Sustained by CL's beautiful, elegant writing, it is an eerie tale of obsession, not so much between a man and a woman, but between a man, a woman, and a spooky, old, haunted, castle perched above one of those idyllic English villages that only CL can conjure up with this much dreaminess.
Charlotte Lamb's original "stepbrother romance" novel ! Good old Charlotte wrote about the stepbrother taboo romance LONG before many others even thought of it. I read it as a teen and then later on as an adult and the whole stepbrother taboo element mesmerised me because Charlotte L does it in her own inimitable style. Some people may think the heroine Louise is a bit too precocious at 17 going on 18, to feel such a passion for her 34 year old stepbrother Daniel. Lol. Teen girls feel very passionately ( maybe it's the hormones ) and Louise is no exception. Is it politically incorrect for me to say how much I enjoyed the way Louise actually used her Lolita tactics to tempt and torment poor Daniel ? Peter has a crush on Louise and his continuous lustful adoration of the heroine keeps angering Daniel and sparking his jealousy.
She was an idiot acting like a spoiled brat and I must like her because she is the book heroine?
Just give yourself a breathing space before you make any drastic decisions like that.' 'I mean it,' she said fiercely. The wild blue eyes were glittering in her pale, tearstained face, 'I hated it, the way he looked at me, the way he touched me.' She shuddered, 'I can hear him breathing now . ' Daniel was watching her, his face unreadable.
'I first knew how I felt about you on your fourteenth birthday,' he said abruptly, his mouth grim. You remember that new saddle I bought you?' 'You left it on the end of my bed while I was asleep,' she said with a happy smile. 'You were fast asleep when I came in,' he said thickly. When you came down to breakfast in your jodhpurs you looked a child again, and I breathed easier. 'Do you really think I'd have run from you?' Daniel caught his breath, staring down into her eyes.
And the hero was like well you led him on.
The hero is arrogant and rich and sexy and dominant and a complete male chauvinist, but hey, this is Mills & Boon and this is the 1970s. While the hero and heroine are step-siblings, to my mind the author would have written them as half-siblings if she could have got away with it. It frankly feels like she's paying lip service to the step thing: they're pretty much presented as half-siblings for the majority of the plot, and other people mistake them for full-siblings.
She had backbone and I felt that she went out I win his heart and she was truly deeply in live with Daniel.
Sheila Ann Mary Coates Holland aka Sheila Holland, Sheila Coates, Charlotte Lamb, Sheila Lancaster, Victoria Woolf, Laura Hardy Sheila Ann Mary Coates was born on 1937 in Essex, England, just before the Second World War in the East End of London. A voracious reader of romance novels, she began writing at her husband's suggestion. In between raising her five children (including a set of twins), Charlotte wrote several more novels. She used both her married and maiden names, Sheila Holland and Sheila Coates, before her first novel as Charlotte Lamb, Follow a Stranger, was published by Mills & Boon in 1973.