Sara Craven: Thunder on the Reef


Check out the ‘Big Love’ Hairstyle!

Year: 1994

ISBN: 0 73350 043 9

Source: Salvos

Heroine: Macy Gilmour

Age: 21

Description: ‘Macy had deliberately played down her appearance….concealing her hair under a bandanna, and masking her slanting green eyes behind an oversized pair of sunglasses.’ (p.8) 

Hero: Ross Bannister

Age: ??

Occupation: Freelance Photographer                                                                           

Description:’ He was tall, with a shaggy mane of curling dark hair, the upper part of his face concealed behind sunglasses as un revealing as her own, the lower hidden by designer stubble.’ (p.8)

The Storyline: Sent to the Bahamas by her father to bargain with the reclusive Boniface Hillard for Thunder Cay, Macy encounters her estranged husband. In a totally unexpected twist (read with a voice dripping in venomous sarcasm) Ross is revealed to be the recluse’s son and Macy is forced to ‘negotiate’ with the hero for the property.

No prizes for guessing the outcome of these negotiations.  Craven loves deflowering her virgin schoolgirls and herein lies one little distracting detail.  The hero and heroine were married in secret four and half year prior to the events of the novel.  The heroine would have been seventeen (possibly even sixteen) years old when she married. According to English law, when the bridal party is a minor written consent must be given by the parents or legal guardian. So who gave Macy permission if her father is ignorant of her marital status?  Okay smart asses they could have eloped to Scotland. Still…Romeo and Juliet this is not.  Craven could have aged the character a little and have her in her mid twenties to avoid the ick factor.   

Like many of Craven heroes, Ross is shown to be gentlemanly by not asserting his ‘rights.’  Um, this is set in 1994 after the High Court decision of R v R (1991 All ER 481) recognised marital rape in the UK. No longer can the hero rely on Hale’s  1736  statement, ‘But the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.’   Why have not the editors pulled Craven up on this?

There is nothing memorable about Thunder on the Reef – just Craven ticking the boxes.

  • Term of endearment for the heroine is ‘my sweet’
  • Heroine preferred cosmetic shade is coral
  • Hero’s appearance is initially ‘disreputable’. Interest in heroine is indicated by his adoption of a clean shaven look.
  • Heroine is motherless
  • Hero threatens the heroine with his ‘rights’
  • Heroine demonstrates an inability to read crucial documents before signing it (Fatigue is not an excuse!!)

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