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!FREE DOWNLOAD ☻ Bargain With The Devil ♳ Every line of his face, from the deep set eyes to the arrogant nose and harshly carved cheekbones, declared that this was a man who lived by his own rules He hadn t come to Tucson for his health Hunter Manning wanted revenge Stacy Rylan looked into the eyes of the man who meant to ruin her father She had made a bargain agreed to marry him if he would stop his threats With a coolly possessive air that defied protest, his hands settled on her small waist and moved slowly upward How could she go through with it She despised him His touch made her tremble with outrage and desire A little better than some of the others written at this time 1981 and in this genre, it still does not approach Ms Krentz s later work, like Eye of the Beholder 1999 , for example, which also has a revenge possibility theme but is handled in a muchmature way Getting closer, however My main problem with the book is the dialogue Stacey s responses are generally made out of anger and I think they would have been better and usually the same if she had used areasonable approach A little better than some of the others written at this time 1981 and in this genre, it still does not approach Ms Krentz s later work, like Eye of the Beholder 1999 , for example, which also has a revenge possibility theme but is handled in a muchmature way Getting closer, however My main problem with the book is the dialogue Stacey s responses are generally made out of anger and I think they would have been better and usually the same if she had used areasonable approach The constant anger made her seem very young, and I found it hard to believe that the owner of a nursery or any other business, for that matter would be so inclined to let loose at the smallest provocation, not that the provocations in this case were always small, but she never seemed to stop and think before letting words fly This book wasn t as bad as I expected it to be, given its age and premise Even though the hero is domineering and possessive to the point of ridiculousness, it s not as bad as some of this author s other works from this time period.The premise of the book is that the hero, Hunter, is out to revenge himself upon the heroine s family for a decades old business deal involving their fathers Rather than get his revenge through shrewd business tactics or something along those lines, Hunter decides t This book wasn t as bad as I expected it to be, given its age and premise Even though the hero is domineering and possessive to the point of ridiculousness, it s not as bad as some of this author s other works from this time period.The premise of the book is that the hero, Hunter, is out to revenge himself upon the heroine s family for a decades old business deal involving their fathers Rather than get his revenge through shrewd business tactics or something along those lines, Hunter decides that the best way to make the Ryan patriarch pay is to seduce the heroine s brother s brainless and self centered wife The idea being that the brother will be so devastated and distracted by his wife s infidelity that he ll let the company, of which he s now in charge, go straight down the tubes It s one of the most idiotic plans I ve ever seen in a book But evenidiotic is when the heronie, Stacy, witnesses Hunter working the wife over with his irresistible charms and jumps in to offer herself in the wife s place She convinces Hunter that his revenge will be all the sweeter if he lays claim to a full blooded Ryan daughter rather than just a daughter in law.Hunter agrees and immediately shifts his revenge plans to include turning a Ryan woman into a Manning woman He insists that they get married, not just have an affair, because it ll make his revenge all that muchdevastating to her father Stacy somehow feels that she s got no alternative but to agree to marriage She couldn t, say, tell her brother and his wife what Hunter was up to or anything like that They announce their engagement a scant five minutes later and the brother s wife shoots daggers at Stacy and makes nasty comments to her while very obviously throwing herself at Hunter for the rest of the book Her husband is completely oblivious to this until Hunter finally clues him in and gives him advice on how to force his little woman to fall in line.Like I said, the premise of the book is completely ridiculous and unbelievable, but once things hit the road the story isn t TOO offensive There are quite a few questionable scenes where Stacy rebels against Hunter s high handed tactics and Hunter responds with a lot of threatening Neanderthal talk about how she belongs to him and as his wife she has a duty to behave the way he requires He threatens to beat her on a couple of occasions but thankfully never does His solution to virtually every problem is a good sound boinking and despite all her protests and speeches about standing her ground, Stacy falls for this tactic every time.It s eye rollingly indicative of the mentality of romance novels in this period that all women just need and secretly long for a strong, intractable man to come into their lives and dictate their every move That they re all completely at the mercy of their hormones and if a man can show a woman a good time in the bedroom she ll be his willing slave for life And happily abandon anything she formerly cared about to remaking herself in the man s image of a perfectly obedient little woman.All in all it s a silly book that highlights everything that was ridiculous about romance novels from the early 80 s, but it s far from the most offensive one I ve read I can t say I recommend it to anyone but it s not necessary to hold a book burning party either I never thought I d ever EVER read a book with that kind of theme and like it but I actually did , It s one of those books that have a hero you love and hate at the same time it s an 80 s book so I let some things slide because I understand things were a lot different back then when it came to relationships between men and women and since the book didn t take it too far I was able to enjoy it without being pissed Hunter had a very menacing personality bordering on really mean sometimes I never thought I d ever EVER read a book with that kind of theme and like it but I actually did , It s one of those books that have a hero you love and hate at the same time it s an 80 s book so I let some things slide because I understand things were a lot different back then when it came to relationships between men and women and since the book didn t take it too far I was able to enjoy it without being pissed Hunter had a very menacing personality bordering on really mean sometimes , you hate him from the first page yet you re intrigued by him and kinda of curious to see a flicker of warm emotions from him , he is ruthless but beneath that exterior that runs a bit deep lies something completely different Stacy has a very fiery temper but she also has a kind heart and wits to go with that , she has a cheerful aura when she s not blowing steam from her ears which is pretty often but who can blame her and a unique sense of style , she s a character you could love easily The relationship between Hunter and Stacey was very intense , they both were equally strong and the clash of wills between them was disastrous , they fought a lot , exchanged harsh words and accusations but above all of that they had passion I will not deny it , the book has it s share of cheesy lines really cheesy lines and eye twitching moments but call me Crazy I actually kinda of enjoyed them Jayne Castle Jayne Ann Krentz Amanda Quick s second book Much like early Nora Roberts, she hasn t found her footing completely in this one, but there sthan a glimmer of brilliance I think readers new to vintage romance would do well to read the introductory chapter of Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women because when put into that context, a book like this makes so muchsense I m going to review this with quotes on my blog for TBR Challenge within that context so check back on the 2 Jayne Castle Jayne Ann Krentz Amanda Quick s second book Much like early Nora Roberts, she hasn t found her footing completely in this one, but there sthan a glimmer of brilliance I think readers new to vintage romance would do well to read the introductory chapter of Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women because when put into that context, a book like this makes so muchsense I m going to review this with quotes on my blog for TBR Challenge within that context so check back on the 21st for an updated review These earlier books of this author Jayne Castle, Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick were a sign of the times Very old ideas about men being in control of women and thinking it cute when women have an opinion It s a little irritating, especially since I m in my sixties and that should not have had to be apparent in books in order to sell them However the writing is smooth as always, easy to read and there are a couple of scenes that brought a smile to my face I m not sure these early ones are These earlier books of this author Jayne Castle, Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick were a sign of the times Very old ideas about men being in control of women and thinking it cute when women have an opinion It s a little irritating, especially since I m in my sixties and that should not have had to be apparent in books in order to sell them However the writing is smooth as always, easy to read and there are a couple of scenes that brought a smile to my face I m not sure these early ones are worth keeping like the others are, as I doubt I will reread them This book was published in 1981, which may have been why I found the story and the character behavior so horrible Actually, I could have dealt with the plot, even though it was ridiculous I ve read books with ridiculous plots and liked them But the charactersspecifically the male leadwas awful I m not sure if he was supposed to be the 1981 version of Christian Grey or not, but he was overbearing and borderline abusive I just can t buy a romance where the man tells the woman what she c This book was published in 1981, which may have been why I found the story and the character behavior so horrible Actually, I could have dealt with the plot, even though it was ridiculous I ve read books with ridiculous plots and liked them But the charactersspecifically the male leadwas awful I m not sure if he was supposed to be the 1981 version of Christian Grey or not, but he was overbearing and borderline abusive I just can t buy a romance where the man tells the woman what she can and can t wear, threatens to beat her, and pretty much insinuates he owns her Different times, I guess I finished it because it was a short read Best part of the book is that I can add it to my Goodreads challenge as another one finished I think this book should come with trigger word warnings or something I guess I should have known what it would be like, seeing as it was published in the 80s The main character is the most abusive a hole ever Be aware This book triggered some horrible feelings in me. This is my favorite form of the revenge plot in romance the hero, seeking vengeance against the heroine s family for a wrongdoing in which the heroine is in no way implicated , attempts to use the heroine as a tool of revenge but is ultimately sidetracked by love This type of plot keeps the protagonists relationship at the center of the conflict, while the hero sacrificing his revenge is ample proof of his love and willingness to change without being a cheesy big gesture In Bargain with th This is my favorite form of the revenge plot in romance the hero, seeking vengeance against the heroine s family for a wrongdoing in which the heroine is in no way implicated , attempts to use the heroine as a tool of revenge but is ultimately sidetracked by love This type of plot keeps the protagonists relationship at the center of the conflict, while the hero sacrificing his revenge is ample proof of his love and willingness to change without being a cheesy big gesture In Bargain with the Devil, the hero wants revenge because fourteen years ago the heroine s father took over his father s electronics firm, then fired his father The young hero pleaded with the heroine s father not to go through with the deal, but his appeal was scorned The hero s father died a year later, having lost the will to live when he lost his company We re not going to question whether this is a legitimate reason for vengeance, although I suspect the hero isinterested in avenging his pride than avenging his dead father We re just going to question the hero s methods The hero s cunning plan is to seduce the heroine s brother s selfish, immature, newlywed bride This will distract the brother from his duties running his father s company he has just taken over as CEO from his father and drive it into the ground The heroine s father will be humiliated by his son s failure in both business and marriage Wow Pretty evil there, hero view spoiler The vegetarian heroine uncovers this plot when she eavesdrops on the hero flirting with the wife during a party at the brother s home She immediately tries to debate him out of it revenge won t bring happiness, yadda ya and actually manages to make a mark when she argues that targeting the sister in law is dishonorable Why would he want to ruin the life of a woman who had nothing to do with the damage to the hero s father ego By my standards, it s dishonorable to target anyone but the heroine s father and the business directly, but the person I feel the least pity for is the potentially unfaithful wife who has the ability to stop this plot dead simply by not cheating on her loving husband Having made inroads by questioning the hero s honor, the heroine moves in with a counterproposal Instead of targeting her brother, why not use her He can pretend to have an affair with her that will surely humiliate her father No, says the hero A pretend affair wouldn t be any fun After he compels the heroine to offer to sleep with him for real, he insists even a real affair wouldn t do enough damage Instead, the heroine has to marry him because that will effectively deprive the father of his daughter I m going to make a Manning out of you, he vowed With every fiber of your being, you will behave first as a Manning When there are any choices to be made, you will make them with the good of the Manning family in mind And above all you will be loyal to your Manning husband The dark head nodded in satisfaction Paul Rylan will know he has lost you to me, and he will understand that there is at long last a penalty to be paid for what he did fourteen years ago My first reaction to this is loyal about what Lose how Is he going to forbid her to go to Sunday dinner We had telephones for communication in 1981 Land lines, but stillthey worked Whatever Let s just let Heathcliff enjoy his 1850s style revenge in which he will own the heroine via marriage What Heathcliff here doesn t realize is that the heroine and her father don t get along She refused to be molded into the perfect debutante daughter and insisted on starting her own business a plant nursery instead, so Dad basically washed his hands of her Aexperienced JAK would never allow a revenge plotting hero to go into a situation as blind as this guy It shows a lack of competence He didn t even know there was a daughter until she spied him with the wannabe adulteress and introduced herself He doesn t know the state of her relationship with her father But he just promised marriage to her will be the sum total of his revenge The hero arranges a church wedding with the brother and his flighty wife as witnesses The heroine shows up in jeans because she thought this was going to be a slapdash courthouse affair The sister in law gazes yearningly at her would have been boyfriend, though like all good JAK heroes, he has zero interest in her now that he has targeted the heroine It s sadlarious to witness Fortunately, the brother has no idea what s going on.The father phones on their wedding night to reveal that ha ha the hero has married an unwanted daughter and bound himself to a woman unsuited to be a business executive s helpmeet When the heroine reminds the hero that he agreed this marriage would be the full extent of his revenge, he asks her why she thinks he ll still honor that bargain Because you promised This is pretty much the moment the hero falls in love He declares her father is a fool for not properly valuing the stronger of his two offspring and the revenge has suddenly become a very subtle thing indeed They spend their weekend honeymoon moving all the plants from her rented house to his home, touring beautiful Tucson, and sexing it up with plenty of garden metaphors The predatory sister in law calls to invite them to dinner on Monday, where the hero befriends the nice enough brother by giving him business advice while the jealous sister in law accuses the heroine of trapping the hero into marriage with a pregnancy Discussing her non existent pregnancy with the hero on their drive home, the heroine begins to worry that his revenge has indeed become a subtle thing is he befriending her brother to undermine her father Does he want a child only to turn it against its grandparents The next couple of chapters are an opportunity for the protagonists to get to know each other better while they settle into their marriage The husband throws a jealous fit outside a restaurant because he thinks his wife is lunching with her former boyfriend She wasn t He buys her a sports car as a belated wedding present and insists it s not an apology for the embarrassing jealous scene While he s showing off the car, they have a moment when the heroine jokes that he s going to be the kind of father who buys toy trains for his two year old daughter and then plays with them himself That night, when they re having sex, the hero asks if she would be willing to have a child with him a little red headed girl with green eyes to whom I shall give toy trains It s kind of adorable.The unfashionable heroine demonstrates her willingness to step up as a spousal accessory by wearing a gorgeous dress to a cocktail party the next night Her troubled brother and sister in law are also there, and the hero sets the s i l up to expose her wayward tendencies to her husband The hero advises the brother to fix his marriage by beating then sleeping with his wife And my brother is planning on taking all this grand advice Stacy asked scornfully, wondering how men could be so dumb Bless you, Stacy The now subdued sister in law onceinvites the protagonists to her home for a dinner, this time welcoming the heroine s parents back from the cruise they ve been on for the whole book We finally get the long awaited confrontation between the heroine s father and the hero, where the h s father suggests that the hero is only befriending his wife and son for nefarious purposes and the heroine comes to the hero s defense Finally the father concedes that maaaaaybe he could have handled the business deal differently 14 years ago, and suggests that the heroine will eventually change the paradigm You may have made a Manning out of her, but she s also my daughter You and I will be quite helpless when she fully realizes her own power I m very much afraid that the weapon you have used against me will ultimately prove a chain that will tie the Rylans and the Mannings together When they re alone again, the hero tells the heroine she s free to go He s wiping out the debt because the heroine was right he can t have both happiness and revenge The heroine is all dude, you are NOT throwing away this marriage They confess mutual love, the hero sheds a couple of tears,garden metaphor sex ensues, and we leave them arguing over whether she ll let him teach her how to drive stick That s not a sexual innuendo The wedding present has a manual transmission, and like me the heroine can only drive automatic HEA hide spoiler Is there a J Evans Pritchard scale for rating romance I readily confess that giving this book 4 stars is objectively out of whack But I lov well, like it a whole lot.I appreciated the plotting hero, the quirky detail of the heroine s vegetarianism warning to sensitive vegetarians the hero does make fun of her and refers to her diet as nuts and berries , the chemistry between the protagonists, and the way JAK surfaces the issues around vengeance The hero sacrifices his revenge for the heroine, but also because he doesn t want to become like their mutually horrible fathers And I thought the transparently awful sister in law was a riot.I feel distanced from rather than threatened by the overt chauvinism because it felt anachronistic even when I was reading this book in the 80s I wasn t raised to be chattel The heroine didn t consider herself a man s possession even if she was incapable of reading the schematics for her DIY backyard greenhouse It s almost a joke to me that even in 1981 these men s attitudes were thirty to a hundred years out of sync But the struggle is real, so I can see where another reader might be very uncomfortable with the hero s outdated declarations JAK checklist Pacific Northwest setting Tucson We might as well be on another planet.Familiar professions He owns a real estate development firm countless heroes and their families will follow in his footsteps She grows plants While at least two heroes not a typo will follow in her footsteps, I had to do a shelf scan to identify another plant centric JAK heroine the florist from Full Bloom.What s in a name Hunter Manning may be the definitive name for a romance hero Hunter Manning It oozes alpha testosterone.Marital status They re both single, never married.Age She s 27 he s 34 Heroine s eye exam Green to go with her green thumb Hero s eye exam His eyes are repeatedly described as foggy I hope he s been tested for cataracts.Hair color His is black with a dramatic silver streak hers is dark brown with buried hints of red, but he s going to call her a redheaded witch Pets Just plants Lots and lots of plants Vehicles spell success No namedropping, but he drives a sleek, expensive black sports car and buys her a sexy green sports car.Metaphors are for flogging He s a devil and she s a witch In bed, she s a garden and he s a gardener.Hero threatens to spank heroine I lost count after a half dozen threats to keep her in line by beating her, until he finally gives the advice to the mild mannered brother who apparently used it 4 Stars