A beautiful, desperate lady who needs a sham fiancé; a devilishly charming rakehell in need of a temporary hideout...
Where will the deception lead?
Karen Hawkins was raised in Tennessee, a member of a huge extended family that included her brother and sister, an adopted sister, numerous foster siblings and various exchange students. In order to escape the chaos (and whilst hiding when it was her turn to do the dishes), she would huddle under the comforter on her bed with a flashlight and a book, a habit she still embraces to this day. For more information about Karen, or pictures of her chasing a box of donuts while training for a road race, visit her at karenhawkins.com or write to her at Karen Hawkins, P.O. Box 5292, Kingsport, TN 37663-5292.
At first the deception kept the bank from demanding payment right away, but when the mysterious sea captain fails to appear, they begin to demand an introduction. Thus when Chase lands in the Ward household and pretends he has amnesia so as not to reveal his own identity and bring his famous brothers post haste to fetch him back home, the Wards decide to pass him off as the made-up Captain.
This was a very funny and warm-hearted tale. I loved both Chase and Harriet and cannot wait to find the other books that went before this one. I hope Ms. Hawkins writes fast!
The story is pleasant, has a bit of intrigue (especially with 2 villains, one for each lead), a hefty dose of laugh-out-loud humor, and nice couple. Chase is a bit selfish and spoiled, but also haunted (wrongly as it turns out). The reader can feel his despair and longing. Enter the ever-so-competent Harriet, who inspires him to get out of himself and look at life and family differently. Their relationship doesn't sizzle, but you can certainly see their growing respect and friendship. Chase is the one who really changes in the novel, with Harriet's changes being more of an awakening.
There are fun moments based on wrong identities, occasional farce, and warm, familial asides. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter do have a pattern, though it's not always obvious what they have to do with the chapter, and some are quite amusing. I don't know if this is a pattern with this series, but the gimmick could, if better executed, make these books distinctive similar to JQ's Lady Whistledown (though not as integrated into the plot).
All in all, a nice book, but not up there with the best of them. If I could, I'd give it 3 & 1/2 stars. I was leaning toward 4 before I wrote this review, if only because of the laughter. But as I wrote it and remember how slow it was in the beginning, I think I'll wind up with 3 stars -- though 3 & 1/2 is truly more accurate. It's good enough that I'll read Hawkins' other books in this series; JQ hasn't led me astray before.