Lingering Melody by Patricia Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book with a wow factor. It has all the elements that make the older HP books sizzle, crack, and pop. The ruthless hero, the great dialogue, and the crazy demands that you can only read about in a Harlequin Presents novel. One of my friends on GRs, you know who you are, raves about this book, and she's never wrong about HPs being awesome. She was right again!
I won't lie about my love of stalkerific heroes, and Matt makes my list. He was just wow. I had no doubts that this man couldn't live without Carrie. I loved the way that Patricia Wilson wrote the interactions between Matt and Carrie. Matt had a way of talking that seemed almost cinematic. I totally got this feeling of intense, once in a life time love between this couple. Because this is an older HP, you don't get the hero POV, but so much intensity emanates off Matt. For Carrie, she doesn't really have a clue how crazy he is about her. She thinks he just wants revenge. But as a reader, that is very clear, even if the sap doesn't can't bring himself to say the words to make that clear.
As far as the reasons for Carrie leaving Matt, I think that was a bit soft. I will chalk it down to her being young and immature. I really think he should have just asked her to marry him back when they first met. I feel that she would have been less insecure about their relationship. For Matt, his reasons for how he initially handled their relationship makes sense towards the end, but I was afraid that he had some deep, dark secret like he was married and that's why they were just living together as "loves". I am so glad that wasn't the case. I hate that sort of deep, dark secret.
This one will probably push buttons for some of the modern HP fans. The heroine is very young and quite submissive to the hero. That's not really my thing, but in this story, it works. Similarly, the whole blackmail thing probably wouldn't go over well to some readers. This one pushes my buttons in a good way. It takes that young, very innocent heroine and older, experienced hero and does it good. Although Matt seems like he has the upper hand, boy howdy, he doesn't. The man is putty. I could feel his need and his profound love for Carrie, even if he wasn't good about showing it. I liked that he wasn't a cruel man, even if he wanted to seem hard. He was so good with the kids, and that got him brownie points, not to mention how he always tried to take care of Carrie. Not the actions of a man who hates a woman and just wants to use her. It could be frustrating at time seeing all the mixed signals and words unspoken, but that was sort of par for the course. It's part of that vintage HP drama, so I go with it! In the end, everything comes together so beautifully, and I will have some of those moments emblazoned on my brain.
This is one of those books where I ask if I want to be loved that way while I'm reading. I'm not sure I do, but I sure do enjoying reading books with this dynamic. Thumbs up from this reader.
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