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The Italian's One-Night Baby by Lynne Graham

Comfort read and love scene masterclass

Lynne Graham is a comfort-read voice for me. Reading her is slipping into memories of previous favourites with echoes of  Lynne Graham heroes and heroines that enhance the reading experience.

That same voice kept me turning the pages–despite not being a fan of the playboy-trope–when I was suspicious of Rio’s motivations for thinking the worst of Ellie, who isn’t my favourite Lynne Graham heroine, but holds her own with other Mills and Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents’ heroines.

If voice and character carry the beginning, then I also loved how she delivers un-skippable love scenes….

The first love scene felt like an extension of how gorgeous the hero is and who’s going to say no to a Lynne-Graham hero…? SPOILER I loved how Ellie tells Rio to just get it over with and he’s affronted. END OF SPOILER

So we have triple helpings of backstory/conflict, misunderstanding and suspicion, overridden by high emotion and sexual tension, and a love scene where SPOILER Rio discovers that Ellie’s a virgin END OF SPOILER

A lovely emotional mess. *rubs hands together gleefully*

The second love scene almost made me *peer through fingers* and think: Oh, no, I’m afraid this is going to be page-filler and skippable. But it isn’t. It comes in the angry aftermath of falling out during their wedding. I won’t go into details as there’ll be more spoiler tags than review if I’m not careful! And it ends on an emotional low note. Low note for the relationship, not for the writing.

Third love scene–I’m definitely going to skip this, aren’t I? but thought with a lot more uncertainty and a lot more willingness to read on and be proved wrong again. This time we’re eased into it with dialogue and see a different side of their relationship. A what-their-marriage-could-be-like side. Again, the love scene ends on an emotional turning point, making it impossible to look away.

The flipside of reading a writer whose previous characters still share the pages with you, is that it creates high expectations and I found myself measuring this not only against the Modern/Presents’ line, but against other Lynne Graham’s, one of the authors who IS the line.

And I think The Italian’s One-Night Baby meets the expectations of readers already in love with her books, but there’s enough of where the line is at now to satisfy newer readers. Such as, the areas that I’d been suspicious of being too older-Presents (misunderstandings shoring up conflict and the trigger for the black moment) but which are borne of the hero and heroine’s pasts, particularly the hero’s.

Four out of five Lynne-Graham stars

Arc received from NetGalley and Mills and Boon via Mills and Boon Insiders

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