The Reluctant Fiancee by Jacqueline Baird

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This was pretty damn hot, there was plenty of sexual tension between the leads, and the seduction scenes were dramatic. The age gap provides a good bit of angst, particularly as the hero has been fighting his attraction to her since her teens (they get engaged at 18/32, she breaks it off, then things resume when she’s 21).

I don’t usually go for “second time around” ones, but this book really worked, particularly as things never really got going the first time.

Some of it wasn’t very plausible, but if you’re going along for the ride, it’s a good one. The heroine is quite strong and smart, given her age, and the hero is a genuinely good guy who adores her, and has a a reasonable valid excuse – at one point he’s kidnapped and freaks out for a while afterwards – for some of his more aggressively alpha behaviour. Plus he apologises now and then for a few of his excessively aggressive moments.

A bit more Other Woman manipulation and melodrama might have been good, this element was fairly absent. But still a highly recommended read for lovers of vintage – if the 1990s are vintage yet! – romance.

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