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Harlequin Romances I really dislike

Updated on October 31, 2012

NOT EVERY ROMANCE IS A KEEPER

I have a website at vintageromances.com and to build up the database at the site, I have to at least skim all the romances published by Harlequin and Silhouette. I have read quite a few of the Harlequin Romance line and they fall into 3 categories for me. There are the keepers; the stories that really blow me away, really romantic and satisfying. The next group is the adequate books; they were okay but nothing special. It might be that the book is good but just not something I am interested in. I don't like reading about single parents but I will read anything set in the Outback, it just comes down to preference.

Then there is the last group: the stinkers. These are the books I want to throw against the wall. They disgust me, usually the hero is a complete jerk and totally unappealing. How could she fall in love with him? Once in a while the heroine is just a jerk and I wonder why anyone would put up with her.

I always tells myself if you are not interested in one of the romances, just skim it to get the basics like location ,etc. But I usually end up reading the whole books and I had read some awful books. So I am sharing the pain on this site. You might disagree but these are the books I just hate.

963 PASSIONATE VENGEANCE BY MARGARET MAYO

Justine's head was spinning. She'd weathered her mother's death, the shocking revelation that the man she'd called father was not her father. But losing her job on trumped-up charges or having pirated designs to the competition and being virtually blacklisted from further employment was all too much. Then came a lifeline--a job offer. Only, Justine was oddly unnerved by her new boss, Mitchell Warrender, the ferociously handsome head of London's Warrender Shoes. They were complete strangers, yet Justine felt as if he'd moved heaven and earth to get her where he wanted her. Under his control.

Justine is a shoe designer. Her mom has recently died and soon she is fired because she is suspected of stealing designs. She is blacklisted and has a hard time getting a new job. She finally gets one with Warrender Shoes, but it is for less money. So she starts looking for a cheaper place and a colleague at work directs her to something within her price range. After she signs the lease, she finds out that her boss is her new landlord.

Mitchell Warrender hates Justine, not for anything she did, but because of her mother. Her mother had an affair with Mitchell's adopted father and when she told him she was pregnant, he collapsed with a stroke. So Mitchell is taking out his anger on the innocent child. He is a creep, a jerk and thoroughly unappealing. But Justine falls in love with him, God knows why!! He eventually asks her to marry him and sort of says he was wrong. Justine refuses him, she thinks that " Mitchell has a deranged mind, something that no amount of surgery would cure. He might be genuinely sorry now, but later who knew what he would feel?" But Mitchell gives her a rough kiss and she forgives him. He promises to make it up to her, but I don't believe that. If this were reality, they would marry, he would be controlling and end up murdering her for something trivial. What an awful romance!

2044 MOUNTAIN HERITAGE BY ELIZABETH ASHTON

Young Mea Marlow met Lucian Becker in Switzerland - the first man she had met, in fact, since leaving school - and lost no time falling in love with him. But Lucian, it was clear, had been earmarked by Mea's beautiful mother as her next husband, so Mea would just have to forget him. But how could she do that when he was impossible to avoid?

Mea's stepfather never liked her and stuck her in a boarding school when she was 6 years old. Now she is 18 and eager to be close to her mother. Lucian meets her at the station and starts taking her around Switzerland. He teaches her to mountain climb, which she really enjoys. But he also tells her that her stepdad left her money in his will, if she marries the man that was chosen for her. Mea is disgusted by this, he never cared about her and now he wants to pawn her off on some stranger. Mea doesn't care who the man is and Lucian doesn't tell her. Along the way she meets up with the father she hasn't seen in years and Lucian announces their engagement. When she protests, he says lets make it a real one. Mea by this time is completely in love with him and agrees. Immediately after that, Lucian announces that he is that man that her stepdad wanted her to marry. He treats it like a big joke and doesn't understand why she is upset. But Mea thinks he only wants her because of the money she will inherit. Lucian is from a well off family but he brags that he will soon be rich.

I have read books with plots like this before and the man declares his love and convinces her the money is irrelevant,etc. None of this happens in this story. Lucian never tells her he loves her. He never denies he is marrying her for money. He also says it is time he marry because his family wants it, but no love. Mia has to grovel to get him to take her back after she was upset. He demands complete surrender. Lucian is condescending, rude and a thorough jerk. Mia doesn't have a chance. She is only 18 and wanted to be with her family and maybe have a career, but she will get none of this. Mia will be under unloving Lucian's thumb for the rest of her life. I have read some romances with arranged marriages that turned out to be good romances, but this is not one of them. A thoroughly unsatisfying romance.

635 THE SEX WAR BY CHARLOTTE LAMB

When Lindsay discovered that her brother was in a state of financial disaster ,she was willing to do anything to help-or almost anything. Daniel Randall, her ruthless ex-husband, was the one person who could rescue her brother, and he would-if she agreed to resume their marriage. "Everything has its price." He said. But she wasn't about to be bought; she would never forget that the desire Daniel stirred within her lead to heartache. Yet she couldn't forget her brother, either. This was blackmail.

Lindsay's sister in law calls worried because her brother has disappeared. She goes over to see his family and Daniel also shows up. He is a very successful businessman and he finds out why her brother is in trouble; he expanded the business too fast and a loan is now due. Her brother eventually returns and it looks like he will lose the business and his home. Lindsay thinks Daniel married her just to get her in bed. She was extremely jealous of Daniel when they were married. She couldn't stand to see him flirting with other women.

As their marriage progressed he had less time for her, spent more time on the business. She responded by not wanting him to touch her, so he spent even more time on the business. Lindsay never told Daniel that she was jealous or that she was certain he was having an affair. When they get together he asks her why she left him and she finally tells him. That I found a little hard to believe. This question never came up? She must have said something to get the divorce, but she never told him the real reason. She thinks her husband is cheating and she immediately divorces him.

Lindsay doesn't confront him or try to find out who the woman is or tell anyone what she suspects. Wow, complete lack of trust, and from what I see in this book he really doesn't deserve not to be trusted. He might flirt a little at parties, but that's all the evidence she has. I did not like this book very much. Maybe her jealousy made her a little crazy and that's why she acted that way. But it doesn't come across in the book. She just seems like a jerk. Not one of my favorites. Charlotte Lamb is such a good writer she can usually work wonders with mediocre material, but not this time.

1628 MASK OF DECEPTION BY SARA WOOD

Lucenzo Salviati obviously believed that Meredith's grandmother had been blackmailing the wealthy Corosini family. Well, she'd come to Venice to clear her gran's name-Meredith just hadn't bargained on falling in love with one of the enemy.

Wow I really hate this book!!! The ending is the worst, it shows the supposed "hero" of the story (and his family) to be ammmoral jerks. The plot of the story is about Meridith, a very nice girl who comes to Italy to figure out why her late Grandmother, an unright moral woman who raised her after her parent's deah, was being accused of blackmail. The grandmother had a bank account with regular payments from Italy by someone named Corosini, and a letter had arrived saying that those were blackmail payments and they were being stopped. Meredith is met by Lucenzo, who is a banker supposedly representing the Corosini. He makes life miserable for Meridith. He does warn her she might not like what she finds out about the pay-offs. But she is undeterred. She loves Venice and is very happy to find out that her father was Italian. Her greatest wish is to be part of a large family and she thinks this will happen and that Lucenzo will lead her to her family. He says he will try, but he keeps showing himself to be a jerk.

Lucenzo has her pay a restaurant bill with money he gives her, but he gives her way too much. A transparent attempt to get her to steal it. Meredith has a key to a safety deposit box from her grandmother's effects and when they open the box together, Lucenzo tells her that the mask inside is worthless and the solid gold gondola is a cheap forgery. He lets her think her father might have been a forger. It's only much later in the book he admits they are priceless relics from medieval times. He finally takes her to the old family home, but she doesn't meet the family. He has her arrange a party for everyone and at the party he announces their engagement. He is the adopted son of her father's younger brother. The money being paid into the account is never explained. But it doesn't seem to be blackmail .She is entitled to the money. She is the last Scorosini by blood.

He admits that he tested her to see if she was worthy to be his wife. He does say he loves her ,but the fact that she is the real owner of everything he has must have something to do with it .His family is in on trying to deprive her of what is rightfully hers. Admittedly, he did work to make the assets valuable through his business acumen. But any way you look at it, his entire family was trying to deprive her of what was legally hers. And they aren't sorry about it at all.

The end of the book is him chasing after her saying the only reason he didn't tell her sooner was that he wanted her to love him and not his position (he's a prince). Even if that is true and it seems to be, he was still trying to steal her inheritance! There is no way around it he and his family are scum!!! I cannot understand how she can forgive him, he says he will follow her back to Wales and stay with her there until she takes him back. This is a book I wanted to throw across the room. By his actions he showed himself to be a cheat and a liar and I don't think it's romantic that she ended up marrying him.

Charlotte Lamb at Amazon - Usually a good author

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      if you hated these, you should NOT read Rosemary Pollock's "Tiger in Darkness" (1978). The Hero is the Biggest Jerk of ALL TIME, surpassing even the ones you already wrote about.