Friday, April 28, 2006

Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard

Linda Howard never disappoints. Since I read All The Queen's Men I have made sure that I have something of hers in my TBR pile. When a group of woman in my yahoo reading group kept raving about Kiss and Tell, I went out and picked it up. I still haven't read it but I know it will be a delight. And when the same group started talking about Duncan's Bride I had to pick it up as well. The difference being that this story had a premise that always gets me. Marriage of convenience in the form of a Mail Order Bride. So instead of sticking this one in myTBR pile I read the short book (249 pages) in less than 5 hours.

Reese Duncan lives off on a cattle ranch that once was prosperous, until he decided he wanted to get married. Two years later, his wife had enough of cow poke country and took him to the cleaners, nearly bankrupting him in the process. Now, he cares for his ranch alone because he can't afford to hire help and the hundreds of cattle are reduce to just a few heads. But Reese knows he needs to take a wife if he wants to father children to inherit the ranch he is pulling out of the black.

Madelyn lives in New York doing a pretend job that her stepbrother arranged until she can determine what she really wants. When she reads the ad Reese placed in the small town newspaper she answers it without really thinking he will take her seriously.

But Reese is serious about marriage and although the leggy beauty that disembarks from the plane has his blood boiling, he cannot see her being content on the ranch. He is looking for someone that will bear his children and help in the daily chores. Someone that won't get tired of the ranch after a couple of years and want to run off, leaving him looking for a new partner. One look at Maddie in her city clothes convinces him that she is not the one. Now he only has to convince the rest of his body that she's not for him.

Well, obviously that didn't work because he takes her as his bride and she chips away at his heart until she is more important to him than the land he has always cherished.

The way Maddie works to gain Reese's trust and still keeping her dignity makes this one a true winner. I wanted to kick Reese's arse all over the place when a misunderstanding has him backpeddling but Maddie doesn't let him walk over her, she stands her ground and wins her man. Gotta love it! I love how reigned in Reese tries to keep his desire for his wife only to have her win him over with a simple lunch! LOL! The scenes are passionate but not raunchy and the tenderness is just so fabulous... This one is not to be missed.

Grade: B+


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