A stand alone novel, published in 1984. My copy is the little cover, published by Mira. Which I prefer.
Was he trying to control her . . . or protect her?
Life has taught Abby Lyndon the value of independence -- and the price she's paid to learn that lesson was high. A relationship gone terribly, unexpectedly wrong has left her wary and determined to control her own life. But Torr Latimer is equally determined to make Abby his own.
Torr's unwavering persistence leaves Abby nervous, confused . . . and undeniably drawn to the force of his passion. But when a nightmare from her past resurfaces, Abby has little choice but to accept Torr's help. Hidden at his remote cabin in the woods, Abby must decide if he's offering her shelter or trying to possess her. Or is Torr promising something else altogether: love?
Two years ago, Abby ran from an unwelcome suitor. She has build a new life for herself in Seattle, selling vitamins (and taking a lot of them herself!) She has people working for her, who sell them door to door, and business is actually good. She is taking a class in Japanese flower arrangements, but is horrible at it. She can never stop with just three flowers and a leaf, her arrangements are chaos. She is fascinated by Torr though, and the beautiful, severe arrangements he creates. And Torr is fascinated by her as well. And he decides he wants her, in his bed, in his life. And when Torr decides something, he goes after it full force. No stopping him.
Abby just got an unpleasant reminder of a weekend at the ocean two months ago, and is unsettled by this. When Torr senses something is wrong, he just barges in, and takes over control. Of everything. No matter how much Abby protests, there is no sway in him. He will take care of her, he will protect her. But Abby is very weary of possessive controlling men, and he will have to earn her trust by being patient. After the first hot night, they took the time to become friends, and for Abby to trust Torr. Bit by bit he tore the truth about her past out of her, and took her with him to confront her cousin’s husband, and tell him about the blackmail.
Okay, remember this book was written in 1984! Or even earlier, who knows. It is one of Jayne Ann Krentz’ first books. And the attitude back then was so very different. But I kept reading this time, because A: it is a JAK book, and I just love them all. The writing style, the characters, the subtle humor, the twists in the plot. Okay, no big surprises there, I guessed the truth at first. And B: It is a JAK book!
Truth then: I did like Abby, but she let Torr run all over her. Not that I can see a way to stop him from doing that. After all, she was attracted to him from the first moment she met him. Which was a new sensation for her. And she did feel safe with him, he would never willingly hurt her.
But Torr. He was a real alpha alpha male. She was his, his to keep, his to protect. She belonged to him, and she better admit it, and soon! Abby did not want to belong to him (of course not!). I did hate it, that she had to spill her guts, tell him everything about her past, especially her past lovers, while he kept silent about himself and his previous marriage (he is a widower). At a bad moment, the truth came out anyway.
Abby is more than able to take care of herself, but she lets Torr get away with a lot of things. He sure did get under my skin, I was irritated with him. Very highhanded and sure of himself. At one hand he admires Abby for who she is, and he lets her be herself, but on the other hand, he wants to control her completely.