BITTER HONEY

Pure Romance BITTER HONEY

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[ 3-day rental ]

BITTER HONEY

Paige and Declan met as teenagers when their parents were planning to marry one another. But after the brash young man raging against his father said horrible things about Paige and her mother, the young girl made a vow to improve her life and make Declan eat his words. Years later, they meet, and Declan falls in love with the wounded girl who’s now a woman.

Reading terms 3-day rental / membership period
Price
Preview 30 Pages
Pages 129 Pages

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4.3 (10 customer reviews)
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Okay. Don't let past hatreds chain your future. 3  3

SPOILER ALERT: Our heroine has an axe to grind left over from when her mother started dating a rich man. Initially, his son was delightfully charming and she fell for him. The hero’s mother died several years ago, and while he’s tolerated his father dating “tons of women” since then, once he realizes how serious his father is for this new woman, he’s furious. He confronts his dad in the garden calling the heroine’s mom a gold digger and regarding her daughter, there no way he can see that ugly thing as a sister, and the heroine - eavesdropping by accident – hears it all. The father tells his son he’s getting married whether the son likes it or not, and if the son can’t accept it, he doesn’t need to stick around. The exchange turns the heroine’s first love into abiding hate wanting revenge. She decides to keep what she heard secret and dedicates her life to becoming beautiful and financially independent so the son can’t accuse her of being after his father’s money too. Six years later, not only is she beautiful, but she is an up-and-coming fashion designer. Our story starts in earnest when the two finally meet again when the son agrees to come to his father’s 50th birthday party. The hero is smitten with the heroine, not even recognizing her, and when he does, although he praises her freely, she will have none of it. She spews vitriol at him every chance she gets, much to her mother’s chagrin, and later. When he confronts her to ask why, she refuses to explain, so the hero steals a kiss telling her he intends to make her change her mind and he always gets what he wants. She blows up and informs him she will absolutely not be made to do something she doesn’t want. It’s the proverbial unmovable object vrs the unstoppable force. The hero manages to convince her to curb her tongue for the sake of the party and it’s an interesting exchange where he asks questions aloud, we see what she answers aloud but we also see what she answers silently and it ends in another, more passionate, stolen kiss which sends the heroine fleeing. In her room she condemns herself, and the next morning she gets silently pressured to go sightseeing with the hero by her stepfather who wants them to get along. She’s surprised when, along the way, he praises her mother and says his dad has been happier since their marriage, but then turns around and says he does not believe in lifelong love. They visit a historic mansion where she keeps up her haughty banter, but in a secluded bedroom the hero decided to test her reactions to confirm his theory that she’s a virgin, and even though he apologizes, the process leaves her feeling betrayed and humiliated yet again. She goes home that night and throws herself back into her work with a vengeance until Christmas has her returning to her parents. The hero greets her warmly and at dinner she ponders about a distance between the hero and his father before she excuses herself, feeling worn out and possibly ill, after plans are made for the theatre the next night. When turns up ill the next morning, the hero accuses her of faking it to avoid going to the theatre with him but is proven wrong when she faints. She wakes with a vague memory of the hero saying nice things to her but dismisses it as her imagination. By evening her fever has gone down so she insists the other can go to the theatre without her and decides to take a bath, only to find out she isn’t as recovered as she thought. The hero finds her acting wimpy and blows up, and unable to keep her strong front up, she melts into tears. The hero apologizes, repeating something he had said in her dream. She calms down and he agrees to let her take a bath, and then serves her some homemade food. They converse pleasantly for a bit until his explaining he wants them to get to know each other collides headlong into her wall of distrust, but she AGAIN refuses to tell him WHY she hates him, fearing she’ll be humiliated and hurt a third time. This leads to a discussion of his not being successful if he is financially well off but emotionally lacking, and she learns about his experience of being a child from a loveless marriage and about how he was left to deal with his grief alone as his dad started dating – plain, ordinary women. Here the heroine gets surprisingly wise and explains his dad didn’t remarry right away because he DID love the hero’s mom; that he was dating plain women because he wasn’t looking for something flashy, but peaceful; and that the hero never saw him mourn because his dad was trying to be strong for him. The hero is stunned by the revelation, then flips, deciding she’s lying to get revenge for the sightseeing trip. She denies it, saying he doesn’t understand her, and he agrees. He can’t, when he doesn’t even know why she hates him. She doesn’t answer, so he leaves with a very final sounding goodbye, giving her the gift of a Christmas without him. After he leaves, she comes to the realization she actually loves him, and she has sealed her own fate. After Christmas, she is back to working and she is surprised when the hero drops by her work and asks her to dinner, saying he has something to tell her. At dinner, he seems troubled and the heroine’s questions reveal he is troubled about love, sending her thoughts in a tizzy. Just what kind of woman had he fallen in love with?!? He also asks about Matthew, a longtime friend she works with, and even attended the birthday with. As they leave, the hero starts to say something, but the phone rings. It’s Matthew, worried she’s not overworking over the New Year’s holiday. After the phone call, the hero and heroine part, he commenting he wished he could have just thought of her as a cute sister. The heroine is devastated, thinking he doesn’t even consider her family, and then she gets a call from her mother asking if she’s seen the hero and if he’s okay. She says he came by and reconciled with his father and left. It’s a short conversation, but no sooner than she’s hung up, than it rings again. It’s the hero calling to tell her he’s leaving for the airport. He’s moving his business to America and won’t be back, but please, before he goes, can he know why she hates him? She FINALLY musters the courage to tell him, and he hangs up before she can tell him how she feels NOW! It’s a Harlequin, so you know it has a happy ending, but it seems like it would be spoiling too much to tell you exactly HOW they end up there. It was pretty sweet. I enjoyed the story but found myself frustrated by the heroine’s stubborn refusal to tell the hero just WHY she hated him, especially when she started to get hints that he wasn’t as nasty an individual as she thought. He originally hated her mom, and now he likes her. He originally said the heroine was ugly and now he says she’s beautiful. Might he have changed his mind? Might he think differently now? Wouldn’t that theory be worth exploring, especially when your attitude bothers your mom and stepdad? You don’t have to outright confront him. You could ask leading questions... ‘Really? You think of my mom as a lady? I'm glad to hear that. Considering our middle-class background, I’m surprised you didn’t think she was just after your father’s money.’ I don’t know. It wasn’t a bad story. I liked that they didn’t jump into bed (although you get the feeling he could have made it happen if he wanted) and I enjoyed the art - his face, especially, really added depth to the emotions of certain moments - but I don’t like people who absolutely cling to their emotional positions in spite of evidence they may be wrong without even letting themselves CONSIDER that they might be wrong and trying to find out. All in all, I’m glad I only rented it.

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