Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE MARRIAGE PACT by Linda Lael Miller


Harlequin Mira
May 27th, 2014
Contemporary/Western Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
2.5 Hearts

For Hadleigh Stevens, being single just sucked. When ten years before at the age of eighteen, she was carried from the church on her wedding day by Tripp Galloway, it was the most humiliating event of her life. But now in the years since then, she and two of her friends make a marriage pact. But when Tripp returns to Bliss County, Hadleigh finds that all her words of being over him are just words because when Tripp finally shows up at her door, she finds him just as irresistible as well as annoying as before. Can Tripp find a way to show Hadleigh that love can grow between them if they let their hearts lead them to happiness that beckons?

I normally love Linda Lael Miller’s stories but this new one from her felt like it was done already by her. The story was quite predictable and I couldn’t really connect to the characters at all. To me it felt like she was ticking things off her list- Get a feisty heroine. Have an alpha male hero. Make sure there is conflict. Romance is a plus. All that plus the way Hadleigh forgave Tripp within minutes of seeing him again left me shaking my head in wonder. I hate books where the characters say one thing and do the polar opposite. Written in a way that is believable, it works. Having it as a plot motion isn’t and totally turned me off both Tripp and Hadleigh all together. I normally love this author’s books with rugged sexy heroes and independent heroines who make them work for their hearts. In her introductory book in the Bliss County series, I felt those elements were missing completely. The characters were not very well defined nor are they sympathetic at all. Tripp just annoyed me to no end with his “I am going to make amends with Hadleigh whether she likes it or not” attitude and Hadleigh being very simpering and annoying. At some moments, I got a sense of her feisty character but it was soon gone over the way she came across as a flighty mess.

THE MARRIAGE PACT had it’s moments of pure enjoyment but they were far and few in between. The story felt stale and boring. The characters were unappealing and were at times, very aggravating. I normally fall in love with Ms. Miller’s characters but this time around I just couldn’t find a character trait that called to me for any of the characters. I am not sure if it was because I just finished re-reading the Big Sky series and loved every minute of it that had me so against this new book. I am hoping to re-read it again in the future and see if my opinion of the story and characters changed any. The elements of Ms. Miller’s signature writing style were there but layered under a cumbersome storyline that just plodded along at a snail pace. If you enjoy heroines in distress and alpha heroes who seem to think they know what is good for you then you might enjoy this book from Linda Lael Miller. I am just hoping the rest of the books in this new series get a bit better and the characters get more enjoyable. This felt like my favorite author took a holiday and someone else wrote it.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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