I received this book for free from NetGalley, the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Harlequin on August 29, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Passion and danger collide in a breathless story from New York Timesbestselling author Diana Palmer.
Saved from an abduction and unthinkable harm, Gabrielle Bennett owed her life to her rescuer. Marc Stephano, a stranger from the sketchy shadows of town, could've asked for money. Instead he introduced her to desire and claimed her completely—then he broke her heart.
Older, wiser and now a top New York model, Gabrielle is prepared for anything—except Marc's reemergence into her life. It's a merciless trick of fate. A successful, self-made millionaire, he's as powerful as ever, but can Gabrielle forgive and forget—in the name of love?
I’ve been reading Diana Palmer for a couple of decades now. This novel was classic DP in many of its elements, with a love-hate relationship between the main character and hero and a lot of heartache generated from bullheadedness and misunderstanding. It should be noted that this was formerly published under another pen name of the author’s, Diana Blayne.
I think my issue is how this kind of novel translates into a modern-day setting, as I generally prefer a heroine with more agency and self-possession than Gabrielle, or Gaby, exhibited. That being said, if compared to the dozens of Diana Palmer books I’ve read in the past, she is fairly typical of a DP heroine, and has moments of spunky wit that I wish there were more of.
Marc too is a typical DP hero, but I think maybe I’m at a time in my life when a hero whose present-day actions are so fueled by anger shoes up as less appealing to me. I felt like younger Marc would’ve been the guy I would’ve fallen for, but the Marc of this novel’s events I think could’ve used more moments of humor or tenderness to humanize him a bit more.
I actually really enjoyed the supporting characters here, in particular Uncle Michael, Marc’s mobster connection, and Sergeant Bonaro, the supposedly jaded cop. Both added a bit of humor and heart to the story, because however intimidating they might be externally, inside they’re both marshmallows.
Overall, I think I was pretty happy with the HEA, considering this was originally published in 1991, and I have to wonder about the rerelease because it reads very much like an early 1990s romance. I just wished Gaby had given as good as she’d gotten where Marc was concerned, and that Marc had done a little more in the way of penitence, considering how he acted in the first part of the book. I mean, I understood the pain that fueled his anger, but still, he walked the edge of a line heroes shouldn’t cross, and I felt like it affected his likeability as a character.
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