Second Wife, by Stephanie James (aka Jayne Ann Krentz)

>> Friday, May 30, 2003

This weekend I read the next to last new Jayne Ann Krentz in my to-be-read pile. I hope my box gets here soon, or I'll get desperate! This one was Second Wife, written as Stephanie James, a 1986 category from the Born in the USA Harlequin series. The series has 50 books, each set in a different US state, and SW was the Arizona entry. For some reason, this particular gimmick really appeals to me.

Heather Devaney was devastated when Flynn Rammage callously rejected her offer of love. She quit her job at his company and moved without leaving her new address. Eight months later, Flynn has exorcised the demons that had been driving him at the time, and realizes exactly what he threw away. He's changed his mind, and he's decided he wants to take Heather up on her offer. However, when he finds her and proposes, Heather can't be sure if he's not really in the market for just a wife to take care of his young son.
It was ok, but nothing special. I'd grade it a B. The only remarkable thing about it was a hero who grovels like mad, an element I really like. He was a bit too alpha, but he did have to work for Heather to forgive him, so that's fine.

Flynn's four-year-old son is a biggish part of the story, and he was ok-done. Children in romance novels are usually terribly annoying to me, but JAK does kids pretty well.

And I should mention the external conflict. In a word: lame. It played zero part in the story and only provided a small, tense moment near the end. What for? Absolutely nothing. It's like the author had already written the book and her editor had said "Oh, but in this particular line we need a suspense subplot!". It feels that tacked-on. However, what saved it was that it was so irrelevant. It simply wasn't long enough to annoy me.

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