The Vow, by Dallas Schulze

>> Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I can't really remember what made me buy The Vow, by Dallas Schulze. I know I meant to look through her backlist after reading The Substitute Wife, but it seems I bought this one before that. Well ::shrugs::, whatever.

She was alone, and pregnant. Brittany never got a chance to tell Dan about the baby. Now it was too late, and with no one to turn to, she faced a harsh and desperate future.

Until Michael Sinclair offered sanctuary, and a solution. As Dan’s best friend, he told himself that helping Brittany was temporary. Just until she was on her feet again.

But neither of them had expected their arrangement to awaken such passion. Nor could they have anticipated the twist of fate that would put it all to the ultimate test.
Like The Substitute Wife, The Vow is a weird combination of old-fashioned Harlequin Presents stuff and more modern sensibilities. It's HP-like in its structure, with its marriage-of-convenience plot, and in the way Brit's complete life becomes her husband and child.

But if you look closer, you see that the marriage of convenience makes sense in a more modern sort of way (they don't marry because every child should be brought to the world within the sanctity of marriage, or anything like that. They marry because that way Michael's insurance will cover Brit's medical bills).

And you also see that their marriage becomes a partnership of equals. Brit is a SAHM and Michael appreciates and values what she does. There's no head-of-the-home / little-woman dynamics in their relationship, which is always appreciated.

The actual romance was nice. Sweet, but not saccharine. I tend to like stories of the forbidden love variety, where the "forbidden" element doesn't feel like much ado about nothing. Michael's reluctance to show his increasing attraction to his wife, and hers to show her own, made sense, given the fact that Brit was pregnant with Michael's best friend's baby.

The story takes place in a much longer time-frame than usual. There's a jump of about a year in the middle, before we get to the final plot twist, but the rest of the book spans months and months. This works well for this story, showing their increasing attraction and difficulty to hide it.

All in all, a nice, quiet read. I'd grade it a B-.


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