No Other Man Could Compare In Her Brief Stint As A Foreign Correspondent, Merril Met The Only Man She Thought She Could Ever Love Azur, He Called Himself, And He Was As Wild And Electrifying As His War Torn CountryEven Back Home In London, Merril Couldn T Escape The Memories Of Azue When She Was Pursued By The New Star Of The London Stage, Torrin Anthony, A Stunning Man Most Women Would Die For, His Attentions Left Her UnmovedYet Torin Was A Force She Hadn T Reckoned On It Wasn T Long Before He Made Merril See The Folly Of Her Fantasy Love But When She Did, It Was Too Late Re Fantasy Lover Sally Heywood s HP debut is a mix of two distinct fantasy tropes in a romance SH brings us a bit of a cross between the Lawrence of Arabia type H, an Englishman in a war torn country and the Date with a Theatrical Star type H who has all the trappings of fame and fortune, yet goes for the ordinary woman.The story starts with gun shots being fired The h is a hard news reporter in a war torn country She is being shot at by rebels and is rescued by a handsome man who has his face obscured by his desert veiling The attraction is immediate and apparent The unknown rescuer, who tells the h to call him Azure, distracts the gunmen by running over a wall while he directs the h to run to a sheltered location When they meet up a few minutes later, the h is astounded by his derring do it seems like something her deceased famous war correspondent dad would have done The h needs a great story, so when Azure offers her an in depth interview with the leaders of the current Rebellion, the h takes off with him and gets the story of a news reporter s career They have one day together and the h is enthralled She makes it back to file her story and she is so enad of the man who helped her, she just can t seem to settle back into ordinary life They shared one kiss and nothing else, but the h is totally hooked Then she accompanies another reporter, he is a theater critic, to the opening of a new play The play is destined to be a big West End hit because it features the latest, greatest almost unknown actor who is the best thing since sliced bread The women are lining up in droves to drool over the new actor, who is playing a jaded Regency Rake The h is pretty contemptuous of the whole thing, based on her ideals of her man s man dad and Azure, she thinks the new actor is just the latest boy toy sensation and can t possible compare to a real man who replaces words with action It is very strongly suggested that the h has a bad case of hero worship for her dad, who died when she was 10, and when she met Azure, it was another exercise in fantasy fulfillment When the h gets backstage and the now famous actor singles her out, the h is confused but disdainful There are some condescending words on the h s part and the actor acts like they have met before and he can t understand her hostility The next day the h is invited to do an exclusive interview with the actor since the actor has been determinedly avoiding the press, the h s editor knows this is a real scoop and sends the h off to meet him.The h and the actor meet and he is charming and she is dismissive and hostile The actor decides that the h needs a really intimate and personal look at his life, because she indicates that she is going to write a hatchet job on his character, so he kidnaps her off to his remote English cottage beside a mill pond The h can t escape because she has no clue where she is and there is no phone and the actor sends off the only car Over the next few days the actor tries to charm and woo the h, but she is having none of it tho she admits to a physical attraction, the h is holding on to her dreams of Azure Then she falls into the mill pond after a big rainstorm and the actor breaks his ankle rescuing her It is instant adoration, especially when the show must go on with the actor and he performs even tho his ankle has swollen to three times it s normal size and he is in considerable pain The h recognizes a man of action who fits her dreams when she sees him, so after the show they spend the night in a luxury hotel and the h seduces the actor.Only to be hurt the next morning when the actor declares this is a temporary fling and he will be done with the h and her charms after a few sessions Still the h hangs on until the prescribed time period dictated by the H has passed, lurvin it up all the way Then the h takes her leave and determines that even tho she has gotten her heart broken, she should have hung on to the purity of her adoration for Azure and now she is determined to make her way back to his country and find him and offer to be his baby mama The only obstacle the h has is money, so she starts writing and selling articles like a madwoman to get the funds for the airfare back She is also nominated for an award for the best Young Journalist of the Year Her mother, whom the h spent years despising for waiting around like a limpet for her father to return, also makes an effort to reconnect with the h The h finds out that her mum really is proud of her and that the mum s marriage to the dad was really not very great even tho her mother loved her father, the father was always very disparaging of the mum s efforts and since the mum was of the homebody type, it wasn t a real compatible marriage The h s mum is also very proud of her daughter, tho she worries about her safety cause she is very like her father in her thirst for adventure The h grows up a bit and realizes that her hero worship of her dad needs to be put into perspective Then it is time for the big awards ceremony and the h wins, but then has to deal with the actor being the MC who hands out the awards The actor tries to talk about their relationship, it is clear he is pining away, but the h dismisses him and tells him she isn t interested in his casual approach to affairs and that she is going to find Azure The H is rather taken aback by this, but he gets dragged off by another woman and the h goes on to her awards party The H calls the h the next day to ask her out, but the h thinks he is just being petulant and wants to lure her back to soothe his ego over the one who got away The h is insistent that she is going to find Azure as soon as her visa comes through The H hangs up abruptly and the next call the h gets is that her visa is ready for pickup She quits her job and goes to pick up her visa in anticipation of getting on a plane to find Azure When she gets to the embassy, which is the same place she met the actor for their first interview when he kidnapped her, Azure is there wrapped in his burnoose and he tells her he is carrying her off into the sunset, she can be his companion and baby mama forever The h should be thrilled, but something holds her back and she has a change of heart She tells Azure that she really loves someone else and she can t run away from that with him one fantasy can t take the place of another that became reality Azure takes off his burnoose and lights a lamp and SURPRISE It was the H actor all along His father was the English diplomat for the country he met the h in and his sister is married to a high level government official there, he was caught out while visiting and that is how he happened to be along to save the h He fell in love at first sight, just like all the stories say and he was determined to win the h, however he had to do it The h is shocked but the H explains that since she can never tell when he is acting, he figured he could just be whomever she wanted cause he is head over heels in love with her and wants her any way he can get her The h explains that while she initially dismissed the H as a poseur, she soon came to see that he was passionately sincere in how he acted and his saving her from death convinced her that there was a genuine person underneath all the acting The h also explains that in his full theatrical makeup his hair and voice and face was different, she completely didn t recognize him tho she thought their builds were similar Once the greasepaint came off, there was enough differences between her hazy memories of Azure and the way the H actually was, to keep the deception running The h passionately declares that she loves the H back, and there is a cute little seduction scene while they avow undying love and the H asks the h to marry him.This one was okay, but for a rarity it is the H and his overwhelming obviousness about his total in loveness with the h that makes this one believable The h is nice enough, tho rather witchy with the actor at first As the story goes on, it is almost impossible to believe the h can t figure out who he really is and it kinda hurts the story, especially when the h is rapturizing over the wonderness of Azure Which leads one to the conclusion that the h is really too in love with fantasy to make it in a real relationship SH saves the story tho by having the H lost in love so much that he has no problems acting in whatever character the h fantasizes about next and the h makes a shot at redemption by being willing to adore the H s characterizations so I could see how a marriage between them might actually work He gets an adoring fan girl with some spice and she gets her dream hero whatever type of dream hero she wants Overall this one was whacky and different and pretty low angst, but I believed it in the end and that is what counts when you are mucking around in HPlandia. 3 1 2 stars. No other man could compare In her brief stint as a foreign correspondent, Merril met the only man she thought she could ever love Azur, he called himself, and he was as wild and electrifying as his war torn country.Even back home in London, Merril couldn t escape the memories of Azue When she was pursued by the new star of the London stage, Torrin Anthony, a stunning man most women would die for, his attentions left her unmoved.Yet Torin was a force she hadn t reckoned on It wasn t long before he made Merril see the folly of her fantasy love but when she did, it was too late.
Sandra Clark Her special interests are sailing, reading, fashion, interior decorating and helping in a children s nursery She lives in Staithes and London.
- 192 pages
- Fantasy Lover (Harlequin Presents No. 1200)
- Sally Heywood
- 13 February 2018 Sally Heywood