One of the most vilified romances of modern times. I loved everything about it.
The plot device is so deliciously reprehensible. What sort of author engineers the horrible death of a wife and two young children as the event to bring two people together? Shame on Linda.
The cover art of the red version was superb. Glamor, money and looks personified. Rapped knuckes for the publishers for not giving the artist a credit.
And the invention of the 16 yo man-child Derek was a stroke of genius. A hundred times better than Joe Mackenzie. Although Derek's own series romance was totally pussy.
That Rome. What a completely wonderful over-sexed bastard he is. One moment he's mourning the family he lost, the next second he admits that if Sarah had shown any interest in him during his eight-year first marriage he would have bitten the apple, so to speak. That is the person Sarah has loved for about 10 years!
Rome emotes. He cries. He hands out orders and advice. Typical alpha-male. Of course Sarah knows when to ignore his words. And what she gets in return is a wonderful relationship and home with the man she loves. How does that make her a doormat? She's a risk taker thats all. She had the courage to say 'No' when he made that unreasonable demand even though she was in danger of repeating the pattern of her own parents loveless marriage. Plus. In the mid 80s it wasn't the contentious issue it is now.
A man who is ambivalent about wanting children is not most romance writers or reviewers idea of a hero. Maybe thats the problem so many people have. Personally I find it weird when romance heroes implore their wives of 5 mins to 'have my baby.' Or maybe people dislike the idea of a 33 yo virgin. Nowadays its completely acceptable for romance heroines to, ahem, 'gain experience' or have children out of wedlock. What seems to be unacceptable is for a romance heroine 'to say no' until she meets the love of her life.
Another thing I like about this novel is that the reader spends a lot of time with Rome and Sarah. More than a year. The scene with Rome and Missy was astoundingly emotional. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.
And the shirt-tail sequels show they have a lasting HEA. (Yes, there is more than one)
DONT LISTEN TO THE DETRACTORS MS HOWARD! You wrote a modern masterpiece.
Genre; contemporary romance. Movie rating PG13; grown-up themes.