Past Passion by Penny Jordan released on Apr 22, 1994 is available now for purchase.
Nikki is a very nice, quiet and quite emotionally fraught girl who is practically running her boss's construction company in the wake of his beloved son's death and disinterestedly dating Mommy Boy Gordon. So Nikki invested some time and got herself some video vamp big hair, a lot of neon striped eye shadow and a hot, clingy, let's go clubbing outfit. So Matt took her home to keep her safe, cause he can see under the neon shaded black cut eye liner makeup that Nikki is just an innocent baby really. She wakes the next morning to the Hangover from Hell and Matt feeling her up, cause darling Nikki is just too tempting to even try to resist. And tho Matt plans to give her a little big brother Safety in the City lecture and explain nothing happened, he gets a distracting phone call and Nikki takes her chance to escape and runs out. When she gets to work Snot Snarker Jonathan gets mad cause she will have a one night stand with Matt and won't even look at his sub-sewer gulping self. This only increases the angst tho, cause how can Nikki bear to share who she really is when Matt will probably berate her and discard her for being a promiscuous, trampy Harlot? But PJ likes to pile on the frustrated waiting angst, so we get some more of Matt and Nikki doing office things instead and then Matt gets jealous when his new manager looks like he is going to start making goo-goo eyes at Nikki. Nikki can only see Matt of course, but for some reason she is totally missing that Matt is making big, huge, gigantic I love you heart goo-goo eyes back. Nikki is overjoyed, cause she loves Matt just as madly back and we leave darling Nikki and Matt kissing in the room above the hotel lobby for the lead up to their own private Prince video and another pink sparkly rainbow unicorn studded PJ patented HPlandia HEA.
Overhearing her boyfriend, Jonathan, with another woman, eighteen year old Nicola decides to make him see her in a different light. Only instead of getting Jonathan to notice her she grabbed the attention of Matthew Hunt. Never really laying the blame on Nicola, but owning up to what he did in the name of setting her straight, unlike the hero in The Hard Man - Penny Jordan. Nicola was so sickened by her behavior that night long ago that she shunned any further attention of any man that might be interested in her.
At the end of the day though, it wasn't Matt's place to do what he did (see spoiler below). For her part, Nicola was way too hard on herself for having had casual sex with Matt when she was a very young 18. If Matt had tried harder to find Nicola, I wouldn't be as hard on him.
Shes got something of a troubled past, having had a nasty experience once at an office party, involving a disastrous perm, a dreadful purple bandage style dress and some awful over the top make-up (coincidentally, I also had a disastrous perm in the early 90s). After drinking too many champagne cocktails at said office party and getting very drunk, she flirts shamelessly with a nameless stranger, who ends up giving her a lift home, where she is almost (rather realistically but not very romantically) sick in his Jaguar. What then follows is our heroine agonising about whether her boss will recognise her or not from that party. Consider this scene when the heroine first sickeningly realises just who her new boss is: What if he recognised her?
When they meet again eight years later, he has no clue who she is but her neurotic ass recognizes him and goes into meltdown whenever hes around. Which makes her life a mess since hes her boss. Not until a person from their past shows up at a conference and makes nasty comments about their supposed one-night stand eight years earlier.
Minus one star for me not understanding her nunnery behavior at all. Minus 1/2 star (but I'll round up) for Jonathan not getting punched in the fucking face.
Penelope Jones Halsall aka Caroline Courtney, Annie Groves, Lydia Hitchcock, Melinda Wright Penelope "Penny" Jones was born on November 24, 1946 at about seven pounds in a nursing home in Preston, Lancashire, England. She first discovered Mills & Boon books, via a girl she worked with. She published four regency novels as Caroline Courtney, before changing her nom de plume to Melinda Wright for three air-hostess romps and then she wrote two thrillers as Lydia Hitchcock. Soon after that, Mills and Boon accepted her first novel for them, Falcon's Prey as Penny Jordan.