From the back cover:
Some Christmas vacation! An unexpected blizzard just stranded Jennifer Glenn in the heart of the mountains, and her boots aren't made for walking. But the Jeep's buried in a snowdrift and a lonely log cabin is the only shelter for miles around. Just her luck: there's only one bed. She's not about to share it with Logan Taylor, even though the handsome rancher swept her up in his arms and carried her over the threshold. He can just take the chair by the fire like a gentleman--if he is a gentleman--and he can just stop calling her darlin'. Or she'll never fall asleep...
Happy holidays were only a memory for Dina Chandler in the years after her husband's plane disappeared over the jungle. But the Christmas to come will be a celebration like no other...now that Blake has returned. His long ordeal has changed everything--except his passionate love for the woman who was once his wife. Winning her back will be the greatest challenge--and the greatest gift--of all.
And my review:
These two stores were marketed as having been "updated" for the 2003 release date, but from what I can tell, not much has been changed. There are references to cell phones, email and PC's, but that's about it. The attitudes of the characters are very dated, especially in the gender roles.
For example, in DARLING JENNY, the heroine comes to the big city to land her dream job. She's had years of studies to prepare, has dreamed of this for most of her life and worked so hard...and she's come to be...a secretary. With all the buildup, I would have expected that she was going to be a lab tech working on cancer research. Nope, her dreams are of typing and filing and making coffee. (Not to knock secretaries mind you, I was one myself, but don't make it sound like the heroine is out to change the world.)
And her "evil" boss, the man that she's running from? He wanted to have sex with her. The way it was hyped up about how cruel he was, I thought he must have called her into his office and raped her on his desk. Not dated her and expected to have consensual sex. Hey, I have no problem with a woman who doesn't sleep around (I admire women like that, usually), but her attitude just goes to show the book's age.
Once the hero showed up, he and heroine descended into petty bickering that lasted for most of the book, in between a few heated scenes to show progress in their relationship. And I couldn't stand the way the hero kept treating her like she was a stupid little girl. I'm sure many men did treat women this way in the 70s, but it's not exactly what most women today would find romantic.
STRANGE BEDFELLOW also showed its age. I didn't have a problem with the recycled plot (man comes back to claim his wife after being declared dead), but I did have a problem with the hero. He was supposed to be tortured, but instead came across as mean. I got as far as the first "love" scene. I put the word love in quotes because there was no tenderness or love that I could see. It was more of the hero saying "I had to be celibate for two years, you're my wife, I want sex, so lie on your back." Not romantic. Geez, buddy, give the woman at least a day or two to adjust to the fact that you're not dead. How about "I love you so much, Dina, I've missed you and want to make love to you"? Nope. Just "I'm horny, give me sex, now!" I know this was often par for the course, given sexual attitudes in the 70s, but it's little more than offensive to today's modern woman.
As a very happily married stay-at-home mom with a young son, I don't really consider myself a hard-core feminist, but even I found these stories irritating with their dated portrayal of women and over-arrogant men. Not recommended by this reader.