Saturday, January 24, 2015

THE MARRIAGE CHARM by Linda Lael Miller

Publisher:   HQN
Published:   January 27, 2015
ISBN: 978-0373778928
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Format:  Print
Obtained via:  Publicist  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Nine years ago Melody Nolan proposed marriage to Spencer Hogan.  Spence told her no – and with good reason.  The resident playboy sheriff of Bliss County didn’t think Melody was old enough to know her heart and mind and ready for marriage.  Devastated Melody moved on with her life and closed off her heart. 

But she wasn’t quite alone.  Along with her friends Hadleigh and Bex she grew up a bit more and launched her own spectacular jewellery business.  At the same time Hadleigh and Bex developed their own businesses.  Successful in their own rights not long ago the three women sat down and looked at what was missing in their lives.  It turned out it was one thing—husbands.  They wanted to meet and fall in love with that forever, once in a lifetime love.  Hadleigh was the first to meet the terms of what they called The Marriage Pact when she walked down the aisle with her one true love, Tripp Galloway. 

Melody may not have gotten over Spence and his rejection, but she did move on with her life.  That was, until, Hadleigh’s wedding.  Thrown together with the man she never really stopped loving she kept on keeping on, keeping a smile on her face and her heart secure against getting too close to Spence.  Spence, on the other hand, isn’t quite the ladies man the town makes him out to be.  In fact he never got over Melody and the main reason he didn’t want to go to the after party was not wanting to run into her.  But rather than give the appearance of just not caring about his friends at all, Spence wandered in, had a token drink and was ready to leave.  There, in the parking lot he saw Melody looking lost and forlorn.  Well maybe not that lost—but she certainly had a bit of a problem getting her car out of the crowded parking lot.  Without a second thought he did what any self-respecting cowboy would do…strode over to Melody, tossed her over his shoulder and took her home. 

Her home.  And she was spitting mad.  So mad that the next morning she figured she really needed to apologize to her cowboy sheriff for her actions.  Once at his house, alone with the man she never got over, they just may have found out true love just cannot be denied.

Just when I think I’ve read Linda Lael Miller’s absolute best her next book comes out and I have to rethink “best”.  That’s what happened with her latest, THE MARRIAGE CHARM.  Not to diminish each really super read that came before, but this one really stands out.  Miller is just a fabulous storyteller with some of the best characters.  They are people like you and I—with heartaches, hopes and dreams.  Rather than resorting to gratuitous drama, their stories are told in a heart-warming, friend next door manner.  With Hadleigh, Bex and Melody you feel like you are in the room with them, making and keeping the marriage pact with them.

In THE MARRIAGE CHARM I really liked how she handled Spence’s steps winning Melody back.  He’s got some wonderful vulnerability to him—protective, caring and there is a very sweet side of him that comes out only when you’re watching very closely.  He knows his own mind and takes the steps necessary to getting what he wants most in life.

I got a kick out of Miller’s descriptions of the animals in the story—the dogs’ antics and how they interacted with new character, Tate’s children’s reactions to them.

THE MARRIAGE CHARM is book 2 of Miller’s Brides of Bliss County series.  You do not have to have read book 1, THE MARRIAGE PACT to totally enjoy book 2 – but if you want two great reads, do pick them both up.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.


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