expectations. I wanted this novel to captivate me, the hero to dazzle me and of course wanted all my emotions in a tangle because of the hero and somehow I ‘think’ that I just expected too much from this Harlequin.

24 year old Jemma Davis bears the scars of living with two promiscous parents whose lifelong passion it had been to goad one another by sleeping with the next available piece of human flesh of the opposite sex. A determination that she would never let herself become embroiled in passion that could make her vulnerable, Jemma doesn’t know what it is that hits her when Greek tycoon Leon Stephanades strolls into her life and turns it completely upside down.

Jemma says yes to her very first affair with eyes wide open, fully knowing what it is that Leon is offering and just how vulnerable her emotions are when it comes to Leon. Though Leon tries to show otherwise, he is as much besotted with how she makes him feel and throughout their two month long affair during which Jemma keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop, for her fragile happiness to come crashing down in front of her.

When Jemma realizes the consequence of her first night of reckless abandonment with Leon, and knowing that Leon wouldn’t take the news of impending fatherhood lightly, Jemma hides the fact from him until a turn of events once again brings Leon back into her life; this time a determined Leon who wants her in his life once and for all.

What I expected to find from this short story and what I actually did find were two entirely different things. I wanted a ruthless and passionate hero whose desire to possess the woman who ignites him unlike any other woman make him lose his iron-clad control and of course I wanted the angst that would go with a story that includes such a strong hero. But Leon though is a passionate hero, I didn’t find myself overly fascinated with him and neither with the heroine though Jemma is not the type to get on one’s nerves. The story lost its appeal halfway through and I found myself skimming through the bits and pieces to reach the end.

Recommended for fans of Michelle Reid.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Abe Books

[xrr rating=2.75/5]

 Caliber Seal: AVERAGE READ!

Review: The Price of a Bride by Michelle Reid

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #2033
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Alexander Doumas
Heroine: Mia Frazier
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 1, 1999
Started On: April 11, 2011
Finished On: April 13, 2011

Its being so long since I have been able to put up a review that I am afraid I may have forgotten how to write one. Stuff at work is seriously cutting into my reading time which in turn brings down my reviewing time – which is all a vicious cycle I tell you. Since I have been so very busy, I decided to go with a lighter read, a Harlequin romance that has been in my to-be-read pile for quite sometime now and see whether I would be able to finish it up before the turn of the next century.

Michelle Reid being one of my favorite Harlequin authors, at least of her older books, I had high expectations when I started out with The Price of a Bride. The one thing that older titles of Harlequin have going for them is the fact that the good books tend to deliver a lot on the emotional wrangling content which makes them very memorable reads in the end.

The story starts out when Jack Frazier, 25 year old Mia Frazier’s father forces 34 year old wealthy and ultra rich Greek tycoon Alexander Doumas into agreeing to marry his daughter. For reasons that Mia refuses to reveal, she hides behind the lie that the reason that she is agreeing to the unholy alliance is only because she has a lot to gain on the monetary side from her father.

Though Alex has been after Mia ever since he had laid eyes upon her and though Mia had tried her damnedest to thwart his attempts at wooing her into his bed, it is a very angry and resentful Alex that agrees to the marriage that takes place between them. Since neither is able to deny or walk away from the combustive passion that lights up the pages from the beginning, their relationship begins as a purely sexual one from which Mia is supposed to provide her father with a heir to his vast business empire, which then only would ensure that Mia gets what she wants out of the deal.

The feelings that crop up in Mia’s heart for her husband though unwanted foster into love and wanting before she knows it and is in danger for the first time in her life of being vulnerable towards a man that has a strong hold on her emotions. Mia’s father Jack is a piece of work that deserves nothing better than being fed to the dogs and though certain aspects of the story were predictable from the beginning, I loved the emotional wallop that this one packed which touched all the right places in the end.

I loved the fact that this story was told from only Mia’s point of view which gave me the chance to gauge Alex’s burgeoning feelings towards his wife from his reactions that were described throughout the story. It always tends to get on my nerves in any type of romance when the heroine tends to play hard to get and tends to blame the hero because she becomes dynamite in his arms. It was good to see that Mia was no such heroine and that she embraced her sensual nature when it comes to Alex and plays no coy games to get on the nerves of the reader. The only aspect of the novel that didn’t feel right for me was the ending from which I expected just a tad more though I am hard put to say what it is exactly that I am looking for. All in all, a very enjoyable Harlequin romance that is highly recommended for fans of Harlequin romances, forced marriages of convenience and fans of Michelle Reid.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Harlequin

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Slave to Love by Michelle Reid

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #1776
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Solomon Macmillan Hunter Maclaine
Heroine: Roberta Chandler
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 1, 1995
Started On: March 4, 2011
Finished On: March 4, 2011

Michelle Reid is a favorite Harlequin author of mine. When I stumbled across this book reviewed on Goodreads by my friend Mia, I thought that I would give this a go since I was feeling a little bit blue after the recent high I felt reading A Lot Like Love by Julie James. Halfway through I did realize that I had in fact read this a long time back as parts of the book kept coming back to me. Though I don’t support overly much what happened in the story, nevertheless the rabid fascination that always takes a hold of me during these types of reads kept me glued to the pages till the wee hours of the morning.

This story kicks off in the midst of the birthday bash of 18 year old Lulu Maclaine, the one and only daughter of Soloman Macmillan Hunter Maclaine and his ex-wife Delia. Though divorced from Delia for the last 8 years, both Mac and Delia maintain a facade of indulgence and affection in front of their daughter and both their families who had been ecstatic by the fact that Mac and Delia had been forced to marry one another when they were both just 18 years old with Lulu on the way. Badly burnt by the less than perfect marriage Mac had with his ex-wife, he is vehement on the fact that he is not open to the prospect of marrying another woman and conducts all his relationships with this fact out in the open.

When Roberta Chandler, the only child of two wildlife experts comes across the enigmatic, sexy and charismatic Mac who focuses all his efforts and charms into winning her into his bed, Roberta doesn’t know what hits her when all the rules by which she has lived her life comes tumbling and crashing down right in front of her. For someone who has made a promise to herself to never be second best to anyone else in her life, she certainly does the opposite where Mac is concerned when all throughout the 1 year during which their relationship runs its course, Mac’s ex-wife and her coveted daughter Lulu together with his cutthroat business demands takes the center stage of his life.

The final straw (of the many final straws in the story) comes up during Lulu’s party where Lulu calls Roberta “daddy’s current bimbo” in front of her friends and family and the humiliation that she ends up suffering with Mac almost ignoring her in favor of making Lulu’s birthday party a most wonderful one as can be. Determined to walk away from their relationship, Roberta moves out from the town home that Mac had set up and is well on her way to severing the ties that binds her to Mac until he storms in and kisses her senseless, proving to her without a doubt just how vulnerable she is to him.

Its a constant war of walking out and succumbing to Mac’s charms that takes place throughout the story. I found myself going dizzy with just how many times Roberta issues ultimatums and “tries” to walk out on their relationship only to give in to the heady desire of being back in Mac’s arms though he refuses to see just how much Roberta is suffering from his divided loyalties when it comes to sharing his time and affection between his family and Roberta.

I found myself really pissed off at Mac for his callous treatment of Roberta and her feelings. And I was really ready to slap some sense into Roberta who ALWAYS ended up following Mac and his rules in their relationship, no matter how firm a resolve she comes up with to end things between them.

If I were the one who found myself in Mac’s ex-wife’s home and Mac proposes to his ex-wife first even to rule out the possibility of them ever getting back together, I would have slapped Mac silly and walked out and hooked up with the next available guy that I came across. I was that pissed off with his half-assed attempt to apologize and “woo” her back into his life and suddenly admit that he “loves” Roberta more than anything else in this world.

But, as I said before, even though I was ready to scream in frustration at the characters, nevertheless it was a riveting read, a testament to Michelle Reid’s ability in spinning a tale worth indulging in from time to time.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Abe Books

[xrr rating=3/5]

Caliber Seal: SATISFACTORY READ!

Review: Marriage on the rebound by Michelle Reid

Format: E-book
Read With: MS Word 2007
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, Book 1973
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Rafe Denvers
Heroine: Shaan Saketa
Date of Publication: November 7, 1997
Started On: December 18, 2009
Finished On: December 18, 2009

This book has all the ingredients that make a Harlequin romance a good one. This was the book that introduced me to this author and though I have read 2 or 3 books of hers afterwards, this book has stayed with me as a special love story which is why I went ahead and re-read the story all over again.

Shaan Saketa is jilted by Pier Denver, Rafe’s stepbrother on the day of their marriage. Rafe moves in to take Pier’s place and offers himself up as the bridegroom to salvage a situation Shaan thought would leave her humiliated and hurt beyond repair.

It was beautiful the way Rafe woos Shaan after their marriage in the city of Hong Kong which the author describes quite well, making the reader feel as if they are visiting the  busy and chaotic city themselves.

Anyone who loves a good romance with a strong, sexy and compelling hero with a heroine who doesn’t simper and grate on your nerves all the way through, this is a good read!

Purchase Links: Amazon | BooksOnBoard

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!