Sunday, August 24, 2008

Review: Duncan's Bride

Title: Duncan’s Bride
Author: Linda Howard
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Reese Duncan is a Montana rancher who was burned by his ex-wife. Left almost bankrupt by his divorce he is cynical about love and marriage. But he needs a wife because he wants children to pass on his love of the land and his heritage. He works 12-16 hour days, has no time or inclination for dating. He treats the search for a wife as a business decision and has no intention of involving his heart. So when he hears about Midwest farmers and ranchers placing wife-wanted ads he decides it will work for him so he places the ad.

Madelyn Patterson has a wonderful sense of style. She enjoys nice clothes and looking good. She works for her stepbrother in his NYC office. He gave her the job out of concern for her well-being after her mom and grandmother died. Even though she enjoys her life in New York she is not so much a city girl that she can’t bare to leave it. In fact she has fond memories of life on her grandmother’s rural home in Virginia. Madelyn has become restless and realizes that its time to move on. When she reads Reese’s ad she decides to reply, thinking that he probably won’t reply back.

When I first heard about Duncan’s Bride it was that it was a very good book about a rancher who sends away for a mail order bride. I assumed, mistakenly, that it was a historical. It wasn’t until I started reading that I realized it was set in modern day. By giving the story a contemporary setting Howard introduces different dynamics to the characters. Madelyn has more options available to her than say a woman in the 1880’s. She isn’t in desperate need for a husband and only agrees to meet Reese out of curiosity.

The story of Reese and Madelyn is a wonderful blend of learning to trust again and learning to love. Reese has a long way to go in letting go of the past and not blaming Maddie for the actions of his ex-wife. Maddie can be very stubborn and once she sets her mind on something she doesn’t give up. The story is well written and has some wonderful dialogue. The secondary characters are interesting but remain secondary with the focus on Reese and Maddie.

There was one disclosure about a character that I found a little hard to believe but overall Reese and Maddie were well developed and left this reader with a good sense of knowing them. This was a quick read and kept my interest for the entire book. I would strongly recommend Duncan’s Bride for anyone who enjoys romance novels.

Rating: A-

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