Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Perfect 10:

THE MARRIAGE CHARM - Linda Lael Miller 
A Perfect 10 
Brides of Bliss County, Book 2 
HQN 
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77892-8 
February 2015 
Contemporary Romance 

Mustang Creek, Wyoming – Present Day 

Melody Nolan designs jewelry, and she's become a very successful artist, so much so that she is currently designing a special piece of jewelry for a wealthy client. Her biggest and most satisfying accomplishment, however, is a tiny charm bracelet she designed for herself and each of her best friends, Hadleigh Stevens and Becca (Bex) Stuart.  Several months ago the three women formulated their very own MARRIAGE PACT that they wrote down on a white paper napkin one night at Bad Billy's Burger Palace and Drive-Thru.  And tonight, in the aftermath of Hadleigh's wedding to Tripp Galloway, Melody knows the tiny gold charms she crafted symbolize their plan's success.  Only two weddings left to go, but since she has no current beau in sight, Becca will certainly be the next bride. 

Local Chief of Police Spencer Hogan is single and wants to stay that way.  He knows he isn't marriage material, let alone a man who will be in for the long haul with a wife, children and a happily ever after that usually isn't.  The entire town assumes he's having an affair with Junie MacFarlane, and he lets them believe what they may.  In all seriousness, he and Junie are co-workers and friends.  Tonight, after making an appearance at the Moose Jaw for Hadleigh and Tripp's wedding party, he finally makes his excuses to the bride and groom, then pushes through the crowd, anxious to get home to the his dog, Harley, and his horse, Reb.  But Spencer reaches the bar's entrance, only to find Melody staring out at the parking lot.  Her car is blocked in on all sides, and she needs a ride.  Spencer offers, Melody refuses, so he scoops her up in his arms, carries her to his truck, and drives her home.  After he walks her to her front door, she slams it in his face and sets about feeding her three cats, Ralph, Waldo, and Emerson, who were yowling their objection to her tardiness with their dinner.  Melody can't admit she's not over Spencer, even after all these years…ever since that long lost summer fling when she blurted out she loved him, then asked him to marry her.  And what was Spencer's answer to her question?  He ran. 

THE MARRIAGE CHARM is Melody's special creation that stands for her hopes, dreams and wishes.  She and Spencer square off in the age old game of cat and mouse, meeting each other here and there around town.  Melody's busy creating a new commission for a very special client, while Spencer is actively pursuing a criminal who's robbing local homes, and when the danger hits Melody's livelihood directly, he vows to put the person responsible behind bars.  Melody loves Spencer, and she wonders if he feels the same.  So they continue to limp their way toward each other on a tightrope of uncertainty, until they finally learn to trust that their love is real and lasting. 

THE MARRIAGE CHARM is the second book in The Brides of Bliss County trilogy, following THE MARRIAGE PACT (June 2014).  Book number three, due in May 2015, is Becca's story: THE MARRIAGE SEASON.  Melody, Hadleigh, and Becca will never settle for less than their own true and lasting love.  Hadleigh found hers, and now it's Melody's turn, then Becca's.  Each of their stories is filled with passionate romance, humor, a bit of mystery, wonderful and exciting characters, and lots of endearing animal friends. 

THE MARRIAGE CHARM is one of the most romantic books I've read in a while, and earns a coveted Perfect 10 Award! 

Diana Risso

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