Annie West: The Greek’s Convenient Mistress

(ISBN: 978 0 733 57631 7: 2007) had long whetted our interest in this book and like the previous MB read on this predication we were again left disappointed.   Sophie Paterson, our ‘sweet and caring’ heroine (p152) is the only compatible bone marrow donor that Costas Palamidis can find for his young daughter.  Of course being Greek, the hero is going to whisk the heroine from her quarter acre existence to his island, of course  the sick child is adorable and will go into remission, of course old family feuds will be put to rest  and of course (really rolling our eyes now) the hero’s abusive and possessive relationship with the heroine is a manifestation of his love. 

Admittedly, this is typical Mills and Boon fare but this book fell into the nauseating ‘heat radiated from his body’ overdrive.  The goodwill generated by The Greek Tycoon’s Unexpected Wife was severely depleted by the end. 

The most irksome character  was that of Fotini, Costas’s first wife and mother of Eleni.  It was disappointing that West deployed the wicked first wife cliché replete with the heroine’s striking resemblance to her predecessor.  Fotini is the classic ‘mother-villain’.  A post-feminism construct designed to be so grotesque that we separate the ideal mother from the devalued occupation of motherhood. 

It is probably unfair to single West out for this but we have yet another saccharine heroine who forfeits her independent identity for a relational identity as Costas’s wife and Eleni’s mother. A sacrifice too heavy for the recompense. Whether Sophie freely made this sacrifice is questionable as Costas did prevent the plane’s departure (criminal offence/terrorist act anyone?).

West is one of the better writers in the MB stable but it is time that the paradigm changes as one more dependent heroine may be the one that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

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