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Lilian Peake vintage Harlequin Presents

Updated on February 1, 2011


Lilian Peake was born in London but lived in the countryside during WWII. Her early ambition was to be a journalist and she ended up working at various newspapers and magazines around England. Lilian Peake eventually married and started a family and started writing novels, including many Harlequin Romances and Harlequin Presents.

I am slowly reading all the vintage harlequins and as I do, I am adding details to the descriptions in bold.

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It was ten years now since the Kathryn's brief, youthful marriage to Jon Wright. They had parted in anger any misunderstanding, and she had never seen him again. Since then, the only important thing in Kathryn's life was security. It was for security that she was now on the verge of marrying Francis Rutland, a man old enough to be her father, for whom she had nothing but a kindly regard. It was hardly the moment for Jon to come back into her life again, and in circumstances which meant she would be seeing him every day. Still less was there any future in her realizing that she loved him as much as she ever had -- since he made it quite clear that she now meant less than nothing to him.


Indifferent. That's how Marisa would have described her attitude to Dirk Sterling. Three years ago he had walked out on their marriage -- now she was just waiting for their divorce. But that was before Dirk came back to town - as dictatorial and exasperating as ever! Seemingly nothing had changed -- yet, with a shock, Marisa found herself jealously wondering about Dirk's relationship with that glamorous widow, Luella ...


Now I know, him better, thought Marilyn bitterly. Blair Barron van Heiden would allow no woman to lure him in any direction. He would pursue a relationship as far as he desired, then walk away from it as though it had never been. Holiday romances never lasted. She should have repeated those words again and again. And if she had fallen in love with Blair -- it had been her own stupidity.

Marilyn is from England and is on a cruise up the Rhine river. She has many accidents on the boat. Blair is next door to her and lends her a suitcase when she loses her key. They go touring together and he rescues her from her accidents. He turns out to be the owner of the ship. They meet up again when she returns his suitcase to London.


Hurt and embittered when her fiance broke their engagement on the eve of the wedding, Shelly Jenner had vowed never to get emotionally involved with a man again. Certainly not with someone like Craig Allard, who represented everything she most disliked in a man. He was critical, carping, and made it clear that her feminine charms did nothing for him. "I may have had my heart broken," Shelly said slowly, "but it hasn't left me heartless. I could never, ever marry without love!"


A rolling stone, Doranne had called him, a man without a care in the world. "A born nomad," Rhian agreed with a smile, "roaming through jungles and across deserts, leaving behind nothing but my footprints in the sand. And without a woman tagging behind." Maretta stared up at Rhian as the words registered in her mind. She tried to hate him but it was no use. The love she felt was too real to be denied.


"And you mean to tell me," Murray growled, "that you still intend to marry him -- a man as cowardly, as craven as that." He paused. "Then you deserve everything you're asking for --every single miserable moment!" They stared at each other in anger. But Adrienne possessed a stubborn streak. Why should she listen to the overbearing Murray? What business was it of his? And even if she had a sneaking suspicion he might be right, she still felt she couldn't let Clifford down!


Karen went toward the painting of Glenn like someone sleepwalking. Then, in a spasm of violent, uncontrollable anger, she plunged the points of the scissors into the canvas and ripped it open. When she saw the results of her action and her brain started to spell out just what she'd done, she was appalled. "Well," Glenn asked, "have you got me out of your system?" Out of her system? "Dear heaven," Karen thought, "I've got you so much into my system that you're part of the very blood running through my veins."


Doubt and uncertainty flooded Doranne's mind. Should she surrender?....follow her father's example and give up the struggle? Defying Kieran's wishes was becoming increasingly difficult. Yet she remembered his grim,angry words. "So you think you know me, do you? You'll know me one day, girl; by Heaven you will! And that's a promise I mean to keep!" The more she thought about what he's said, the more she realized the one person she didn't know was herself! How could she possibly love a man who was her sworn enemy? Doranne and her father are living on a friend's houseboat at the bottom of their garden. The friend dies and son takes over and asks them to leave.


Elise Lennan did not welcome Lester Kings back into her life. He reminded her of all the childhood humiliation that she had endured from him. Since he made it plain that he did not like anything about Elise or her solitary life-style, what chance was there of any new relationship between them? Yet his cynical but unquestionable magnetism strangely attracted her. And though she kept telling herself she hated him, Elise knew it wasn’t true.

Elise and her brother, Roland, live with their widowed father in a small town in England. She always dresses plainly and works in an electronics store. Lester is her brother’s age and they were good friends. Elise hung around with them sometimes, especially for long walks in the woods. Lester once hurt her by hitting her with a cricket bat, she retaliated by biting him so hard on the hand he still has the scar. She tries to bit him again in the course of the book and does bite another man who attacks her.

Roland’s grandfather is a nasty man who buys up the woods that they played in as kids. Lester’s job is to chop down the woods and put up houses. There is some opposition to this and some vandalism, that Lester thinks Elise had something to do with.


Shaun's laughter rang out just as Carp reached the door. She couldn't help overhearing what he said to his aunt. "You're not implying that I'm attracted to Cara Hirst," he said, astonishment in his voice. "My dear aunt, a man would have to be desperate to feel the faintest stirrings of desire for that overgrown schoolgirl." Cara felt humiliated. Despite all that had taken place between them, this was what Shaun really thought of her. Never, she vowed, would she let him know her feelings for him!


Liam’s words came slowly, “So they were all lies he told me about you, all lies. And I believed him, everything he said about you. Well,” he added, “everything’s over now, finished.” Everything’s over, finished. The words spun in Alyson’s head like a roulette wheel. Her marriage to Liam had been a gamble, a gamble she had lost. Liam had been the winner and he had taken all—her innocence, her heart and all the love that heart contained. Suddenly ,she just didn’t care any more!

Alyson had been married to Liam’s brother, who was in a wheel chair. He had been engaged to her stepsister but she left him after the accident that crippled him. Alyson married him out of compassion, now the brother, Derry, has died, leaving Alyson penniless. She and Liam marry and Liam treats her with contempt. Derry had asked him to marry her, he had told Liam a lot of lies about their relationship and he had also lied to Alyson about Liam. Alyson thinks Liam is having an affair with his secretary , Vanda.


Alan's mocking words hit hard, underlining the complete disaster their evening had been. Lorraine had never felt so lonely and so miserable. She wanted to hurt Alan as he had hurt her. "Why don't you leave me alone," she said harshly. "Haven't you done enough damage, enough to keep you supplied with after-dinner stories until you're an old man? You've had your little joke. Now go!" She watched him walk away--the man she loved as she knew she'd never love another!

Lorraine lives with her widowed mom, Beryl. Alan becomes their boarder, his mom was a friend of Beryl. She is a teacher and doesn’t like reporters like Alan, she thinks they are destroying the language.


"Cling to the Italian in me," Sarne said, and he meant it. "Steer clear of my English side." That was the side of him Tamsin didn't know; that Sarne never revealed. Inexplicably she felt snubbed, as if somehow she'd been shut out. And yet, if Sarne put on dark glasses where everything other than his holiday self was concerned, wasn't she, in fact, doing the same? Well, she'd been warned. And she'd take heed from now on!

Tamsin is recovering from a car accident, her uncle is a hotel executive. He arranges for her to stay in one of his hotels in Switzerland for a couple of months. All he asks is that she look around the hotel and tell him if she thinks the employees are doing a good job. So she doesn't tell Sarne how she pays for being there and her uncle eventually comes to visit. Sarne decides that she is her uncle's mistress.


Could she say goodbye again? Logan Tate had walked out of Marianne's life eight years before, breaking her heart as cruelly as he had broken their engagement. Now he was back--a widower, with a little girl who desperately needed a mother. "I want to marry you for my daughter's sake," Logan said bluntly. "Our relationship would be strictly platonic. I'd provide you with a home and security ...." Marianne had to decide. She could either become Logan's wife in a loveless marriage, or lose him forever.


“And what if I don’t agree to marry you?” Slade answered her question coolly. “Your brother loses his backer—and faces bankruptcy. You have 10 minutes to think it over.” “Oh,” Rosa cried furiously “I know what I will do. I’ll hate you for the rest of my life!” But looking back it seemed as if all of her past had been leading inevitably to this, as if Slade Anderson possesses some evil hold on her. 8 years ago he’d said, “For you there’ll be no escape from me.” Now she knew he was right.


He was the man of her dreams! Fortunately Olivia was not deterred by her first dramatic encounter with the man at the lonely Yorkshire farmhouse. She had returned to nurse him--and stayed to, marry him. She was amazed, later, to learn that her enigmatic husband was the man she had always idolized from afar--the famous concert pianist, Macaire Connal, whose career had been ruined by an accident. Was her love for him strong enough to help him to happiness? Or would she lose out to Macaire's ex-fiancee who was determined to break up the marriage?


“What’s Brodie’s , stays Brodie’s.” it was the family motto of the huge transport firm, and an apt one as far as Anona Wills was concerned. The Brodies gave nothing away—not even compensation for the tragic accident that had ruined her father’s life. Her father had been a noted archeologist and professor until the day he had been struck down by one of Brodie’s drivers. Will Willis’s bitterness was total; so was Anona’s loyalty to her father. Then Shane Brodie, commanding, handsome oldest son of the family, proposed to her. Their engagement changed everything—or seemed to. She finds out that Shane was driving the truck that hit her dad. Later she finds out it was his dad who shouldn’t have been driving due to his health.


All that she needed was a wedding ring Then the money would be hers, to use for a very special reason. Her late grandfather's will had put Jasmine into an impossible situation. Hadn't he visualized that she might ask any man to marry her--so long as he was free--merely to get her hands on the money? Sloan Lancaster, the brilliant writer, just might be the one who could fit into her plans. From their first meeting she found him arrogant and aloof--yet she couldn't deny that he somehow aroused desires she had never felt before.


“Your mind has been warped by cynicism.” Alicia’s accusation was bitter. “I’m a realist.” Todd said with a shrug. “I’ve had my fill of women and I’ve vowed never to marry. But if any woman offers me the benefits of marriage without the ceremony, I’ll take it—and her—with open arms.” Alicia’s heart sank at the finality of his tone; and at the realization that this man would never be vulnerable where a woman was concerned. Todd’s kisses filled her with elation. But her instincts warned that the promise of his kiss could never be fulfilled. Alicia has a bad day, she gets a nasty Dear John letter. She ends up working for Todd as his PA. Alicia is suspected of industrial espionage.


Nothing was too much to ask...Tanis would do anything to help her sister, Cassandra, walk again. And that included standing in the rain to earn money selling Cassandra's paintings by the roadside! She never imagined a customer like Gregg Barratt would come along--or buy every single painting. As he wrote out the check, Tanis was filled with gratitude. But she had no idea that Gregg would think of another way to help Cassandra, a way that would put Tanis under his roof--and within the power of his devastating, unattainable charm.


"I am cured, of both the illness and you." Randall's words rang in Gillian's head. Their love affair had ended abruptly. Randall West had been dying...and knowing this, Gillian hadn't been able to face him. So she had run away. Then four years later he walked through the door--alive and well! But it didn't matter, for their lives were on different courses now: Gillian engaged to Everett; Randall engaged to June. The only thing left between them was Randall's bitterness. Would the grudge he bore her for running out on him ever go away?


Lisette had inherited the family business after her father’s death, and it had been a real struggle to keep Baird Shoes afloat. But the company was still sinking fast. Here was only one man she could go to for help: wealthy, handsome, ruthless Roscoe Hamden. Yet how could she possibly ask him? Lisette couldn’t deny his tremendous physical appeal for her. Yet her whole future was at stake. She was interested in the boardroom—not the bedroom!

Lisette is a librarian but has had to take over the company on her father’s death. The plant needs new equipment, but her father spend the money on his mother before he died. Her selfish, nasty mother keeps urging her to go to Roscoe for help, He keeps saying no, but eventually buys the company.


Ilona only wished she could forget him. Drake Warrick was an attractive, dynamic man. He was also a perfectionist--and Ilona s' boss. So when her work did not measure up to his high standards, he fired her. But he was still present in her life, thinking the worst of her, prompted by the lies of a vindictive co-worker. Ilona could no more change Drake's opinions than she could stop loving him. And it hurt her deeply to have him toy with her, use her as a substitute for Diane, the woman he really loved.


She could not shake the tragic past...Carla still had nightmares, even after three years. But tragic as her fiance, Crispin's, death had been, another face haunted her waking mind. For on that fateful night when Carla had broken her engagement to Crispin, she had also seen his older brother, Blaze, for the first time. Now, down on her luck and finding herself, ironically, in Blaze's care, Carla could no longer deny the love she felt for him. But neither could she know how he planned to avenge his brother.


All she wanted was to start over. The sensational press had ripped her character to shreds, blaming her for the drowning death of her famous fiancé. On an isolated Scottish island Sharon hoped to strengthen her broken spirit. There she met Calum Darwin and fell in love. Then he recognized her and demanded proof against what he’d read about her. But her side of the story could not be revealed without hurting others, and thus it must remain untold—no matter what it cost her!


When her parents’ marriage shatters, a young woman vows never to be burned by love. But at a Swiss chalet, a man who equally mistrusts emotion manages to melt her resolve.


Lynsey Thorpe issued the challenge lightly. It was a fun thing, meant to brighten up a friend's post-wedding party. "Who'll be prince to my Cinderella?" she asked. The man who answered was in earnest--a handsome stranger who wove a spell about her that she found irresistible. He swept Lynsey off her feet into an unknown world of passion and excitement. Too late Lynsey discovered who he really was. Madoc Morgan, brother of her friend. The man who'd just taken over the company that Lynsey worked for, a man whose dealings with staff were known to be totally ruthless!



His holding her again was her dream ...Katya Collett tried to convince herself that she'd come to her sister's guest house in Cornwall only for a holiday. But deep down she knew it was Farrant Dominick's presence drawing her there. It had been seven years since the night Katya had given herself to the blond Adonis, foolishly enticed by his talk of "weddings" and ''lifelong bonds.' And now he was pursuing Josie, her sister! Katya knew she should warn Josie about Farrant. But how could she when, more than anything in the world, she wanted to take her sister's place?


She needed cash -- not compromise. Giving in to millionaire Scott Baird's sensual charms filled Kirsten's fantasies from the moment they met. Doing so, however, would confirm Scott's cynical view that women easily traded their lovemaking for cold cash. And, unfortunately, money was what Kirsten needed--to restore Tall Trees, the mansion she'd unexpectedly inherited from Scott's great-uncle, but which Scott insisted she should sell. Although he refused her a loan, Scott did offer a curious compromise--tenancy in exchange for making Tall Trees habitable. As if Kirsten needed a man she couldn't resist sharing the same leaky roof!


Their differences threatened to drive them apart. Jemma Hale loved her job as company counselor, and nothing would persuade her to give it up. Not even falling in love with Arne Drummond. She understood his longing to become an artist, and she knew he wanted children right away. But surely they could compromise; they had years to work this out. Blinding passion bridged the gap between them, until their whirlwind marriage stirred up the past. Arne had been disappointed before, and the woman responsible now wanted a second chance. Suddenly Jemma was running out of time.


Jan accepts as just another job the assignment of tracking down Rick Steele, and reconciling him and his father. When she falls in love with her quarry, she has a hard tome convincing him that she’s not just interested in the money.


Wade Bedford wasn't looking for commitment. "I've fought shy of personal involvement," he said. "That way, there's no tearful woman constantly begging me to come home." But as a TV foreign correspondent, he was used to women throwing themselves at him. Miranda Palmer had no intention of adding to that number, she assured him. After all, she already had a fiance. Wade wasn't to know that her engagement ring had been acquired solely to meet his aunt's conditions of employment. Which was fine--until Miranda fell in love with him.


He was no knight in shining armor. Although Reece Denman was her best friend's brother, Bella Harrison didn't trust him an inch. Confident, assured,successful, Reece wouldn't let sentiment stand in the way of a successful deal. Unfortunately, he had his eye on the small business Bella and her father were struggling to keep afloat. Reece wasn't likely to take into account her family's feelings about the shop. If only she wwere mistaken about him--because Reece Denman was fast becoming an irresistible enemy!

Bella's father owns a small grocery store and it is losing business to the new store of Reece's. Reece has recently returned to his home town. Bella has always known him but she is best friends with his sister, Jacqueline. Bella's father goes to work for Reece but she tries to keep their family store going. Eventually she also goes to work for Reece in his store and as his live in housekeeper.


How did one behave when hired as a temporary fiancee? Max Mackenzie left Sally Dearlove no room for guessing—his commanding kisses established a very definite agenda for their promotional New Zealand tour. Spending time with the temperamental, not to mention drop-dead gorgeous, author would be Sally’s ticket to a hot story—and to a career in journalism. But posing as his betrothed proved more unnerving than she’d anticipated .The achingly sweet sensations he awakened in her were disturbingly real. But would Max ever forgive Sally’s journalistic subterfuge—especially since his true affections seemed to lie in another woman’s arms?



When Jerome Dower stole her heart, her dignity and her car, Rhea suspected his brother might know the whereabouts of his wretched sibling. Though normally a woman who always landed on her feet, this time one of them actually broke---and Rhea found herself Leo Dower's uninvited house guest. And his bride. Leo's offer to make good on his brother's failed promises prompted Rhea's decision that a brief marriage with a hefty settlement might be just deserts for the Dower family. And with Leo to look at-revenge might be very sweet indeed.

Rhea's parents die and she finds out there is little money left. her fiance, Jerome, responds by stealing her car with most of her valuables in it. So Rhea goes to Leo to find out if he knows where Jerome is, along the way she breaks her ankle. She is not the first cast-off of Jerome to come see Leo, he has paid off several girlfriends, some to get abortions. So he is convinced that Rhea is pregnant and she purposely doesn't tell him that she never slept with Jerome. He marries her to do the right thing and she then confesses she isn't pregnant. He doesn't believe her and is convinced she got an abortion.



"What the hell have I ever done to you?"

"Just--just being Jerome's brother is enough."

"How can an apparently well-balanced woman get so prejudiced?"

"He told me things about you, like...." Dared she? "You were--" Once again something made her hesitate.

"I was--?" His eyebrows arched, his lips twisted. "Go on."

"You cared nothing for others, particularly women. You took life as it came, kind of shrugging it off. You were as hard as granite and used every experience--women, Jerome said he meant--to the full, then put it--them--behind you and moved on to the next, and the next..."

"Wow!" It was a long-drawn-out, sarcastic sound. "Have I, in your opinion, lived up to my callous reputation?"


It had taken Crystal all the courage she possesses to ask Brent Akerman to reconsider his decision to close Ornamental You, a chain of accessory stores. Not it’s going to take more courage to convince Brent that he’s the only man in her life—that he means more to her than any job.



Many find true happiness in wedded bliss. Not that Rolf Felder, head of a wealthy Swiss hotel family, prescribes to the notion—which may mean that his engagement to Abilgail is simply a matter of convenience.

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