(ISBN: 0 733 53817 7 : Year 2002)
It has been a while since we have encountered this storyline: hero first encounters the heroine as an adolescent in her father’s home, father wrests promise from hero that he will behave chastely towards the daughter till she is of age, prior to expiration of promise feelings runneth over at a NYE party, frustrated feelings are sated with terrible consequences that propels the rest of the novel. The problem Kate Walker has is Emma Darcy did it better in the Blackmailed Groom.
With 186 pages to play with, Walker decided to dedicate the first 106 pages to heroine’s whine about her phantom pregnancy and the whole of the novel to a hero embittered that he did not claim her maidenhood. Thrown in for good measure is the usual stereotypes rakish American academic and failed businessman father.
Unfortunately, this book was too drearily earnest for any detached amusement to be derived from it. The distrust that Walker seemed to hold towards female higher education made me wonder how old was Walker when she penned this. The heroine’s pursuit of education is derided as ‘so-called freedom’ (p.145). An education that she never allowed to capitalise upon. The only possible use we can envisage for this book (apart form the obvious) is citation in a juvenile thesis: Harlequin Mills and Boon: The failure of feminism 1970-2010.
We understand that Walker has a following but count me out as one of her disciples.