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Melting Fire by Anne Mather

Melting Fire by Anne Mather
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Melting Fire is hot. There is a very edgy, forced-seduction first-time scene that may be too much for some readers.

Olivia, 19, has just left finishing school in Paris, where she picked up a famous French popstar boyfriend, Jules Merignac. However, her stepbrother Richard, 37, who has acted as her guardian since she was four-years-old, has other plans.

The nanny/housekeeper, Isabella “Bella” Ponsonby, is a bit of a pain. She is constantly critical of Olivia for being spoilt and taking people for granted, while opposing any attempt for Olivia to actually get a job. She is horrified by the idea of Olivia getting married, but then all on board with her shacking up with her stepbrother.

Richard is creepy. I wish he wasn’t, but he is. There’s the framed schoolgirl photo of Olivia he keeps by his bed. There is all this weird kissing they do, and have always done. On the mouth.

“Come on,” he said dryly, “let’s kiss and make up!” and with a rueful smile she lifted her face to his.

His mouth came down on hers, his hands holding her shoulders, not cruelly now, but warmly, familiarly, the long fingers probing inside the sleeveless shirt to stroke the sun-warmed skin. He had kissed her before, many times, he liked to kiss her, she thought, and she liked him to be happy. But this time it was different, this time her lips parted in remembrance of Jules’s kiss, and Richard responded with an urgency that was alien to her.

Later on he does this in front of his dreary personal assistant, Alex Bishop (male):

His mouth found hers with unerring accuracy, and because her lips had parted in protest against this unexpected assault, his kiss was moistly intimate and her hands groped for him as her legs shook beneath her.

“I needed that,” he murmured, for her ears only, as he drew back from her, and she trembled uncontrollably at the realisation that again he had robbed her of all resistance. It was doubly humiliating when he could turn back to his assistant without any apparent concern, and she guessed Alex had no conception of the intimacy of the embrace he had just witnessed.

How? They’re French-kissing right in front of him, at a time when they’re not even in a relationship. It’s weird.

Then there’s the Seduction Scene, if one can call it that.

“Don’t be embarrassed,” he murmured huskily. “Wait …” and his hand went automatically to the belt of his pants.

“No, Rich, no!”

With a superhuman effort she lunged for the handle of the door, but he was too quick for her. Before she could prevent him, he used her momentary lack of balance to swing her off her feet, and carried her across the room to the bed.

But when he deposited her on the soft sheets, drawn back by Bella earlier in the evening, she scrambled frantically out of his reach, and he had to mount the bed to imprison her, one hand on either side of her.

“Don’t be a little fool,” he said unevenly, his eyes devouring her. “You’re mine—I told you. I’ll never let you go.”

Olivia twisted from side to side. “I—I’ll hate you,” she threatened futilely, but he wasn’t listening to her. He was removing the rest of his clothes, and she turned her head aside from the sight of his powerful body.

“Rich…” she breathed, desperate now. “Rich, please…” but he had bent his head to caress her breasts with his lips, and with a tearful groan of despair she doubted she had the strength to deny him.

But it’s all okay, because Olivia ends up with the usual orgasmic bliss, and then runs away to London – where she finally gets a job! Which she’s good at! – and then finds out she’s pregnant. And then Bella finds out, and then Olivia falls down the stairs and nearly loses the baby, and then they literally abduct her back to Copley. She’s taken on a stretcher in an ambulance to hospital, but instead it drives her back to Richard. And there, we get this beyond WTF dialogue:

“I know, I know. But if you think I only told you I loved you because of the baby, then I hope I lose it. If I have to choose, I’ll choose you every time.”

“Olivia …”

“It’s true!” She stumbled against him, wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing her face to the sweat-moistened skin of his chest. “Do you honestly think I’d go through with this marriage, just to get a father for my child? Richard, there are abortions! And if that’s what it takes to prove it to you, I’m willing.”

I’m pro-choice but I struggled to get past that. She also leaves the kid at three-months old to go on holiday with Richard for several weeks.