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Ruthless Love (Hqn) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (25 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373778783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373778782
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.4 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jayne Ann Krentz, who also writes historical and futuristic fiction under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle respectively, has more than fifty NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers under various pen names; more than twenty-five million copies of her books are in print. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Did not realise this was 2-in-1 of previous titles. Enjoyed re-reading both titles - I read them when they first came out in 1982. Delighted that the Stephanie James titles are being reprinted. Very interesting comparing the older titles to the more recent. I do prefer the contemporary romantic thrillers and her other Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle titles but the earlier more romantic less thriller type do hint at her later style.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs CM Rodgers on 3 July 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Although these stories are not new they are still a good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Don't bother with these. 28 Mar 2014
By Linnea Priest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
These are 2 oldie reprints. Her books have changed for the better since these were written many years ago. Romance heroes are not as overbearing as these 2 heroes were. Romance fiction has evolved considerably, and I couldn't enjoy either of these books. So, unless you really liked the ancient stuff, don't bother.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed 23 April 2014
By kaf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed this was not a new book but two old books. I should have read the description more closely.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not up to her current standards 12 May 2014
By jds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The heroines were less assertive and gave in to men who were almost stalkers and somewhat abusive even if they did seem to actually love the heroines. I realize this was an early book but it was disappointing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
SO Disappointed 18 May 2014
By Sue from Iowa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I usaully Love Jayne Ann Krentz books, she is one of my favorite authors, but these 2 novels were soo slow and hard to read. I do not recommend this read
4.5 stars 23 Nov 2014
By Loves To Read - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually liked both of the stories in this book, which surprised me since the reviews here were mediocre and the stories themselves were so old. I give Corporate Affair 4 stars and Lover In Pursuit 5 stars so split the difference at 4.5.

<Spoiler Alert>

Corporate Affair is about Kalinda, the CEO of a company that she's worked for two years to bring back from the brink of bankruptcy. She inherited the company when her father, the previous CEO, died unexpectedly in a plane crash. At the time she was engaged to David and thought they were both very much in love, but when her father died and they realized that the company was in dire straits, David revealed that he'd only be willing to marry her because he'd wanted the company. Now that the company was about to collapse, his interest in both it and Kalinda disappeared and he ditched her.

When the book begins we find Kalinda in a Colorado resort town during the off-season killing time before she attends to some business. The business at hand is sticking it to David. He's recently contacted her and, despite the fact that he's gotten married in the two years since they split up, has informed Kalinda that he still has feelings for her and wants to resume their affair. Kalinda agreed to meet with him and played things up like she was interested in picking up where they left off because she wants to exact some revenge. Her plan is to let him play out his seduction game and let him think she's being taken in by it, but then at the last minute laugh in his face and tell him to get lost.

Everything changes, however, when she meets Rand. He's the owner and operator of a small art gallery and doesn't bother much about keeping regular hours or behaving in what anyone would term a professional manner. He and Kalinda meet when she goes into his store to buy a painting. He's immediately drawn to her and talks her into spending the afternoon with him and then going to dinner with him that night. Passion flares between them and he almost succeeds in seducing her that first night but she pulls back at the last moment. She points out that they have nothing in common, live in different towns, and that she's not into casual vacation flings so there's no good reason they should sleep together.

He lets her go that night, though he makes it clear that he doesn't share her objections. They have a strong attraction to each other so why deny it? Despite Kalinda's better judgement telling her to steer clear of Rand after that, she lets him talk her into continuing to spend time with him and again they come within a hairsbreadth of sleeping together. This time it's Rand's thoughtless and ill-timed mention of David's name that pulls Kalinda out of the sexual haze. She's confessed her reason for being in town to Rand and also her plan for sticking it to David. Rand is 100% against the idea. He insists that her plan is dangerous in some vague and undefined way. Kalinda assures Rand that David isn't violent; he'd never, for example, rape her or anything. But Rand insists that any man can be violent in the right situation.

Eventually Kalinda has a sit-down with herself and examines her motives for pulling this stunt with David. She ultimately decides that she doesn't need to do it after all. She's over David and his betrayal and exacting this planned revenge doesn't actually hold the appeal she thought it would. So she calls him the day before he's due to drive up and tells him not to bother. At first she tries to play nice and say that she's just decided she can't go through with an affair because David is married, but when he continues to insist, she finally snaps and tells him what she'd planned to do for her revenge and for him to never call her again. Then she packs to head home but finds herself stopping off at Rand's instead.

She finds him a nervous wreck; having paced the floor all night fretting about whether she'd go through with the "dangerous" plan to meet David. With that obstacle out of their way, they finally sleep together. Exhausted from his sleepless night and then the lovemaking, Rand falls asleep right after they're done and Kalinda takes the opportunity to slip out and head back home. After all, all the reasons she gave for not sleeping with Rand earlier are still present and she feels there's no future for them as a couple so best to just end things now.

Two days later, Kalinda is at her desk at work when David calls. He tells her that he's staging a hostile takeover of her company. He didn't want it 2 years ago when it was in trouble, but now that she's done all the hard work of bringing it back from the edge, he's desperate to get his hands on it. And, he condescendingly tells her, that was the real reason he'd been so insistent that she meet him in that resort town. He'd been hoping to seduce her into basically just handing the company to him so he wouldn't have to go to the expense of buying stock and taking it by force. We also find out that, if Kalinda had actually met with David, even just to exact her revenge, it would have trashed her reputation in the company. They would have seen the fact that she'd met with the president of the company staging the hostile takeover as proof that she was in on the deal; so Rand convincing her not to go through with her plan actually allowed her to side-step a potentially devastating landmine.

It's too late in the day for Kalinda to do anything about the takeover right then so she plans to call an emergency meeting with her senior managers in the morning. There's a business cocktail party planned for that night at her house so she pastes on her happy face and plays hostess. Then gets thrown for a loop when Rand shows up at her door and insinuates himself into the party.

He's realized on his own that Kalinda's company is about to be taken over and has come to offer his assistance...as well as get Kalinda back in his bed on a permanent basis. I found Rand's behavior at this stage to be unnecessarily vague and irritating. He keeps making comments about how Kalinda thought he was a lazy good-for-nothing with no business acumen and not someone she could ever respect, but Kalinda herself never said anything of the kind. He kept putting words in her mouth and then holding her responsible for them. Not to mention that he'd deliberately cultivated the image that he WAS a lazy lay-about with no business experience...and then he acts like she's being a snob for believing his performance. Also, he had about a billion opportunities to just explain to her that he actually had tons of experience in the corporate world but had chosen to retire early to that resort town. Instead, when he offers to "save" her from the hostile takeover and she asks just how he's going to have the skills to do that, he gives vague answers about him being a "shark" at heart who can do what needs doing.

Why not just tell her the truth? That he used to be a guy who executed hostile takeovers for a living and after years of success he suddenly looked in the mirror and didn't like what he'd become? Simple. Instead, he does all this verbal two-stepping and then seduces Kalinda into bed that night so the next morning when they walk into the emergency meeting with her staff, she's the only one present who doesn't realize who he really is. There was just no reason for that.

The rest of the story goes about like you'd expect. Rand successfully rescues the company from David's hostile takeover and Rand and Kalinda eventually admit that they love each other. Everyone lives happily ever after.

Lover In Pursuit was surprisingly refreshing from the very beginning. The back story tells us that six months ago Reyna was a high-powered corporate ladder-climber who specialized in hostile takeovers (I guess that's the theme for this book?). She sets her sights on a computer company that is poorly managed and has everything more or less in the bag when Trevor steps in. The company Reyna is after belongs to Trevor's brother-in-law and his sister begged him to intervene. Trevor, being the shrewd businessman he is, quickly assessed the situation and knew that he couldn't beat Reyna in the corporate arena. The company was too vulnerable and her position too strong. So instead, he attacks her personally. He deliberately sets about to seduce her for the sole purpose of saving his BIL's company. It proves easier than he expected when he and Reyna meet for the first time and a wild attraction sparks between them. For two weeks he makes sure they're never apart and Reyna ends up falling in love with him. At the end of the two weeks she sleeps with Trevor, confesses her love for him, and then next morning tells him that she'll give up on the hostile takeover.

She does this knowing full well that it'll be career-suicide and that Trevor most likely doesn't love her back and possibly might not even know how to love. When the official word comes down that the takeover has indeed been halted, Trevor tells Reyna that they're through; that he "won" the game. He got exactly what he wanted out of her and it's all over now. Reyna just nods and walks out of his office and his life. She doesn't throw a tantrum or even cry because his reaction only confirmed what she'd suspected. She goes to Hawaii on vacation to get away from everything and quickly finds that she loves it so she moves there permanently.

Once there, she undergoes a lifestyle change where she realizes that her old corporate life and her single-minded climb to the top wasn't really making her happy with her life. She embraces the laid-back, free-spirited attitude of the locals and simplifies her life. She's happy, balanced and stress-free....until Trevor walks back into her life six months later.

I was happily surprised with the way Reyna handled the reappearance of Trevor. So many times in these older romance novels the hero does something nigh-on unforgivable and yet he never really accepts responsibility for what he's done. He just runs roughshod over the heroine and she's too weak to do more than utter a few flimsy protests before letting him have his way. Not so with this story. Trevor surprises Reyna on the beach and is expecting to find a bitter, angry woman who has spent the last six months feeding her fury and hoping for a chance to tell him that he ruined her life. Instead, he finds a happy, well-adjusted Reyna who laughingly informs him that he's got nothing to feel guilty about because she went into their "relationship" with her eyes wide open and knew what she was doing all along.

He keeps insisting that she must be bitter and angry but her carefree attitude and easy laughter belie that assumption. He also keeps trying to get her to admit that she's still in love with him but again she just calmly tells him that he's wrong. She easily and without shame admits that she did love him 6 months ago, but says it's gone now. A lot of time has passed and she's a different person than she was back then. The notion that she has not, in fact, been pining away for him these last few months is reinforced by the fact that she's already moved on romantically. In fact, she has a date the very night of Trevor's arrival. In short, she basically sets Trevor on his ear at every turn. All of his assumptions turn out to be wrong and thus his carefully planned strategies for convincing her to take him back are all useless. In fact, most of the time their conversations end up with Reyna feeling a bit sorry for Trevor because he's so confused and has been holding on to a feeling of guilt for all these months.

It was extremely refreshing to have a heroine who didn't behave like either an emotional basket case or a spineless weakling easily overpowered by the hero's desires. In fact, Trevor's desires end up hurting HIM more than her. He's so sure that if he can just get Reyna back into bed, everything will magically be okay. That he'll have reestablished some kind of hold on her and it'll mean she's still in love with him. Instead, after their night of passion, Reyna calmly informs him that no, she's still not in love with him. When he demands to know why she let him seduce her if she didn't love him, she shrugs and says that they're really good in bed together and they're both adults so why not? Once again having his assumptions proved wrong upsets Trevor a lot and he storms out.

From that point on, we start to see a different Trevor emerge. Having had all his assumptions disproved, he finally realizes that he needs to get to know the new Reyna because the old one is gone. It was well handled and I really did feel like Trevor was growing as a person. He was still trying to convince Reyna to take him back, but he wasn't manipulating her or trying to use sex to get his way. And I also felt like he truly recognized how terribly he'd behaved and that he deserved to lose Reyna's love. In the end when they finally got together for real it was a satisfying conclusion and both characters had grown into stronger, more mature people. They actually seemed like a couple who would stay together in the years that came after.

So all in all, I'd recommend both books but I thought Lover In Pursuit was the better of the two.
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