Saturday, July 22, 2006

Title: Duncan's Bride
Author: Linda Howard
Published: 1990, Harlequin
Category: Comtemporary Romance
Rating: 6/10

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 brood mare wife. He's not looking for love, just a uterus/housecleaner/cook.

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.


Samantha said...

I've only read two of Howard's books so far, but I think I'll be skipping this one. Sounds like the hero would leave me wanting to bash him over the head.

If you're looking for a good Howard "After the Night" was great. The heroine is amazing and the story is considered one of her classics.

Jennie said...

Oh, I'm glad you said that cuz I already bought a used copy of After the Night. Yay.

Yeah, Reese had the feminist in me cringing. A lot.

Kristie (J) said...

I've never been a fan girl, but if I were, Linda Howard would be my author of choice to get all fanatical about. That being the case, this isn't one of her better ones. I barely remember it. Now if you want to read a really super duper Howard, for me there are two that stand out; To Die For and After the Night (which - yea! you have). I've read both of them more times than I can count.

Jay said...

I know I read all three stories in Finding Home but I sure don't remember anything about any of them. All I possibly remember is that Popcorn Kisses is about someone who had a drive in theatre. I think.

Anyway, I enjoyed Now You See Her. And After the Night is on my keeper shelf as well.

ames said...

Glad you liked this title, it's in my TBR.

Read Mr. Perfect, it's good too.

Jennie said...

OK, ya'll have me excited about After the Night now!

Rosario said...

Loved After the Night, too, though you might find the feminist in you cringeing a bit at the double standards in how the heroine's mother and her lover are depicted. Other than that, it's a good one!

But my absolute favourite LH: Cry No More.