The Young Amanda by Sara Seale
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Amanda, 17, is an heiress, and Grant, 30s, is her trustee. This is actually one of the more credible relationships in a Sara Seale novel. It’s a very slow build.

The other woman is Becky, Amanda’s lazy and spongeing cousin (along with her mother and brother). Amanda’s one weak point is that she feels they should have got the inheritance, merely because they “expected” it, even though she was the only direct grandchild. Becky is very awful, though her quick marriage to a twice divorced, middle aged millionaire called “Tubby” seems rather premature: given her beauty and youth, surely she could have hung out for a more attractive target?

Anyway, despite Becky’s brother Jon’s attempt to get his hands on Amanda’s fortune by marrying her, fortunately grandpa ensured it’s all tied up tightly in a trust. So soft-brained Amanda can’t simply hand the whole lot over to her feckless family.

Despite this flaw, Amanda is far more self-possessed, intelligent and mature for her years than many of the “girlish” heroines found in romance novels. She genuinely seems Grant’s equal. Grant is also one of the most pleasant heroes. He does try to give her as much freedom as possible, he genuinely acts in her own interests. He’s never controlling or domineering or cruel.

In Regent’s Park he stopped the car and she sat looking at him enquiringly. His face was in shadow, but she was aware of his eyes, bright and steady, fixed on her intently.

“Why have we stopped?” she asked.

“Perhaps to test that bravery of yours,” he replied. “Frightened, Amanda?”

“No,” she said, “not of you – never of you, dear Grant.”

“That’s rather a pity,” he said, and took her into his arms.

For a moment she resisted him from sheer surprise, then, as she felt his mouth seeking hers, she yielded with instinctive response, and felt the racing of her own heart as he held her close against his breast,

“Well!” he said softly, as he released her. “Did Jon Troy teach you to kiss like that?”

“No,” she said a little breathlessly. “You did. Was that the lesson you were going to teach me?”

“Lessons are supposed to be a warning,” he said, and put the car into gear. “But perhaps you don’t need one, after all. I’ll take you home now.”

And so another chaste heroine goes chastely home.

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