You know how some books just get under your skin? Have you ever had one that has stuck around for nearly two decades and you have literally no idea why, but you can’t find your copy of the book to reread and find out? Well…let me tell you a story.
“As a rule, Meghan did not believe in running away. It simply wasn’t her nature. Whatever life dealt out, she stood her ground and stuck out her chin. In this instance, however, she was willing to abandon those high principles. She’d deal with her conscience later. This was Rhys Morgan.”
Meghan McCall is twenty six and your quintessential 90s career woman. She has just pulled off one of the biggest events of her budding promotions career and in walks the past to throw her off kilter. Rhys Morgan. She thought she’d left him behind eight years earlier along with her virginity and most of her dignity when a one-sided love affair her freshman year of college ended in nothing but embarrassment and heartache. However, now he’s here, a superstar in the music industry making an unexpected appearance on her telethon. And every woman in the world wants him. Except Meghan.
In an attempt at reconciliation or an opportunity to have a conversation about what happened between them in college, Rhys hires Meghan’s firm to cover the promotions for the remainder of his tour. With the assistance of Rhys’ prickly manager, Meghan is able to keep her distance from the megastar until one night when Rhys has had enough. He arranges to take Meghan home from the venue, only to accidently embroil her in a kidnapping scheme.
Both Rhys and Meghan find themselves dumped on a deserted island by three two-bit criminals out for ransom. With nothing but time on their hands and their survival at stake—Meghan and Rhys have no choice but to face what’s between them.
<3 <3 <3
Yes, YES, it’s a clichéd romance novel. One of the super soppy ones that most people won’t admit to reading in mixed company. BUT this was more about the journey than the actual book for me. If I were able to pin point such a thing, I would say this the was first romance novel I’d ever read. The first time I read it was my sophomore year of high school some fifteen odd years ago. I have no idea where the original copy came from or where it went actually. However, snatches of this story have lingered in the recesses of my brain for the last decade and a half and I have been determined to find another copy. I was finally successful a couple weeks ago and dove right in as soon as the book hit my doorstep.
I was anxious to see if it was how I had remembered it and what age and experience might have done to my perception of it. I was a very innocent teenager and I read this book about the same time I really got into fanfiction, so I was getting a trial by fire course in the unabashed portrayal of sex in print. I remember my cheeks burning scarlet as I read some of the intimate scenes as a teen. I also recall letting a friend of mine borrow it and her telling me she chucked it across the room every time her mother walked by, knowing her mother would not approve of her reading something so scandalous. (Maybe that’s where my original copy went?) Needless to say, fifteen years later, post 50 Shades of Grey, I may have overstated the amount of scandal housed between these pages. Yes, there is sex, but it’s vague and full of feelings rather than descriptions and there is far less of it than I remembered. I will say, despite the expected clichés and the characters’ remarkable ability to cope with being abducted and left on a deserted island for four months, it still kept me reading.
I found myself enchanted by the whole “90s” of it all. No cell phones, email, or social media. There was no pocket device at the ready to record a “proof of life” message. As someone who is just old enough to remember life before all of the technological conveniences and on occasion wishes she could pry herself from my blasted devices, it brought me a measure of nostalgic joy to find such things absent. Furthermore, there was a sort of chivalrous (if not a bit chauvinistic) quality to all of the male protagonists, valuing virtue and defending honor. As a budding modern feminist, they all came off well-intentioned but ultimately blustery and silly, which was enjoyable in its own right.
Looking back, I am not all together sure why this book stuck with me for so long. Having now reread it, there is nothing about it that stands out. The plot line is not unique and the characters have no qualities that warrant a fifteen year attachment. Perhaps it was the fact that it was my first true romance novel. It was a coming of age moment that sent a hot blush across my cheeks and threw me into the world of adult fiction. I have no regrets about the efforts I put forth to find another copy and taking the time to read it again, if for nothing else than to be able to tell the story of the 15 year journey to reread my first romance.
It is a very “what you see is what you get” novel. There is a half-naked man and a woman in an oversized bathrobe on the cover, you can’t exactly expect literature, but perhaps the perfect rainy day read. If you are into the “two people are trapped together so they must fall in love and then question whether it is really love or just proximity” trope…this is a read for you!!