This one starts with our sweet, innocently beautiful h getting into a wreck right outside the textile plant where she is a young designer. Our h has a dying aunt who wants to die at home, the h agrees to sell one of her private designs to another woman in the company, who is going to use it for a competition. This seems to be a good deal, tho the h feels a bit guilty for selling designs outside of work. The OW is determined to get her man and get the h the boot at the same time, so she sets the h up as someone who sold proprietary company designs - even thought it was the h's own off duty work. Then the h gets pregnant, and after the H asks if it is his child (which he sorta apologizes for), things seem to deteriorate further --but the h does manage to sell her car on the sly and hide the money. The h starts designing from her little flat, has the baby (a boy) and is generally getting herself together when the H shows up after weeks of frantic searching. She finally tells the h her decision and he looks like he is going to pass out from pain. But the extreme controlling behavior is scary and although the H promises to not ignore the h and include her in his social life, there is no mention of her continuing her designing or being anything other than his broodmare, hostess and sex toy. I did think he loved her, but it was a very scary sort of thing, I sorta hoped she kept video camera's following her around and stayed well away from other men cause this H was not stable at all.
And from there, MP describes a controlling, emotionally abusive relationship between an educated woman who knows she is being ill-treated but at times feels she deserves it and man who must control his emotions by controlling other people at all costs. The revenge/guilt thing is how MP manages to shoehorn this relationship into a romance. When the hero realizes he was wrong about the employment policy and the heroine realizes she has nothing to feel guilty about then the revenge scenario is over. The tone of this story reminded me so much of the Rhianna/Eminem video Love The Way You Lie. Thats another description of a twisted relationship that satisfies something in both characters. MP is careful to create an artificial reason for the destructive pattern of their marriage so that it can be discarded by the end of the story.
Fantastic read if u like cruel heroes and martyr heroines.
The hero was pretty mean to her, and in a strange way -- normally angry married heroes are quite generous with money, clothes, etc., but treat the heroine terribly face-to-face. I kept hoping there was going to be some explanation for it all, like that he had to treat her this way to keep evil Thelma from doing something.
Maybe he heard about all the Spanish, Greek and Italian millionaires using marriage as a solution to every problem, so he thought the British should get on board, I don't know, it was just silly. Either way he uses this as an excuse to be a complete douchebag claiming she has lost his trust. Yes, I know, it's terrible when one uses this as a way of redeeming the H but if you are familiar with Pargeter's heroes, you'll understand.
She didn't want to marry Brice because he didn't love her but left with no choice because of her sick aunt, she agreed. Secretly Macy saved up and when she was eight and half months pregnant, she left him. She loved him dearly but thought he hated her and she was holding him back from being with another woman. I always love it when a woman finally find herself and the courage to leave a controlling man.
So what he come back after he has time to think maybe he loved her from the start? I did not love it but he does come back in the end and he is clearly upset that she had had the baby without him.
I don't see at which point for which particular behaviour the heroine fell in love with him.