A good vintage Harlequin Presents with the downtrodden heroine who is under the evil stepmonster's thumb but still has some spunk and a smart mouth. The rather different aspect about this one is that the stepmonster has concinved Rowan to pretend to be a teenager when they go to stay with a distant cousin who is also the stepmom's love interest. Things get even more eye-raising when sparks fly between the hero, Carne who is is in his thirties, and Rowan who was supposed to be a sixteen year old. Nowaways, I don't think this author would have been able to get away with this plot device. And when Carne makes his move, you are still under the impression that he thinks Rowan is sixteen. I was sitting there reading and thinking, "Dude that girl is underaged as far as you know." I don't know if that would turn most readers off. I hope it doesn't make me a bad person that I kept reading, but I certainly didn't want to throw the book away without seeing how things would turn out.
The old-school HPs are a lot of fun because they heavily feature the lying evil wench who does everything to discredit the heroine to keep her and the hero apart. They don't rely on hot sex to fill in any plot holes, and can be a lot more creative. This one was no different. Again, maybe not for everyone with the rather questionable "is he really trying to seduce a sixteen year old moments." But I thought it was an enjoyable Saturday morning read.