Naughty Or Nice by Rachael Stewart – an adult book of passion and family issues in a glamorous world

 

This is an adult romance, steamy and thoroughly detailed book, but it is more than that category suggests. This is a book about the complications of contemporary life, as the age old problem of  family expectations and chosen love. There is a sprinkling of the problems women face in business as they break free from family and male leads. All the glamour of international wealth and business is included in this book, as wonderful apartments and business travel is explored. At the bottom of the narrative is a tale of attraction and love which fights against barriers, expectations and family love. The natural hesitancy of a new relationship is transformed in this novel by an existing knowledge of both partners in a previous existence, one complicated by a special family relationship. There are long term feelings of betrayal which date back five years, but there are elements of the relationship which go back much earlier in the protagonists’ lives. In some senses this is a light book of entertainment of a specific kind, but it does touch on some deeper issues with confidence. This is a very different sort of book, but I was intrigued to read and review it.  

 

The book opens with the eighteen year old Eva Beaumont celebrating her birthday, waiting for Lucas Waring. He is a special friend, almost part of the family having been left effectively alone after his distant mother died. Lucas is her brother Nate’s  best friend and in time will become his business partner. Lucas rejects her, and she is left hurt and confused. After ten years they meet on an immensely significant evening for Eva, as she launches a product that is due to be immensely successful. In the presence of her parents who provided some of the start up capital, she is ready to face potential manufacturers who are all keen to get her business. All is going well, until she is deeply unsettled by the sight of Lucas, who is keen for the business opportunity, but finds another element of their meeting disturbing and intriguing. Within minutes their passionate encounter shows how much attraction may well challenge long established hatred and the resentments of the past. 

 

It emerges that Lucas has been seen as betraying Nate five years before. He has been seen as the one who walked out on Nate when their business hit a problem. It will take a lot to overcome the near hatred that Eva’s family have for Lucas, and his own disappointment in their assumption that he betrayed them which has left him estranged. The question that the book asks is whether Lucas and Eva’s undoubted mutual physical attraction can overcome the pressures that keep them apart.

 

This is a book which indulges in many physical descriptions of passion. It also has things to say about the importance of family solidarity for good or bad. It will not be to everyone’s taste, but it is undoubtedly more than it first appears. The element of Christmas makes it a seasonal read, but it is certainly not limited to this time of year.  

Mills & Boon DARE – Mr One-Night Stand by Rachael Stewart – An Adult Book

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.