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Phantom Marriage

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She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. M She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first and only love.


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She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. M She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first and only love.

30 review for Phantom Marriage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Tara (who's 24) runs into an old school-friend, Susan, who invites her to spend the weekend at her home in the English countryside (the Cotswolds). Tara decides to go and bring her two children with her (6-year-old twins Mandy and Simon). Susan tells Tara she will send a car to pick her up at her home and drive her to her house in the Cotswolds. But who arrives---Tara's ex-lover James! (view spoiler)[Tara hasn't seen James since they had a brief affair seven years ago. He was married at the time, Tara (who's 24) runs into an old school-friend, Susan, who invites her to spend the weekend at her home in the English countryside (the Cotswolds). Tara decides to go and bring her two children with her (6-year-old twins Mandy and Simon). Susan tells Tara she will send a car to pick her up at her home and drive her to her house in the Cotswolds. But who arrives---Tara's ex-lover James! (view spoiler)[Tara hasn't seen James since they had a brief affair seven years ago. He was married at the time, Tara became pregnant (with twins), and James never knew. (She was 17, he was 26.) Tara went to his home to tell him about the pregnancy but he was away in another country and she saw his wife Hilary instead, who mocked Tara, and told Tara James didn't want her. Humiliated, Tara left. She has been raising the twins alone, telling people she is a widow and her husband died before the twins were born. She now discovers James has been divorced for a few years and the attraction between Tara and James is still there. Susan is his step-daughter, Susan's mother Hilary is James's ex-wife. James was blackmailed by Hilary into marriage and he never loved her or slept with her. (He was asking Hilary for a divorce before he met the heroine.) He loved Tara, but he went away for awhile to give her the opportunity to grow, make her own decisions, not knowing she was pregnant. (hide spoiler)] This story probably isn't everybody's cup of tea. I usually don't like this kind of storyline, but this book worked for me. I liked Tara. She's a personal assistant to a famous fashion photographer, Chas, who has a reputation as a real ladies man who keeps coming on to her, which caused some jealously from the hero. (I love a jealous hero!) I also liked James. The twins Mandy and Simon were really cute and adorable. This was another enjoyable read by Penny Jordan with lots of tension, secrets, and forbidden love.

  2. 4 out of 5

    KC

    I'm eating my previous words because I liked this. Even more shocking, I liked James whom I essentially called a douchebag. LOL All I could focus on then was his cruelty towards heroine Tara. The key to changing my opinion was James's treatment of his secret children with Tara. He'd tried to dislike them and remain indifferent because they were the painful reminders of her relationship with another man and his own failed relationship with her, but he soon revealed an innate kind and fun nature ( I'm eating my previous words because I liked this. Even more shocking, I liked James whom I essentially called a douchebag. LOL All I could focus on then was his cruelty towards heroine Tara. The key to changing my opinion was James's treatment of his secret children with Tara. He'd tried to dislike them and remain indifferent because they were the painful reminders of her relationship with another man and his own failed relationship with her, but he soon revealed an innate kind and fun nature (by playing with them, taking them out on fun excursions, and even rescuing Mandy from harm, etc.). Basically acting like the father he really was. A true douchebag wouldn't care to spend time with the children of a woman he supposedly disliked, much less treat them with kindness. As a consequence I felt much more sympathetic towards James this time around. I could see how his cruelty with Tara was more a manifestation of his unrequited love, or so he believed, than cruelty for cruelty's sake; how he had cause to feel abandoned when she'd left and "married" someone else (yes, he too left her without a word after their one and only time making love, but he did have noble intentions by wanting her to experience more of life and to determine if her feelings for him were real); and how Tara shamelessly lied to him for most of the book (she never confesses that her six-year-old twins, Mandy and Stephen, are his children as well, a fact he eventually discovers on his own). This book kept popping up on my update feed so I decided to reread it. Thank goodness I did because it's better than I initially thought! Safety: Tara stayed celibate during their seven-year separation. The wannabe OM, her employer and friend, tried to entice her to become his lover, but she had no room in heart and bed for anyone except James. No mention of James's celibacy. See spoiler below for information on the heroine as the other woman. Original review I love Penny Jordan, but this book earns only an "okay" rating due to an unlikable hero with a penchant for game playing: sexually teasing the heroine but deliberately not following through. He spent way too much time taunting Tara after being reunited with her, which zapped out much of the romance. Yes, James was jealous, bitter, hurt, and still in love with Tara, but it would have been nice to see him exhibit more gentleness towards her to balance out the crankiness. A lot of their heartache would have been avoided if they'd just communicated and been honest with each other. Normally this lack of good communication doesn't bother me too much (there would be no meat to the story if it was all resolved early on), but maybe it did because they had children together? Add in the fact that Tara had been so young, 17, when they had their affair so I'm finding it difficult to not hold a grudge. (view spoiler)[James had been married to Tara's friend's mother when he'd impregnated Tara, but the marriage was unconsummated and he wasn't in love with his wife who'd blackmailed him into it. Also in James's favor was the fact that he had wanted to divorce Hilary before meeting Tara. (hide spoiler)] The best character in the book? Their daughter, Maddy. What a kickass and strong-willed six-year-old! Too bad she didn't kick her daddy's ass to snap him out of his douchebaggery.

  3. 4 out of 5

    StMargarets

    This is a good one when you are the mood for one long misunderstanding. I mean the heroine could have opened her mouth at any time, but PJ needed her cruel hero angsty moments. The title? Heroine pretends she was married to the father of her twins, but their father is the hero. She was only 17 when she got pregnant. Bad hero - no cookie for you. But heroine had a lot of angst of her own making.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Raffaella

    Once upon a time there was a perv with pedophiliac tendencies. This creep prayed upon his step-daughter's teenage friend (yes, you understood perfectly) and seduced her without even thinking about protection. Then he left her without a word and flew to America, god forbid that the brat could reach him, if by chance there had been consequences to his seduction. The poor girl, an underage naive girl, with neither a father to champion her cause, tried to reach him and asked to his wife about him as s Once upon a time there was a perv with pedophiliac tendencies. This creep prayed upon his step-daughter's teenage friend (yes, you understood perfectly) and seduced her without even thinking about protection. Then he left her without a word and flew to America, god forbid that the brat could reach him, if by chance there had been consequences to his seduction. The poor girl, an underage naive girl, with neither a father to champion her cause, tried to reach him and asked to his wife about him as soon as she found out she was pregnant. The b***h told her mercilessly that she only had been one of his multiple feminine diversions and that he had run away to avoid her. So the poor heroine squared up and decided to have her baby, who turned out to be twins, and made up a false marriage with a man who blessedly died before their babies' birth so she could live a respectable life. Seven years later the scum is back with a vengeance and, instead of being regretful and ashamed of his sorry a** for what he did, he's resentful because she married and had two children, and slut-shames her because he thinks she's having an affair with her boss. So? What if she did? First of all, she's a widow and om is free, not married as he was when he seduced her. She's of age now, not under age as before. And am I to gather that he was celibate for 7 years? It's not clear if he was. Of course he doesn't know he's a father and apparently he's the only one not to realize the twins, especially the lil boy, are his spitting image. The only entertaining moments are where some characters make a remark about how the lil boy books like him. I was laughing all the time. So he's dumb as well as a swine. The heroine, who did well until he came back in her life, starts behaving like a mindless doormat with severe TBS, and the creep keeps on debasing her using sex as a mean to humiliate her and dominate her. I'm sick thinking about those scenes of forced seduction when he rejected her and left her unsatisfied only to prove he could have her if he wanted. It makes me want to throw up. I had a low opinion of him when he seduced her and left her alone, because, even if his was an arranged and sexless and loveless marriage, he should have been celibate until he divorced his wife. But the way he treated her seven years later was far worse, and unforgivable. The heroine should have told him to provide financially for his twins and she should have found a better man, which was not a difficult thing because the starting point was really very low. But this is PJ where heroines give masochism a different and new meaning. So she suffers and of course, despite what he did to her, she loves him and suffers until the final explanation. No grovel here. He left her because he wanted to let her grow up, then he would come back for her, but when he did he found out she had married another man. But how stupid can a man be??? He left her without a word so how could she know he would have come back for her???? This is madness. Not a word of apologize for what she had to suffer, the scorn of her mother, of all the people in her town, the difficulties of a pregnancy with twins, the sufferings of giving birth and raising her children alone, with a minimum wage, while he was ultra rich and enjoyed himself without a thought in the world. All this is left behind, as something not important. The bastard sob should have been thrown to jail for what he did to a teenager. I'm not even sure he was celibate, but even if he were I won't change my opinion of him. A man whose word doesn't have any value. A man who doesn't know the meaning of responsibility. A selfish, narcissist man who only care about his feelings, his wishes, and isn't even able to be kind to children because he's jealous of them. This man is non-redeemable, and unacceptable. Up to my worst men list he goes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tia

    The hero and heroine had a brief romance when the heroine was only seventeen. The hero was quite a bit older than her and married to someone else at the time. After the affair, the hero took off, loving her as she did him but knowing she needed to grow into a woman. Knowing she needed a chance at getting the life she wanted, not knowing that she was pregnant with his babies, his twins. When the hero and heroine meet again she is now twenty four and she has embraced life as a single parent. She is The hero and heroine had a brief romance when the heroine was only seventeen. The hero was quite a bit older than her and married to someone else at the time. After the affair, the hero took off, loving her as she did him but knowing she needed to grow into a woman. Knowing she needed a chance at getting the life she wanted, not knowing that she was pregnant with his babies, his twins. When the hero and heroine meet again she is now twenty four and she has embraced life as a single parent. She is terrified of the hero finding out he is the father to her twins. Over time they get to know each other again and she is shocked that he still hasn't figured it out. When the heroine takes the twins on vacation, the hero shows up and now he knows he is the father, for he has seen the twins birth certificates. He demands to know why she kept him in the dark and she explains the situation, then he tells her he has always loved her but will she accept him and let him be a true father to his twins? I thought the book was quite lovely. I enjoyed the story and passion and I most certainly couldn't imagine being a mother at seventeen to two babies. What a strong character portrayed in this novel. Once again Penny Jordan was an amazing goddess and author at writing this. R.I.P.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chitra *CJ*

    Why, you …’ For a moment Tara thought he was actually going to strike her and cowered back, fear mirrored in her eyes, but with an almost superhuman effort he seemed to gather himself together to thrust out of the room, leaving her alone as she listened to his footsteps descending the stairs, and the harsh slam of the front door, followed within seconds by the soft purr of the Rolls. How great it is to have a verbally and almost physically abusive rapey hero who never takes no for an answer?! "Ph Why, you …’ For a moment Tara thought he was actually going to strike her and cowered back, fear mirrored in her eyes, but with an almost superhuman effort he seemed to gather himself together to thrust out of the room, leaving her alone as she listened to his footsteps descending the stairs, and the harsh slam of the front door, followed within seconds by the soft purr of the Rolls. How great it is to have a verbally and almost physically abusive rapey hero who never takes no for an answer?! "Phantom Marriage" is the story of Tara and James. This mess of a saga tells the story of single mom Tara, who invents a "phantom" husband after having an affair with her best friend's (married) stepfather. When she gets pregnant, she is thwarted by the friend's evil mother and runs away to assume the role of a widow. In present scenario, she is a struggling single mom to twins and works for a leading photographer. One day, she meets her old best friend again and is invited to her country estate. Reluctantly agreeing for the sake of her children, she comes face to face with her baby daddy again and that's when drama begins. Irrespective of the truth to the H's marriage, I don't condone cheating in any form, neither do I like abusive heroes. The male lead of this book was both. The heroine was extremely putty in his hands, getting all worked up with lust in a matter of seconds, forgetting conveniently all the shiz he put her through, only for her horny-nessness and pseudo slutty-ness to be thrown back to her face in ten seconds. There is an overzealous boss, annoying but realistic kids, drama, baby secrets and scenes that will piss you off so much that you'd genuinely want to strangle the hero. For instance, the amazing scene where the bratty kids are throwing a tantrum, run away from home, the heroine is having a breakdown looking for them, police and her boss get involved, and the hero casually returns to inform that she's a terrible slutty mom and they've been with him all along..UM WTF. The reveal happens at the very end, and is unsatisfying. No resolution to conflict or grovel. The bicker-fest of two immature noobs. SWE 1/5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tmstprc

    She’s 17 when she gets pregnant by a married man. They find each other again 7 years later. He spends 175+ pages slut shaming, but is all ‘poor baby’, when he realizes she made up a dead husband to protect herself and her children. Typical Penny Jordan.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aou

    Silly but page-turner.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    3 stars for my favorite PJ. I enjoyed this book and I liked the hero and the cute twins but the relationship between H/h was underdeveloped. I mean come on the heroine had more scenes with OM than with the hero who was barely present in the book. Also heroine slept with hero even though she knew he was a married man and she was best friends with his stepdaughter. Hero's marriage was a sham of course but she didn't know this. Plus she should let him know about the twins no matter what. Her reluct 3 stars for my favorite PJ. I enjoyed this book and I liked the hero and the cute twins but the relationship between H/h was underdeveloped. I mean come on the heroine had more scenes with OM than with the hero who was barely present in the book. Also heroine slept with hero even though she knew he was a married man and she was best friends with his stepdaughter. Hero's marriage was a sham of course but she didn't know this. Plus she should let him know about the twins no matter what. Her reluctance to tell him the truth about his kids was frustrating and wrong. Not the best heroine PJ has written.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Azet

    "Phantom Marriage" is about Tara who falls in love with her best-friends stepfather James,and one night full of passion creates twins which she hides from him for 5 years. They meet again,and full misunderstandings led them to believe that the other didn`t love the other. James really taunts Tara throughout the story,and its understandable how jealous and hurt he is.Really like how they fell in love in the past,it was so pure and beautiful,their chemistry was really great!The twins Mandy and Simon "Phantom Marriage" is about Tara who falls in love with her best-friends stepfather James,and one night full of passion creates twins which she hides from him for 5 years. They meet again,and full misunderstandings led them to believe that the other didn`t love the other. James really taunts Tara throughout the story,and its understandable how jealous and hurt he is.Really like how they fell in love in the past,it was so pure and beautiful,their chemistry was really great!The twins Mandy and Simon were so adorable,and i felt it somehow that little Mandy was playing the match-maker..how sweet.!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexis-Morgan Roark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay...so, they live in a small town but it takes YEARS for former best friends to meet again? Maybe I nmissed something. Oh, and the guy who allegedly loved her and whom she loved, takes the the word of his knowingly crazy as& soon to be ex-wife (blackmail marriage with NO BENES!) that the heroine is but a trollop? Uh, huh. THEN...when they finally meet, he's ignoring kids any idiot should be able to tell are HIS?? Oh...and who the hel& leaves their 6 year old twins at the house ALONE for ecen 2 m Okay...so, they live in a small town but it takes YEARS for former best friends to meet again? Maybe I nmissed something. Oh, and the guy who allegedly loved her and whom she loved, takes the the word of his knowingly crazy as& soon to be ex-wife (blackmail marriage with NO BENES!) that the heroine is but a trollop? Uh, huh. THEN...when they finally meet, he's ignoring kids any idiot should be able to tell are HIS?? Oh...and who the hel& leaves their 6 year old twins at the house ALONE for ecen 2 minutes let alone the TWENTY the heroine found no problem with?? Give me a break and a lobotomy to get through these books. I am skipping the 80s and 90s-just a few more to review that I've already read-I can't handle it!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    RomLibrary

    She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first a She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first and only love.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Noël Cades

    The "hero" of this book is a solid-gold angry misogynistic bastard. I spent every page being glad that he had been deprived of knowing his children for six years. It was the least he deserved. James is a decade older than Tara and is married to her friend's mother (a weird sort of blackmailed non-consummated marriage, but whatever). He seduces Tara when she is a 17-year-old schoolgirl and then fucks off to the US and never makes contact again. Tara finds herself pregnant with twins. She spends the The "hero" of this book is a solid-gold angry misogynistic bastard. I spent every page being glad that he had been deprived of knowing his children for six years. It was the least he deserved. James is a decade older than Tara and is married to her friend's mother (a weird sort of blackmailed non-consummated marriage, but whatever). He seduces Tara when she is a 17-year-old schoolgirl and then fucks off to the US and never makes contact again. Tara finds herself pregnant with twins. She spends the next six years bringing them up, struggling to make a living, and being a single parent. She never dates anyone else. She never sleeps with anyone else. Then, when the twins are six, she bumps into James again. With no idea that the twins are his, he is VILE to her from the start. He constantly taunts her with being a bad mother, with being a whore, with being promiscuous and setting a bad example for her children. He has zero evidence for this, of course. He keeps trying to force himself upon her, then pulling back and accusing her of cockteasing him. When her children run away, and her boss is comforting her while they wait for the police to update them, James starts bitching at her again for being a whore. He's just shown up at her home because it turns out the twins have been at his house all afternoon, while he was out, and the housekeeper didn't know who they were. "My God!" he whispered savagely. "Even now with your children missing you haven't a thought in your head but your own physical satisfaction!" He has zero empathy, to the point of being sociopathic. He is also stupid. There is Tara, someone with whom he had unprotected sex seven years ago, and she has six-year-old twins. The twins are also the spitting bloody image of him. To the point where Tara's friend/James' former stepdaughter Susan even remarks on how alike they are. I honestly don't know what the hell Penny Jordan was thinking of when creating this man. He is so deeply unpleasant that I honestly wished he could have a car crash and disappear forever. There was absolutely zero joy in the ending. Still, it kept me gripped, wondering when and how he would find out the twins' paternity. But even that wasn't very satisfactory, as it happens "off stage" - apparently he looked up their birth certificates at Somerset House, when trying to find out more details of Tara's (fictitious) late husband.

  14. 5 out of 5

    iamGamz

    A very intense story of love lost, deception, secret children, and a too young h. The h and H meet when she was 17 and he was 26 and married to her best friends mother. Oh yeah, there was adultery too. They shared an amazing night that resulted in pregnancy. The H, feeling guilty for sexing up a 17 year old, skipped town and left her to face the music on her own. She had her babies, moved to London, got a job and took care of business. 7 years later, she runs into her former best friend and an i A very intense story of love lost, deception, secret children, and a too young h. The h and H meet when she was 17 and he was 26 and married to her best friends mother. Oh yeah, there was adultery too. They shared an amazing night that resulted in pregnancy. The H, feeling guilty for sexing up a 17 year old, skipped town and left her to face the music on her own. She had her babies, moved to London, got a job and took care of business. 7 years later, she runs into her former best friend and an innocent invite bring her back into the H’s life. There’s animosity and distrust but the chemistry and love are still there. Just buried under the animosity and distrust. I loved this book. Penny Jordan kept me waiting for the big reveal and when it came, I wasn’t expecting it to happen the way it did. I read through the night to finish and will be exhausted tomorrow. But it was well worth the missing sleep. :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jasbell76

    The first book a I read by Penny Jordan. This books is VERY emotional in my opinion. It caused me a lot of tears in some of its scenes. I think I am going to re-read it after 7 years and give it a better review. In my own rate format I gave it 6.5 from 10. Here in Goodreads I will give it 3.0 stars ñ_ñ

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lu Bielefeld

    hero was a married man + heroine is OW

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pink Angel

    So beautiful and so sweet. I just loved it. Loved it so much.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nazneen

    The heroine was good. But, I couldn't understand why she was unable to stand up to the hero. Fine. I understand there was some misunderstanding. I understand hero was jealous thinking she had a lover. But, that doesn't excuse his behaviour. He was so mean, cruel & heartless in his remarks. He constantly implied & insulted her. I don't know why she put up with it? There should have been some repentance from the hero. I don't know why she just takes him back. She should have made him work up a lit The heroine was good. But, I couldn't understand why she was unable to stand up to the hero. Fine. I understand there was some misunderstanding. I understand hero was jealous thinking she had a lover. But, that doesn't excuse his behaviour. He was so mean, cruel & heartless in his remarks. He constantly implied & insulted her. I don't know why she put up with it? There should have been some repentance from the hero. I don't know why she just takes him back. She should have made him work up a little bit atleast. There should have been groveling....

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aayesha

    2.5 stars So I didn't hate it as much I usually hate my 2-stars, neither did it make me feel as good as the regular 3-star. So 2.5 stars. Starting with the hero this time. At first, in the beginning of the book when we hadn't actually met the hero, I disliked him intensely because, even though our heroine is the main h, he still was married to someone else. I don't care if it was a farce marriage, it's still called cheating. And if there's one thing I can't tolerate (other than a bitchy, lying and 2.5 stars So I didn't hate it as much I usually hate my 2-stars, neither did it make me feel as good as the regular 3-star. So 2.5 stars. Starting with the hero this time. At first, in the beginning of the book when we hadn't actually met the hero, I disliked him intensely because, even though our heroine is the main h, he still was married to someone else. I don't care if it was a farce marriage, it's still called cheating. And if there's one thing I can't tolerate (other than a bitchy, lying and deceptive heroine), it's cheating. But then I got to see the tender, gentle side of him and found myself falling a little in love with him. He was good and honourable and kind and gentle. The heroine I liked, at least in the beginning. I understood her motives and reasons for being so bitter and hiding her children's parentage from their father. But it really started grating on me by the end. Especially when she not only didn't defended herself when the hero believed that she was promiscuous and having an affair with her boos, but actually fed to the story. And she still didn't tell him that they were his kids. UGH. Deceptive heroines. So neither of the characters in this book were particularly likable. But dear God, little Amanda/Mandy/WhateverHerNameWas was just so cute!! I loved her impertinence and her cheekiness, and her affection and innocence! I swear, she made the story so much more enjoyable. The writing was great, not at all the cheesy kind of writing I've come to associate with vintage Harlequin Presents. The vocabulary wasn't repetitive, even if it was overly dramatic. But hey, it's Vintage. Overall, I would have liked it better if the heroine hadn't so deceptive. And if the hero hadn't cheated. I still liked him better than I liked her, though.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Boo

    I'm sorry, I just can't get over how nasty and cruel the H is to the h all throughout this book. Let's say that everything he thinks about her really is the truth: in what universe does he have the right to judge her, punish her, speak to her so harshly and generally make her life a misery? He was a pervy older guy who slept with a 17 year old girl. Even if his suppositions were correct, why does he think that gives him the right to mock her for her dead husband and her attempt to move on with a I'm sorry, I just can't get over how nasty and cruel the H is to the h all throughout this book. Let's say that everything he thinks about her really is the truth: in what universe does he have the right to judge her, punish her, speak to her so harshly and generally make her life a misery? He was a pervy older guy who slept with a 17 year old girl. Even if his suppositions were correct, why does he think that gives him the right to mock her for her dead husband and her attempt to move on with another man 7 years later? He is a giant dickhead. I cannot get over how much of a doormat she is, taking every single piece of abuse he wants to dish out and smiling when he finally changes his mind. I'd be smiling too, because I would enjoy the hell out of the 7 plus years of alimony back-payments I'd be due, not to mention crushing his creepy dreams of setting up house with his punching-bag. This is an epic fail of a book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    A lot of annoying moments... the H was spiteful, harsh, judgmental, and a tease. It was completely implausible that it took him ages to realize the twins might be his. He had a few decent moments but not many. He thought she was a slut, and she sure didn’t do anything to change that view. The ending was completely rushed and tied up zero loose ends. The writing did keep you reading but the typical ‘misunderstandings’ became very frustrating. The h leaving six-year-old children alone for any reason A lot of annoying moments... the H was spiteful, harsh, judgmental, and a tease. It was completely implausible that it took him ages to realize the twins might be his. He had a few decent moments but not many. He thought she was a slut, and she sure didn’t do anything to change that view. The ending was completely rushed and tied up zero loose ends. The writing did keep you reading but the typical ‘misunderstandings’ became very frustrating. The h leaving six-year-old children alone for any reason was beyond stupid, and that whole plot point added nothing positive to the story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Grace Harwood

    We’re on distinctly dodgy territory here with this offering from 1983. The premise is as follows: Tara, whilst visiting her school friend (yes, school friend....) meets and falls in love with her friend’s step-father, who then takes her to bed. She then falls pregnant and the obligatory Jordan twins follow. Sentenced to life as a single teenage mother, Tara copes admirably until she accidentally runs into her school friend again and “James”, (the seducing unscrupulous step-father) decides he wan We’re on distinctly dodgy territory here with this offering from 1983. The premise is as follows: Tara, whilst visiting her school friend (yes, school friend....) meets and falls in love with her friend’s step-father, who then takes her to bed. She then falls pregnant and the obligatory Jordan twins follow. Sentenced to life as a single teenage mother, Tara copes admirably until she accidentally runs into her school friend again and “James”, (the seducing unscrupulous step-father) decides he wants Tara back again. There are many, many things wrong with the premise for this as a romance, (as is clear from the above synopsis) but that said, if you remove the romance from the equation (difficult I know, in a Mills and Boon) this is actually a really well-written book with lots of issues and intriguing things going on in it. First off, there’s what Tara has to face as a single teenage mother in a small village (of just the type I grew up in – which isn’t all that surprising being as Jordan habitually used a small Cheshire village as her location), the small-mindedness, the prejudice was all very familiar (and I didn’t even get pregnant with twins!) Then there is James’s attitude to Tara – he clearly blames her for her predicament and even states at one point “Strange how women always blame the man!” Once again, we are into literature of protest about the social mores of the time. This is a great example of Jordan’s work and how she offers a more substantial satisfying romance than the usual M&B fare. Yes, the hero is just WRONG, but you have to look beyond that to focus on the female character who is really a very likeable heroine indeed. I didn’t like the ending. I’d have liked James to have fallen off a cliff, but it’s a Mills and Boon, so, hey I can’t complain – the ending is inevitable. In a couple of weeks I’ll be going to present a conference paper at the University of Keele on these romances and the research I’ve done so far (it’s an ongoing thing...) Hopefully other academics will get it too and I won’t get laughed off campus.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ska Benìtez

    I really loved this book, I felt sometimes frustrated with the female main character but I really loved it, from the start to the lats word. The development of the characters, the lost love found, the complexity of the situation, I think everything was well used.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Su

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn't like the h. She seduced a married man (not the other way around). Then she acted an idiot by not letting him know that she is pregnant. I didn't like the h. She seduced a married man (not the other way around). Then she acted an idiot by not letting him know that she is pregnant.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This was swamped with useless details! The whole meat of the book could have fit in about 50 pages. The rest was just dumb stuff.

  26. 5 out of 5

    MJ

    2.5 stars They meet and have sex under less than stellar circumstances: she's 17 to his late 20s, a friend to his stepdaughter, he's married. 2.5 stars They meet and have sex under less than stellar circumstances: she's 17 to his late 20s, a friend to his stepdaughter, he's married.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Booklover

    Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James' rejection or the aching pleasure in their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first and only love. Had read this book a lon Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James' rejection or the aching pleasure in their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first and only love. Had read this book a long time ago,i was conflicted with the book cause of few things first the age difference is quiet much when she was 17 he was 27-30(don't remember properly), James was married and took advantage and later he is all jealous and bitter cause he thinks Tara got married soon after he rejected her and had twins and treats her cruelly,humiliating her and taunting her but later James marriage truth was out and rest all the misunderstandings are cleared and all is well Okay read

  28. 5 out of 5

    Booked

    She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first a She had weathered life's storms alone Tara had been only seventeen when she'd given herself to James. She had borne him twins in secret, inventing a short-lived marriage to protect her fatherless children and to hide her shame. The years had brought Tara added wisdom, though time hadn't dulled the pain of James's rejection or the aching pleasure of their remembered passion. Meeting him again was a shock, but Tara was determined never to let him know the price she had paid in silence for her first and only love.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    When Tara and James first met she was only seventeen. He was eight years older and married to a much older woman. Tara ends up pregnant and James was no where near. To alleviate the stigma of an unwed mother to her twins she makes up a deceased husband. Years later they meet again and James is no longer married and bitter with Tara. Thinking she had went from him to 'John's' bed he was hateful. But in HP fashion there were secrets that come out on both sides and an HEA ending was given. When Tara and James first met she was only seventeen. He was eight years older and married to a much older woman. Tara ends up pregnant and James was no where near. To alleviate the stigma of an unwed mother to her twins she makes up a deceased husband. Years later they meet again and James is no longer married and bitter with Tara. Thinking she had went from him to 'John's' bed he was hateful. But in HP fashion there were secrets that come out on both sides and an HEA ending was given.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary-jane

    Despite not liking the early pages since i thought that the hero married an older woman and in addition, cheated, i continued to read. after these few pages, it started to become quite interesting

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