Whirlwind Courtship by Jayne Taylor
When Phoebe Hampton arrived quite by accident at the doorstep of Harlan Garand's mountain cabin, he was less than pleased. Convinced that she was another marriage-minded female sent by his matchmaking aunt, Harlan would have gladly thrown her out. But Phoebe was a damsel in distress, and an attractive one at that, so against Harlan's better judgment he let her stay -- even though she wished she were a hundred miles away!
Grudging host and grudging guest would just have to put up with each other for a few days. After that, they'd never see each other again -- or would they?
Phoebe's rented car broke down on the side of the road and she gladly accepted a ride from a couple of nice farm boys who turned out to be not so nice. First chance she got, she escaped into the woods. After following a stream all night long, Phoebe stumbles, exhausted, onto Harlan Garand's cabin. Unfortunately, Harlan isn't buying Phoebe's story about how she arrived on his doorstep and Phoebe, too tired to argue goes along with Harlan's accusations so she has a place to stay. She knows the two guys who kidnapped her are out there and she can't be sure they won't come after her--Harlan seems like the best bet to get back home to Portland, even if she has to wait a few days until his relaxing weekend vacation is over.
Harlan eventually realizes his mistake and manfully eats his helping of crow. He and Phoebe head back to Portland and that is where the real fireworks start as Harlan has decided that he wants to keep Phoebe and Phoebe is not at all sure she wants to let Harlan go but she does wish he were much less high-handed in his attempts to convince her to marry him. Add in the aforementioned aunt, exes from both sides, an overprotective brother and you have all the ingredients to a really fun romp of a story. This book is from 1980 and is one of Jayne Ann Krentz's (writing as Jayne Taylor) earliest works and it is a fantastic example of her ability to take conventional plot points and turn them on their head. It is books such as this one that remind me why I am such a fan of JAK and the romance genre as a whole.
Genre Decades Challenge
I purchased this book with my own funds.