In a market full of romance themed novels, one of the leaders has always been Mills & Boon. This novel is under the DARE imprint, and new M&B author Rachael Stewart has written a book full of passionate encounters which are more frankly described than in many contemporary reads. So an adult book, with fulsome descriptions, but also a real story of a man and a woman with family responsibilities, ambitions, and all the doubts and insecurities of people in a new relationship. This is a book in which, while perhaps disturbingly detailed and pushing the edge, there are several things to notice. This is a novel about consenting adults, where no one appears to be forced or exploited, and where both Jennifer and Marcus struggle to discover what they should be doing. This is far from a one dimensional novel; it tries to explain why the couple do what they do, and how much emotion and thought their relationship, though perhaps unconventional, involves. I was interested to see this perhaps surprisingly complex novel worked out beyond the obvious content, and was grateful to receive a copy to review.
Marcus Wright is in a bar. Wealthy, handsome and with a driving ambition, he is getting frustrated waiting for Tony Andrews, who is entering into some unspecified contract. He knows that there is a partner involved who is probably the real drive behind the business. When a beautiful and stylish woman enters the bar the atmosphere changes, and they both indicate their willingness to get to know each other better (to put it euphemistically). When he discovers that this woman who has insisted on paying their bills is Tony’s partner, he wants to forget the whole thing, by which time it is too late. He discovers a new level of intimacy with this woman, which rebounds on him when she finds out about their new business links. They have to find a way of coping with their desire for each other in the light of their business commitments, and their own family backgrounds.
Although this book could be seen as a “Guilty pleasure”, it actually has a lot going for it in terms of a novel. There is no violence, no murders and does represent a relationship of equals. It is an engaging read which does present an extreme of sexual content, but actually it has a lot of narrative power and although it revolves largely around high powered business (of an undefined nature) and wealth, there are still aspects of reality represented, as the health of families and the underlying ambition are relatable. Perhaps it may seem an unlikely choice to review, but it is likely to be a popular novel, and deserves success.