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Danielle's Reading Adventures

Reading is my favorite hobby, hands down. Books are love to me.  I am an avid collector, and paper books will always edge out e-books with me.

Mistress Of The Groom (Scandals!) (Harlequin Presents) - Susan Napier This is one of my all time favorite Harlequin Presents. It has the elements that I love about this line: passion, revenge, strong personalities clashing in the arena of life, until they fall in love (and bed). Jane and Ryan are enemies, for numerous reasons. For one thing, he ruins her father and his business (her father destroyed his family many years earlier and he has been biding his time to take his revenge). Also she ruins his wedding to her good friend, by arriving at the wedding and claiming to be his mistress that he's been having an affair with. Her meek friend has fallen in love with another man and is afraid to cry off from the wedding, so Jane steps in to help her at her own expense. After that, daggers are drawn. Ryan destroys Jane's business prospects and pretty much her life, and makes it impossible for her to find a job.So it's her turn to get revenge. It sounds like a vicious cycle, but the fiery chemistry between them makes this story worth reading. Jane is tall and buxom (I sort of pictured her looking like Lucy Lawless as Xena or Jane Russell (40s-50s pinup girl and actress). Ryan is a big, tall, blue-eyed, black-haired guy who probably looks like a viking except with the dark hair. They make a striking couple.There are few love scenes, but they are pretty blazing, and the first one definitely has a naughty vibe (you can read if you want to find out what I mean). This book shows the strength of Napier's writing. She might have a heroine who's temporarily down on her luck, but she's more than a match for the hero as far as intellect, abilities, and personal fortitude. She isn't a pushover, and she's not going to let him treat her like she's beneath him. I also love that she has heroines who may not be model beautiful and have some insecurities about themselves that they might struggle with, but manage to live productive lives otherwise. You get the impression that they would be successful in life, but it's nice to have the love of a good man to complete them. I love her heroes because they are very alpha and somewhat domineering, but equally caring, and not so bullheaded that they cannot come to see the error of their ways or express their love and caring for the heroine. Plus she has a lot of big, muscular, dark hair, light eyed heroes, which I find very attractive. And they are New Zealanders (Not Italian, Greek, or Latin) and not necessarily billionaires. A lot of them are self-made men and/or have very down to earth values and lifestyles, even if they are wealthy. And usually they are very much heroes in pursuit, who go after the heroine who's not the typical immaculate, society beauty that every other man wants (although they are definitely appealing in their own unique way).I think you'd have to be a fan of Harlequin Presentseque storylines, at least to a mild degree, to like this one. But I happen to love the revenge and powerful desire between enemies theme that is a staple of Harlequin Presents, so this book was a winner for me, especially in Susan Napier's masterful hands.