Friday, 16 August 2013

If You Can't Stand the Heat, or Why Delayed HEA are M&B's Answer to Nietzsche

Resisting temptation has never been so impossible…

Living on the edge used to make wild-card war reporter Jack Chapman feel alive. These days he needs some time out before he burns out. So what better distraction than delectable pastry chef Ellie Evans? She’s oh-so-tempting…and sleeping right next door! Perfect for a short-term fling!

Ellie knows it would be beyond stupid to fall for a guy with ice in his veins, who’s always on the move. But daredevil Jack is even more irresistible than her death-by-chocolate cake – and saying no has never been Ellie’s strong point!

There’s nothing more I like than a love story that features food in it somewhere.  I’ve written about it extensively (see previous blogposts) and personally feel that there’s nothing sexier than a Marks & Spencers advert.

So a pastry chef as our heroine?  Delectable!  And indeed she is.  Ellie Evans is feisty, lives in the perfect house and has an aversion to war reporters due to some extensive father issues.  Just her luck then that said father sends Jack to recover in her tiny part of the world.  Pile on top the fact that her business has to find a new home and she’s certainly got her hands full.

And my goodness I wouldn’t mind having my hands full of Jack Chapman.  The man is positively brimming with tension, as well as the fact that he is clearly damaged goods and needs fixing pronto.

Lusty comments aside, it’s what I’d class as an enchanting story – Ellie’s the kind of person who makes you think of your best friend.  She’s a business woman, passionate about what she does and is clearly far more savvy than I’ll ever be.  But Wood’s coup is the fact that, despite all this near-perfection, we like Ellie.  As I’ve previously stated, I dislike perfect heroines but the sheer loveliness and niceness of Ellie makes me smile.  She makes me think of the kind of person I’d want to be – sarcy comebacks and all.

Also, there’s the use of the delayed HEA: a more romantic version of delayed gratification.  Just as in sex delayed gratification can make the end the result all the more pleasurable, the delayed HEA actually makes a romantic ending seem more important.  Nietzsche (get me getting all English graduate-y!) argued that things only exist when we identify what they are not, and delaying the HEA does this also.  It’s only when Ellie and Jack realise what they are without each other, that what they are with each other truly makes sense.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

Fully satisfying and utterly charming, Joss Wood’s first #ModernTempted book’s definitely one to pop on your TBR list!

Mills & Boon Boy 4: 
Mike (aka D’Artagnan)

Reaction to Photograph Request: 
Drunken sage-like nodding, followed by a benevolent offer of posing sans shirt, a la 90s M&B covers.


  1. While Matt G will always hold a special place in my heart - being my first Mills & Boon boy and all - Mike is now a very close second. The chest! The hair! The placement of the book!

    Have loved every one of your Modern Tempted reviews, Alicia. Thanks for making my week : )

    1. Matt's initial reaction when I asked was "Do I have to be naked?!" due to the fact that he'd walked in on Mike's photoshoot in intense confusion!

      Haha! Thank you so much! I've enjoyed it immensely - I'm just sad that the rest aren't out for a bit, and then only in ebook format til the month after! :( Still, I'm planning on a weekly M&B Boy post so I shan't disappear altogether!

  2. Replies
    1. Haha! Thank you! Just sad that Modern Tempted's only four paperbacks a month! Almost makes me wish I lived in the US, so I could get the KISS backlog!

  3. Alicia, as Aimee and Amy said said, it's been such a fun week! Thank you for the huge smiles you've put on all our faces!

    Now, if you could just bubble wrap Mike for me and put him on the next plane....:-D

    1. Haha! No problem at all, I'm just relieved that Riva's been reborn as Modern Tempted! :)

      I'll see what I can do...he comes complete with a ukelele and an encyclopediac knowledge of obscure Russian Literature.