Romance genre junkies looking for a spin through the emotionally complicated world of the super rich will love Pride and Passion.
Pride and Passion by Harry Hall is the story of a roller-coaster love affair that spans decades. Misunderstandings, personal tragedy, and stubborn attitudes almost prevent lovers Tyler and Penny from realizing their potential together, but fate seems to lead them back to each other year after year. Pride and Passion explores the dangers of pridefulness, the complexity of relationships, and the joy of love.
Young real estate developer Tyler Harrison has it all: good looks, a thriving business, and attractive women everywhere he turns. Despite his success, Tyler will never be truly happy until he’s reunited with his high school sweetheart, Penny Kilmer. Tyler is a bit misogynistic in the beginning, though he is more confused than sexist, which does add relatability to his character. As the novel develops, Tyler is surrounded by women in many different roles: family members, romantic interests, friends, and coworkers. His slightly chauvinistic tendencies might also be a sign of the time period; Pride and Passion is set throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. This fact can be easy to forget, however, as there are no references to pop culture, politics, or historical events to set the context.
After a fight broke up Tyler and his first love, Penny, in high school, he was too proud to speak to her for nearly a decade. Neither Tyler nor Penny can let go of their love for each other, which influences every decision they make throughout their lives. The obsession of love the characters feel is very real: Tyler struggles with the fact that he can never really love another woman; his new girlfriend knows she’ll never have his heart; Penny experiences jealousy and rage. While the feelings of the characters are well developed, there are not a lot of personal details included to flesh them out.
In the first half of the novel, there is very little conflict to drive the characters’ actions. The second half, however, is so packed with drama, loss, and tragedy that it is like binge-watching a soap opera. Although characters do experience some terrible problems, Tyler is extremely wealthy and privileged, allowing him to cope and manage at a level that would be impossible for most people. This can make the main characters seem unapproachable at times. But Tyler and Penny are portrayed as being small-town folks at heart, and Tyler’s continued relationship with his family helps to ground some of the loftier premises.
Pride and Passion is a bit like reading a tabloid—peeking in on the personal lives of the rich and famous, getting cheap thrills from the tragedies and comebacks of Tyler and Penny. Romance genre junkies looking for a spin through the emotionally complicated world of the super rich will love Pride and Passion for its decadent displays of love and surprising sensitivity.
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