A great balance of genuine emotion and genuine wackadoo.
This review has been written by guest blogger Jodi as part of our series of reviews featuring this year’s finalists for the Romantic Book of the Year awards.
Jodi is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney. Her doctorate is on virginity loss narratives in Western literature, so reading romance novels is technically work for her. No, she doesn’t know how she scored such a sweet gig either, and yes, she loves it sick. She also reviews theatre (you can find her reviews at Theatre From The Back Seat) and you can find her on Twitter at @JodiMcA, where she regularly talks about her research, livetweets books she finds particularly hilarious, and moans about citations.
My favourite thing about Harlequin Presents is that they are utterly unafraid to have premises that are completely batshit insane. Melanie Milburne’s Enemies At The Altar is no exception. Our alpha hero Andreas and wacky heroine Sienna hate each other a white-hot passion, and have done ever since they were young: Sienna’s mother was the housekeeper for Andreas’s family, and had an affair with his father while his mother was dying of cancer.
Despite this, when Andreas’s father dies, his will stipulates that Andreas and Sienna have to get married, or risk losing a bunch of property and money and stuff. Andreas gets his lawyers to look at this will and determines that there is no way around it. I think he needs to hire better lawyers, because that sounds pretty damn unenforceable to me—I checked it with my law-degree-having friend Rashmi, who described it as ‘a little dodge, yes’. But it seems all lawyers in Harlequin Presents land are either brilliant or terrible—the former can draw up iron-clad wills with the most cray-cray stipulations possible in them, and the latter can find no way around them even though they are clearly totes ridic. (Quite why Andreas’s father includes this stipulation is unclear. Maybe he was just seeing what kind of wackadoo stuff he could get his lawyers to do and died at the wrong time?)
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