This book is full of WTF situations yet it is trainwreck readable. It was published in 1978 and the book has not stood the test of time.
The hero, 37 year old Piers, is the father of the 18 year old heroine, Leigh’s boyfriend (also 18). They meet when the son, Gavin, is trying to trick her into bed with him and the dad diffuses the situation. She continues going out with the son as a “special friend” despite hot pashing sessions with the stalker dad who is freaked out by their age gap of a comfortable 19 years. Her parents are relaxed about him (go figure!) and have no issue with the age gap. Yet she continues to politely refer to him as ‘Mr Sinclair’ even 20 pages from the ending. He keeps refering to her as an adolescent, kid, young lady etc. The age gap was irksome but I kept reminding myself of pairings such as Celine Dion and Rene Angelil (26 years) and Catherine Zeta Jones with Michael Douglas (25 years) and that it isn’t unknown for such a large age difference. Also, it was the major issue for the two protagonists in this book and it was not lightly dismissed. The heroine keeps being told that she deserves a beating from both the hero and her father and she keeps slapping people. Horridness abounds and love is only realised by sexual attraction.
I did love the description of clothes throughout this book. Her dresses were superb (except her nurse’s smock), her velvet trousers and cream smocks, purple slacks and black turtle necks. Hero Piers alternates between formal dress clothes, black trousers with a white dress jacket, to brilliant outfits
“He was dressed in close fitting black trousers and a black silk shirt unbuttoned almost to the low waistband of his trousers….Over these he wore a thick sheepskin jacket…”
Hawtness! There’s even a frilled neck shirt in one scene!
There is the usual Mills and Boon HEA but I kept imagining what life would be like for these two in 5 years time. Not pretty. So ‘not pretty’ that I couldn’t help myself and I wrote my own response to how I think life treated Piers and Leigh ….and Gavin (cue wobbly dream sequence waves)….
Leigh is 23 years old and feeling very much like her youthful age. However, she grimaced when she thought about her 42 year old husband who still wore his shirts open to the waist, he still tried to keep up with trends – he’d even started sporting Michael Jackson styled jackets. When it came down to it their age difference was abysmal. Lately, he had been hinting that they should have a child but all that she can think of is that he grated on her nerves.
She had finished studying two years earlier and she looked back at her decision to marry a man nearly as old as her father who was temperamental, a bully and occasionally still thought it was fine to threaten her with a beating. Her own friends had partied through their studying years and even though they tried to include her and pops-hubby neither of them really had fit in with each others group. Looking back at her decision to marry him she realised that she had only done so because she had been too scared to just go to bed with him. The lust would have been over and then she could have moved on. But innocent that she was at the time, life had been rose-coloured glasses.
And now she had to deal with the fact that last night she and Gavin had more than made out. Her stepson! Her stepson who had been the guy that she had been going out with when she had been blindsided by hunkahunka burning love. Uggh! What could he have been thinking. She was dumb and 18 but if at 23 she realised his pursuit of her was creepy weird why couldn’t he who had been 37 at the time just backed off. Whereas Gavin now was gorgeous, so much more mature that he had been 5 years ago and their interests were much the same. If anything, Piers, washed up racing car driver that he was, spent his nights tinkering with his car, had been fine for his young wife to go to discos with his son and her friends. “I trust you darling! You chose me over him.”
So much for trust, Leigh thought. Going the full way with Gavin had been stupid and risky but the two of them had been burning for each other for years. She would have to divorce Piers, she thought. But this time she was not going to marry his son. She knew the desire would go away and she would be left with an awful, awkward mess on her hands. She’ll have her affair and move on to someone else, eventually. She just hoped that she had not fallen pregnant last night with Gavin….or the night before when she had been with Piers….
Yep, I think I’m channeling Jackie Collins 😀