Kay by this time was just leaving school, but she had spent most of her childhood with her mother’s relations, somewhat flashy suburban people of whom Arline had never approved. There had been so many women after Arline’s death in and out of his life that one more or less could not be expected to stir them, even though he put a gold ring on her third finger. - what a way to stray from the typical BC novel!
All she was aware of in that horrifying breathless moment was that she was staring at the recumbent naked body of a young woman posed on a divan of purple plush across which was thrown a Spanish shawl. - lol omg. Not Cartland's style at all!
"...painting this picture?” “You are,” Fenella replied, “and if you don’t hurry over it the Prentis family will be begging their bread from door to door and that won’t do your publicity any good.” “Damn you, you are a slave driver!” Simon shouted, but he caught his daughter round the shoulders and gave her a bear-like hug. “I am the worst father in Christendom. Nanny is right in all she has ever said about me, but I will turn over a new leaf right away, although I don’t suppose this change of heart will last long.” - what a horrible father...
“You are much too thin to be done naked unless I want to give the public a lesson in anatomy.” “Don’t be so ridiculous, Simon,” Elaine said furiously. “I have a wonderful figure, everybody says so.” “You have a fashionable figure, my dear. That is a very different thing. To me you appear to be giving an impersonation of life in the occupied countries.” - true...Hollywood standards that have survived till today...
“What a bore the boy is.” “I am sorry for him.” “Good gracious! Why should you be?” Rex asked and then added, “Oh, you mean his wounds, I had forgotten about those.” - the way Ransome talked about Nick was a glimpse into his character and foretold that he would not end up with the female lead.
“Fenella, do see, do understand,” she pleaded. “Elaine and Daddy – and then you and her husband – you just can’t, it’s too horrible!” - yup, that's gruesome.
Now he gave a quiet chuckle to himself as if the whole episode amused him and, taking a cigar from the case in his pocket, he clipped the end with care and precision before putting it in his mouth. She heard her own voice as though it was that of a stranger, warm and shaken by a passion that she had not known before that she was capable of feeling. It was impossible to forget that he loved her, even while she was so concerned with her own difficulties, she heard it in the eager tones of his voice, felt it in the clasp of his hands, it seemed to tremble on the air between them, Nicholas’s love for which she could only offer in return gratitude and pity. - 😖😖😖😖
“We will stay,” she decided firmly. She went towards the telephone, but, as she reached it, she felt Raymond’s hand on her arm. “Fenella,” he said quietly so that the others could not overhear him, “it’s your life you are playing about with. I know what I should think of a woman who treated me like that the night I married her.” “It’s different for Nicholas and me,” Fenella retorted. “He knows that I am not in love with him.” - she's quite hard for a BC character even though this is the mid-20th century.
“Have you ever been in love?” “Yes, once. I was nineteen and she was twenty-eight.” “And wouldn’t she marry you?” “She was married already. She made me very happy and extremely miserable. I am certain that it was all very educational, but it was an experience I would prefer not to repeat.” “No one else?” Fenella asked. “No one else,” he replied. “The war interfered with my social activities, as you might imagine.” - unusual that the main male lead is almost as "green" as the female lead in a BC novel. Usually her male leads are playboys.
“That still doesn’t excuse you making him look a fool,” Raymond pointed out. - she is quite horrid to him ✋✋✋😒
How hopeless we are,’ Fenella thought to herself, ‘so contrary, so unstable. Is it any wonder that there are wars when human beings are never at peace within themselves?’ - YES!!
“The trouble is, Moo,” he said, “I ought to have waited for you to grow up. You would have appreciated me. Unfortunately, I am not Fenella’s idea of an ideal husband.” He spoke bitterly and Fenella knew that he was deeply hurt, but she felt it was impossible for her to attempt to find words to placate him. - i really disliked Fennel here 😑😒
How do you know that what you felt for Rex wasn’t like – ” She hesitated and then the words came with a rush, “like Daddy and Elaine?” “Will you be quiet!” Fenella turned on her sister, angry now, - absolutely true. Her inexperience around men like Rex led to an infatuation. Usually BC has already married her inexperienced females to men who somehow "love" these women (doubtful that it lasts in the real world).
Then the words died on her lips as she felt something warm and wet against her neck and knew that Nick was crying. Nick crying! - first time I've ever read of the main male lead crying in a BC novel. This book was unique in many ways: the timeline, the characters' relationships with each other, the inexperienced yet loving and kind Nick.