Author: Linda Howard
Published: 1990, Harlequin
Category: Comtemporary Romance
A couple weeks ago Avid Reader was having a discussion about Linda Howard's books. I'd never her read her before but was looking for a good one to start with. A couple people were fondly reminiscing over this older one of hers. I actually thought it was a historical--the title sounds historical, doesn't it? Anyway, the copy I got from the library is actually a collection of three books titled Finding Home. It also includes Chain Lightning by Elizabeth Lowell and Popcorn Kisses by Kasey Michaels. The Lowell appears to be about a bitter divorcee so I think I'll skip that one, but I'm going to give the Michaels a go.
So, Duncan's Bride. Madelyn Patterson is a Virginia girl living in New York. (Hey, like me!!) She's got a boring job and doesn't really like living in the city. (Again, sounds familiar.) So when she sees an advertisement in a Midwest paper for what is basically a mail-order bride, she actually decides to take a risk and go meet the man, Reese Duncan. (Yeah, not me. I would never be that stupid. But then I'm not a romance heroine, am I? *sigh*) Reese is a Montana rancher who was divorced 8 years previously. His first wife took him to the cleaners in the divorce, finagling in her settlement half of his total worth. To pay her off, he had liquidate his successful ranch and sell off a bunch of land that had been in his family for generations. He is therefore a BITTER, BITTER man. But he wants kids, so he's decided that he'll get himself another
Madelyn falls for him immediately. Though I never understood why. He may be handsome but he acts like an asshole about 90% of the time. "Woman, where's my dinner?!" Ugh. Luckily, Madelyn doesn't put up with it. Thank God or I would have chucked this book fast.
This is straightforward romance. There is no plot except for the course of these two people's relationship. Reese has to get over the bitterness and hatred left over from his divorce and come to trust that Madelyn. There are some sweet parts and I really liked the heroine. Her patience and steadiness were just what Reese needed to get over himself. I don't think I could have been so forgiving.
The mail-order bride thing is unbelievable. Really, no one who did that could be this normal. If that happened in real life, the girl wouldn't find a hot, rich rancher. A psycho with an obsession for knives would be more likely. But it was only mildly annoying to me.
I'm going to try one of Howard's romantic suspense novels next.