26 January 2017

A HAUNTING OBSESSION (Harlequin Presents No. 1893)


Synopsis from Goodreads: Why did Jordan Vine-Hall make Bonnie Merrick lose her cool? Jordan exuded the sort of arrogance that Bonnie detested, but surely that should have stopped her from being drawn to him so strongly!

After being widowed, Bonnie had taken control of her life and was fast becoming a successful real-estate agent. But when she showed Jordan around the old McClelland house--which was rumored to be haunted-- something else took over....

Suddenly Bonnie and Jordan became obsessed by a passion they just couldn't resist!

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Harlequin Enterprised Limited, 1995.

How acquired: Bought.

My thoughts:  So the hero here is definitely a throwback to the days of politically incorrect heroes. Jordan is a successful barrister, looking for a weekender, meaning a house on the shore for weekends. Bonnie is an estate agent. Their first exchange, over the telephone when Jordan calls Bonnie's office and expresses his preference to deal with a man, obviously does not go well, with both of them simmering after they hang up.

Bonnie has a LOT of hangups about men, thanks to her brief marriage to a police officer who physically and emotionally abused her. She is determined not to fall in love, not to let a handsome sexy man turn her head. She works hard, she's one of the top sellers at the agency, and she's proud of providing for herself. Neither of my exes physically abused me (ok, well, my first ex did a little, in fact he choked me one time and I literally thought he was going to kill me, but you don't really need to know about that), but my second ex was an alcoholic and living with an alcoholic, even one who doesn't get all mean or hit you, can still be an abusive way to live. I totally related to Bonnie.

But to get back on track. Of course when Bonnie and Jordan meet in person they are both wildly attracted to each other. I've already told you Bonnie's attitude, so you know she fights it. Well, before meeting Bonnie, one of her co-workers, who has his own bad attitude because he keeps asking Bonnie out and she keeps turning him down, tells Jordan that she is a slut who is sleeping with the boss and sleeps with her clients. So naturally when Jordan meets Bonnie he already feels contempt for her. So while the sparks are flying, some zingers also fly.

Jordan is actually downright nasty to Bonnie at times. At one point he even lifts his hand to her, though he stops short of actually striking her.
'Don't bother to apologise,' she cut in, her voice chillingly calm now. 'I expected no less.'
Clearly he was stunned, both by her words and her demeanour.
'I don't make a habit of hitting women!' he protested.
'Only whores,' she pointed out drily.
'Not even whores!”

All this should make a person not want to read a book where he is the hero. But we know he's tortured inside with wanting her, and we know he was purposly lied to and misled about her. And of course we know in the end it'll all come out and there will be an HEA.

There's also a house that is said to be haunted, and while Bonnie never sees a ghost she does feel a presence, that sometimes seems to take her over and influence her actions. But the ghost stuff is very understated and not a large part of the story.

I really enjoyed this book, misogyny and all. In fact, I'm on the fence about whether I loved it enough that I want to now hunt down everything else Miranda Lee has written. But I checked my TPR pile and I do have four more of her books, so for now I'll content myself with looking forward to reading them.

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