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Dishonourable Intentions by Sally Wentworth

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I hate Harriet.

  • She’s #notlikeothergirls. She fixed up her own car! She can change a lightbulb! (Not joking about this, it’s mentioned on page 7 as a reason her male flatmate doesn’t fancy her. Seriously).
  • She’s an actress in her mid-twenties who is more prudish and judgmental than a virgin nun in a Victorian convent.
  • And this: Harriet looked up from the double-decker hamburger that she was about to bite into and shrugged. “I don’t know. I can eat anything and never put on weight. I think it’s something to do with your metabolism; you either stay thin all your life or you put on weight. It’s just the luck of the draw. If this had been the eighteenth or nineteenth century when it was fashionable to be plump, I’d have been envious of you.” Sure you would, Harriet. You’d be smugly lacing your Marie Antoinette-sized waist into your stays, while faux-consoling your fat besties that they’re “so much prettier than you”. In the happy confidence that they’re not.

I also hate Rex. Because he has a moustache and he doesn’t know what a “pavement” is. I could have maybe overlooked it, were it not for the fact we get this:

He parted the cross-over front of her blouse and went on down, kissing the shadowed valley between her breasts, his moustache soft and silky against her skin.

(I texted this to my bestie and she texted back a vomit emoji).

I can only assume that Sally Wentworth or someone at Mills & Boon decided there was a burning need to cater to the Tom Selleck/Burt Reynolds market because nothing else explains this inexplicable trainwreck of a moustachioed horndog American actor and endlessly uptight Brit.

But the crowning HORROR of this book – written in 1988, an era of power suits and female prime ministers – was this:

His eyes shadowed. “But there’s your career, your family.”

“Well, as far as my career is concerned it definitely takes second place now. Somehow ambition seems to fly out of the window when you fall in love.”

I can’t even