And she is even more surprised to learn the identity of her subject When jet-setting executive Connor O'Shea crashes at his aunt's house, all he wants is a bed for the night. As the only sister of five large brothers, Mary-Clair has had enough of being considered a child.
Her entire life her small stature has drawn condescending treatment from boyfriends and family alike, resulting in her one steadfast rule: no tall men. It was as if she was made for him. Sensual curves wrapped in a crimson silk gown, long dark hair trailing down her back in waves, and her exquisite features partially hidden beneath a golden mask.
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The only present that Nico Katsaros could ever want. But it was her eyes that held Nico in thrall. The eyes of his soon to be ex-wife. When an unexpected meeting at The Chatsfield, New York's charity gala brings Lucy back into his life, Nico is determined not to be denied his one winter wish—to have his wife in his bed and back on his arm in time for Christmas!
Special thanks and acknowledgement are given to Maisey Yates for her contribution to The Chatsfield series.
Stacey Jerome always believed Zach Taylor only married her because she became pregnant, and her thoughts were confirmed when he left town to start a career as a race car driver right after she miscarried the baby. Having gone on with her life since then, Stacey moved to the big city and built up a business as a wedding consultant, giving brides the dream day she never had. Prim music teacher Erin Young is fed up with sharing a bedroom wall with her playboy neighbor Mick Armitage. So when his noisy "entertaining" keeps her awake one too many times, she gives him an ultimatum: pipe down or move out!
All Jess McQuire wants is to be a champion tie-down roper. That ended four years ago. But meaningful eye contact with one devastatingly handsome groomsman leaves Renata unexpectedly breathless…. As a contractor, Amir Robertson has quite the knack for design. Their no-strings-attached arrangement could soon fail when a secret that joins them forever is revealed.
The shop was busy, and she needed her third clerk on the floor. Turning, she slipped past the end of the counter and returned to the back.
The books have simultaneously been claimed as feminist tracts the woman's point of view is always central, in accordance with "Lubbock's Law" - the critic Percy Lubbock maintained that the best fiction, such as Madame Bovary, worked when the author wrote from the heroine's perspective ; derided as "misogynist hate", and blamed by the then Archbishop of York, John Hapgood, for the rising divorce rate in Britain.
But it wasn't always the case.
The earliest heroes tend to be imperialist adventurers who, towards the end of the Edwardian era, still represented an ideal. In the shattering aftermath of the First World War, a different type of hero emerges. As the Depression years take hold, heroes are father-figure types; passion comes a poor second to hunger. The heroines tend to have jobs - even after they get married, which was not common at the time.
As the Second World War begins to dominate storylines, there is a focus on women in uniform who display a markedly pragmatic attitude. When Vanya, a nurse, finally gets together with Damon at the end of Jan Tempest's Westward to My Love , she is ecstatic to find he has been posted close to where she lives: "Then I can still do part-time at St Keverne's [hospital].
You won't mind if I do? Alan Boon, son of founder Charles, who took over after the war, was an advocate of the alpha ale concept a belief that the female of any species is attracted to the strongest male. In an interview in Radio Times she described her heroes as "the sort of men who are capable of rape; men it's dangerous to be alone in the room with".
In Anne Mather's Beware the Beast the sex scenes between heroine Charlotte and alpha male Alex Faulkner are uncomfortable to read "Charlotte's struggles were to no avail… she sobbed against his chest when he tore the nightgown from her". In Claire Harrison's book Diplomatic Affair, the hero even resigns from his job as a diplomat when he realises that accepting a promotion would mean his lover would be unable to continue her work as a paediatrician. But are we more liberal than our predecessors?
Surprisingly not. As for the alpha male? Well, he remains a fictional fantasy. No one suggests that men who watch Top Gear think that that's what driving every car is going to be like. A reflection, perhaps, of the fact that women have more choices available to them than ever before - or is it that we still can't make up our minds about what we want? Take comfort, though. He deemed her the victim of one of those strange infatuations that occasionally seize well-bred women for some low-born member of the opposite sex… Speech forsook her.
Suddenly she was in his arms, pressing against him… Here was the ecstasy and heady exhilaration of which she'd dreamt… There was a discreet cough behind them. A voice said coldly: 'Er - Nurse…'.
The right man was out there. And that hand on her arm was like iron, a display of male strength on a scale she hadn't experienced in way too long. Date with a Diva. Hero for Hire. Yes, please!
Abruptly he turned her in his arms and forced her head back. His lips came to her throat… and now she lay passive dumb with misery. Oh God I want you! Love puzzles? Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles.