cover image The Marriage Charm

The Marriage Charm

Linda Lael Miller. HQN, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-373-77892-8

Picking up where The Marriage Pact left off, Miller provides a lukewarm contemporary romance, Western style. Wyoming’s Mustang Creek is resplendent with cowboys, or at least men in 10-gallon hats, but jewelry designer Melody Nolan only has eyes for one: playboy police chief Spence Hogan. Spence and Melody have history together, and not all of it good. His love ’em and leave ’em reputation sends Melody running in the opposite direction. But he can’t forget her good-girl charm. Their nine years of mutual avoidance end when a robbery and a secret pact throw them back together. Contrived circumstances and overly involved internal dialogue overshadow quirky secondary characters in a pleasant smalltown setting, and disjointed plot elements detract from sweet dialogue and lovingly detailed scenery. Agent: Irene Goodman, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (Feb.)