With This Fling… by Kelly Hunter

By | 28 December 2011 | 3 Responses
With This Fling... by Kelly Hunter - Australian edition

With This Fling... by Kelly Hunter

This book proves that finely tuned character development and emotional honesty can turn even the most maligned clichés in romance fiction not just into an enjoyable read, but a story worth savouring.

The more I read Kelly Hunter’s work, the more I admire how well she’s able to make each couple and each story fresh, interesting and fun.

With This Fling… features what seems to be Hunter’s favourite type of heroine—a rich one. Charlotte Greenstone invents a fiancé to reassure her dying godmother that she won’t be alone. When said fiancé fails to turn up at the funeral, Charlotte concocts a story in which he’s killed in the wilds of Papua New Guinea.

But in series of spectacular coincidences, she finds herself in possession of Grey Tyler’s, well, office. Her fictional fiancé is not only not dead, he’s back from PNG, he’s hot and it seems he may just have need of a fictional girlfriend of his own.

If you’re looking for an elaborate external plot, you’re in for disappointment. With This Fling… is romance distilled. The conflicts in this story are all from within. Even secondary characters only serve to get Charlotte and Grey questioning what it is they truly want and hold dear.

Grey is a biologist whose life is all about pursuing research opportunities all over the world. Charlotte is an archaeologist who grew up travelling all over the world, and she’s determined to put down roots. Knowing their plans for the future are diametrically opposed, Charlotte and Grey agree to a short-term affair. Of course, it gets very complicated very quickly.

Hunter excels in this kind of setup—intense, passionate and with an increasing sense of desperation as the hero and heroine begin to realise what it’ll cost them to let the other go. But even as they go through heartache, their interactions include a certain playfulness that  underscores their growing affection for each other.

‘There are benefits to having a man around the house that you haven’t even dreamed of yet,’ he said.

‘Oh, really?’

‘Oh, yes.’

‘We’ll see.’ She leaned against the door, more relaxed than he’d seen her all evening. ‘Do you cook?’

‘Not often, but I hunt and I can gather.’

‘Do you clean?’

‘No, but I do appreciate a tidy house.’

‘Do you iron?’

‘That’s what laundry services are for.’

‘Do you mow?’ she asked silkily.

‘What? And do a groundsman out of his job?’

‘Greyson, you’ve spent the last dozen or so years living out of a suitcase, eating hotel food and answering to no one. You’re not even housebroken. I’d go easy on the promises of domestic bliss if I were you.’

‘If you say so, dear,’ he murmured. ‘Little phrase I picked up picked up from my father. Like it?’

‘Yes, but it’s a little early in the relationship for weary resignation, don’t you think? You need to keep that in reserve.’

There are certain plot points that are, admittedly, a tad contrived, but there’s so much delicious angst in this story that even the most eyeroll-inducing Mills & Boon cliché—hello, accidental pregnancy!—surprised me. (This can’t possibly be a spoiler because it’s right there on the cover.) To Hunter’s credit, she refrains from dragging out the oh-look-she’s-feeling-nauseated-maybe-she-has-a-tummy-bug moment and just forces her characters to face the issue.

I do wonder what the UK Riva cover is about. This book has nothing to do with diamonds and there’s no way a field scientist would ever need to wear as much make-up as that cover model does.

Yay or nay?

This book proves that finely tuned character development and emotional honesty can turn even the most maligned clichés in romance fiction not just into an enjoyable read, but a story worth savouring.

Who might enjoy it: Scientists and heiresses

Who might not enjoy it: Readers who like heroes in suits

With This Fling... by Kelly Hunter - Australian editionWith This Fling... by Kelly Hunter - UK editionWith This Fling... by Kelly Hunter - US edition

Title: With This Fling… (excerpt)
Author: Kelly Hunter
Publisher: Harlequin Mills & Boon
Australia (Sexy): 9781742907154 (2/2011)
UK (Riva): 9780263883619 (1/2011)
USA (Presents): 9780373528196 (6/2011)

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Fishpond | Mills & Boon | Other
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | eHarlequin | Library

The following two tabs change content below.

Kat

Killer of Fairies
Kat Mayo is a freelance writer, Twitter tragic and compulsive reader. She is the editor of Booktopia's Romance Buzz and hosts the Heart to Heart podcast for Destiny Romance. Her articles have been published in Books+Publisher, the AWW Challenge blog, and the ARRA newsletter. Kat firmly believes in happy endings. She kills fairies with glee.

3 comments »

  1. Marg

    Must be nearly time for me to read more Hunter. Might download them while I am on holidays next week.

  2. Mia Loveless

    Thanks Kat for sharing this post. Thanks also to Kelly for such a fantastic story. I truly agree with you that this book proves that finely tuned character development and emotional honesty can turn even the most maligned clichés in romance fiction not just into an enjoyable read, but a story worth savouring. Cheers to both of you :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

Leave a comment

Trackback | Subscribe to comments

Subscribe without commenting