Series: Harlequin Presents #100
Short and to the point: Trainwreck
You know the old saying “No good deed goes unpunished.”?
eHarlequin.com has a Book Challenge that will last all year. For every book we read, they will be donating a book to the National Center for Family Literacy to benefit their literacy programs. To make things easy, only half of the books you have to read for the Challenge need be Harlequins and all you have to do is write a short two paragraph review. (I am not even going to go into the ticky-tacky request to email the webmistress to get on the Challenge after registering.) Great, I thought. This will give me the impetus to knock out all those Harlequin Presents that has been sitting on the TBR for, oh, 10 years or so.
The first one I read for the challenge is a Charlotte Lamb, who is a nostalgic favorite since she is probably the first romance writer I ever read. I even still read the blog dedicated to her run by her daughter. Innocuous review of the Lamb book on eHarlequin can be found here. Yes, I am SetonEatsSecretBabys on eHarlequin. *evil grin*
Then, I read Dark Moonless Night and OMG! As a long-time reader, I used to read unPC romances because there wasnt much choice during the Bronze Age when I had to read them on stone tablets. However, there is unPC and then there is UN.P.C. This is the latter.
I knew I should have stopped reading this when its revealed early on that the H/H first dated when he was 30 and she was 17. She would even tell everyone that he was her “uncle” when he would pick her up. Ewww. But like a fly caught in a web, I couldnt look away.
Seven years pass. She refused him because she was brought up by her mother to marry for financial security and he was a poor engineer. Now she is engaged to a future baronet, a richie. Everything she wanted but she still loves that poor engineering Humbert Humbert so she breaks off her engagement, leaves her schoolteaching job to accept a six week gig as a nanny to deepest AFRICA! because that is where Humbert is. Yes, she is that dumb. She couldn’t just call him saying “I made a mistake. I still love you. Take me back!”. Nope. So, as soon as they see each other, Humbert’s like all ‘gold-diggin’ bitch, we are sooo not starting up from seven freakin’ years ago!’ but like any good ole Harlequin heroine, she knows that if she bats her eyelashes enough times, throws herself in his way enough times, takes his emotional and physical abuse enough times, all will be well.
Humbert is the typical cruel HP ‘hero’. I think this paragraph pretty much encapulates their dynamics:
His words were the cruellest she had ever heard. They bit deeply into her heart, taking a stranglehold on her emotions. She badly wanted to hurt him then. She would have liked to have struck him, slapped that sardonic contempt from his lean face, . . . He was too powerful, too strong for her to ever physically damage him. With one hand he had once been able to imprison both of hers behind her back, propelling her towards him, feeding from her mouth with a hunger which only she had been capable of assuaging. (Page 62)
Mix that with the de rigeur back-stabbing Other Woman, the dense Other Man (there is actually two of em here just for overkill), the stilted dialogue, the usual stupid coincidences and we have Choo Choo. The only blessing I could find (and hence why I didnt give this a F) is that there is no sex in this book. I have no doubt it would be the ‘forced seduction’ type if there was. Thank Xenu for small favors. I was punished enough for trying to do a good deed.