>> Thursday, April 08, 2010
TITLE: Here Comes The Bride
AUTHOR: Pamela Morsi
SETTING: 1900s Texas small town
TYPE: Straight romance
REASON FOR READING: I wouldn't have guessed I'd like Americana, but when Morsi does it, I do. Her Wild Oats and Simple Jess are among my fave romances.
There comes a time in every woman's life when she must get herself a man or give up the idea entirely...Gussie Mudd is sick and tired of waiting for her slowpoke suitor to finally, finally propose. It's been almost three years of ambiguous courting, and given that she's past 30, Gussie thinks it's time she got married. Amos Dewey doesn't seem to agree, even though it's clear they're perfectly suited.
After three long years of patiently waiting for her reluctant, handsome, gentlemanly Amos Dewey, to pop the question, Augusta Mudd--owner of her small town's biggest factory--decides it's time to take matters in her own hands. With the help of her friend, ruggedly attractive Rome Akers, she's determined to make Amos jealous--and get him to the altar--before it's too late.
Rome Akers wasn't ready to settle down. But by pretending to make Augusta his partner for life he had a chance to become her business partner instead. Yet despite his best intentions, the closer he gets to this intelligent, sweet woman, the stronger his feelings grow. Their tantalizing conversations and tender kisses ignite a desire more passionate than Roman ever imagined. Soon he'll do anything to make Augusta a bride--but only if he gets to be the groom.
As the owner of one of the town's most successful businesses, Gussie decides to apply the same principles that have made her so succesful in that area to her love life. What better to make Amos want to marry her than to introduce some competition into that particular market?
Gussie proposes her scheme to her right hand at her company, Rome Akers. Rome isn't immediately up for it, but when Gussie sweetens the pot by offering to make him her business partner if he pretends to court her, he goes for it.
Here Comes The Bride will not be taking a place among my favourite Morsis, but it was a good read.
It started out slightly iffy, as the interactions between Rome and Gussie felt very stiff and formal. It's very much a boss-employee relationship at the beginning. Gussie gives the orders, Rome humbly carries them out. But when they start spending some more time together and actually talking about things other than business, things get a lot better.
I liked the way the romance developed. There's no instant lust here at all, just the attraction that develops once you get to really know the person and suddenly you see them in a new light. That's the way it tends to happen for me, actually, so I always tend to find it more convincing than the whole "our eyes met across the room and we immediately knew" sort of thing.
As the book progressed, I also started warming up to the characters. Gussie gave me trouble initially, as she came across as a bit judgmental and prissy. After a while, however, you got to know the real person underneath the armour. With Rome the initial problem was that he felt a bit blah (and to be very superficial here, I can't take a guy with a handlebar moustache seriously. Fortunately, it's shaved off quite early in the book). Again, like Gussie, he gets better once you get to know him. They're both nice, if relatively unexciting characters.
So unexciting, in fact, that I found myself wishing that the secondary romance was actually the main one. Now, that was an exciting one, featuring serious, stuffy, extremely respectable Amos going gaga for the town's woman of ill repute. Unfortunately, this subplot is a bit underwritten, but it had the potential to be really good.
Still, all in all, I spent an enjoyable few hours with this book. I especially enjoyed the vivid sense of place and time.
MY GRADE: A B.