The Italian's Blackmailed Mistress (Harlequin Presents)

The Italian's Blackmailed Mistress - Jacqueline Baird Heroine had a very brief affair with Hero when she was 19. She is now being blackmailed by him to be his mistress as payback for for her supposed callousness with him 7 yrs ago & his clearing her dad's huge debts in the present. Heroine is confused about why he feels this way. She feels she's the one wronged, after overhearing a part of his conversation with his stepsister about their secret r/s with each other. She reluctantly agrees to be his mistress for the sake of her young half-brother. As they spend time together, they begin to discover that they may have thought wrongly about the other.

Like other Baird books, this one did well to involve my emotions. Quick read. Romance, sexual chemistry, & love scenes were good. I liked the character development as well, although it could've been improved. Although both characters jumped to conclusions without confronting the other, it was understandable given other factors in their life at that time including heroine's immaturity & Hero's just finding out about his cancer. I wish Hero groveled more since he was mean with heroine at times & hypocritically judged her as a slut. One thing that Baird does to interfere with what-could've-been-better groveling by Hero is having her heroine cut hero off with "you don't have to explain" or the quick "i forgive you" or some other distraction. Grrr. In any case, this was a decent overall read.