An Obsessive Love by Sarah Holland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think readers of Harlequin Presents who really get a kick out of the drama in these books, will enjoy An Obsessive Love. Natasha is scared to death that she will go down the once-traveled path of obsession for a man. Four years ago, she fell hard for a man who strung her along, demanded all the love she could give, and threw it back in her face, telling her that it wasn't enough. She left behind her childhood village and didn't look back, so ashamed of how she had made a fool of herself over a man who didn't love or want her.
Since then, she's avoided relationships of all sorts, but she ends up meeting a man she can't seem to resist, Dominic. There is a powerful draw between them right from the beginning. Natasha, who is of Russian descent, is captivated by the Slavic/Russian-looking, completely masculine, and absolute beauty of the man who turns out to be the son of her favorite author, a woman who specializes in writing romantic historical fiction set in Russia. He sets her up to get a job working as his mother's assistant, with a side of passionate love affair with him. Natasha is all for the first, but wants to avoid the second, but that pull he has on her is irresistible. If readers like a determined hero in pursuit, look no further, because Dominic has it covered.
Some of the lines and scenes will have some readers' eyes rolling. But, I enjoyed it. I love the over-the-top emotion and passion in these books. They both say some ugly things to each other, but it's like a form of foreplay and double-speak (as weird as that sounds). It's like "I hate you" is "I love you so much," and when she calls him the "B" word, she's calling him "Beloved." You get the idea. It's clear from the beginning that both are them are fully engaged with each other, and despite what either may think, this fire is not going to burn out any time soon. I thought the love scenes burned up the page. Ms. Holland did a great job of starting this fire, and she kept it good and hot, although this is far from an erotic, detailed book.
As an admitted Russophile, the scenes and descriptions of St. Peterburg and its surroundings in Russia were lovely to read about. I loved how Natasha and Dominic were proud of their Russian heritage, and it was clear that this was a very important part of who they are.
As far as dealing with Natasha and Dominic's pasts, which made both of them somewhat wary of love and passionate relationships, I think the author did a good job of tying that up and showing why they acted the way they did, and I liked how she depicted the couple dealing with their respective baggage.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although my copy mislead me into thinking this was a holiday-themed book, I have no regrets in reading it, since I like this author and it was very entertaining. I hope to read more of her books, because she definitely knows how to write a drama-filled, passionate book.
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