Bond Of Destiny Paperback – December 1, 1990
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Hardcover, Large Print
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Damien had caught up with her. He was as hard and arrogant as ever and just as devastating. "I intend to marry you," he said, "but you'll never get under my skin again. I won't make that mistake twice." He had haunted Victoria's dreams since she was little more than a child. He had walked like a god through her world. But Victoria had spent the last six years trying to put the past behind her. She knew that Damien wasn't interested in her as much as in her inheritance - and she was determined not to succumb to him.
I liked this book. The characters had good chemistry and dialogue. It is a keeper for me and I recommend it.
Damien Hunt, mid-thirties, is the elder son who runs half of the Kendal and Hunt families' partnership. Their mill, located in a small valley in northern England, is the lifeblood of the small community. He is darkly handsome, intelligent, used to making and having his own way, and is wealthy in his own right from outside business investments. He also works hard and cares very much about the mill and about the local people.
Andrew Kendal was a shrewd businessman and not above manipulating people. He cared for his young granddaughter, Victoria, after her parents' death, sending her to private schools and keeping her isolated from the world. He was very old-fashioned in his views and would not let Victoria learn anything about business or even allow her to visit the mills just a short distance from their home.
The story begins with Victoria, 24, in London, a successful model, who shows a cold and impersonal face to the world, at a fashion show where Damien unexpectedly shows up. It is a shock because she has not seen him in 6 years since she ran away from their engagement. While this drops the reader into the middle of the story, Ms Wilson does a wonderful job of using flashbacks to explain what has happened between them and reveal more about the characters. We quickly learn that Victoria was in awe of Damien as a child and young girl, and while he acted as her protector at times, his seemingly thoughtless remarks had often hurt her feelings when an awkward teenager.
Yet, she was fascinated and drawn to him and at the age of 18 she realized she was in love with him, and she and Damien became engaged, Damien confiding that he has waited for her and wanted her for years. Her grandfather was pleased when she told him and revealed that he had been preparing her for Damien and, as he had planned, that Damien would now gain control of the company. Hurt and feeling used by both of them, Victoria runs away to London not to return until Damien arrives announcing her grandfather's death that he, Damien,has come to bring her home...and to claim her again.
Thus the story gets going: Damien is clear that he will have her, preferably legally as his wife, while Victoria insists she will not marry him, but will return to London and sell her part of the mill. Easier said than done since she is still attracted to Damien, and it is only when with him that she feels safe. If only he loved her...
Despite the POV being only that of Victoria, the author gives us good insight into Damien through his words and actions, and we get glimpses of what is behind his anger and arrogance. We see that he cares about Victoria, even though he thinks she's been living a fast and loose glamorous life, and that is what makes the story work- he does care and she is foremost in his actions and desires. Victoria is fragile and unhappy, not the best heroine for a reader to identify with, but she acts pretty normal and isn't a doormat, so that helps.
There is sex, not graphic and never forced, but there are descriptions of intimate touching, etc., and some foul language, so definitely not a "clean" romance. The ending is one of the best I've come across and is not abrupt. There are a few secondary characters, but the focus is on Damien and Victoria.
Recommended, but if you cannot abide a controlling hero of any sort, you might want to find a different book.