The Mother of His Child
Shadowin Shahna

Life With Riley by Laurey Bright
(Silh. Romance #1617, $3.99, G) ISBN 0-373-19617-2
Life With Riley is a refreshing romance that warms the spirit and is full of two compassionate and intelligent characters. What more could one ask for?

Riley Morrisset has finally found what she wants in her life. She is going to school to earn her degree in teaching English as a second language. Born in New Zealand and having lived all over the world, she knows that New Zealand is where she wants to settle. She is living in a house with several housemates, including a quirky male model and his daughter, a quiet Asian woman named Lui and her friend Logie. Riley’s part-time job at a day care provides just enough to cover her expenses.

When she leaves her parking space at the mall and creases a beautiful BMW, her life changes. Benedict Falkner, self-made millionaire, sees the incident, and thinks Riley is trying to leave, rather than just moving her car to a safe place. He accosts her and their unusual but fun romance begins.

Benedict is instantly attracted to Riley and comes up with a reason to see her more by hiring her to be his live-in housekeeper. His real housekeeper has just had a stroke and can no longer work for him. Riley loves to cook and the money will go a long way to helping her see her dream come true.

In Bright’s capable hands this rather predictable plot line is entertaining, with lots of energy and a few unexpected surprises thrown in for good measure. Riley’s intelligence and genuine compassion are a nice contrast to Benedict’s intensity. The two have such honorable intentions ripe for misunderstandings, creating many humorous incidents as they stumble into love.

The housemates add a nice flavor to the mix, bringing out the best in Riley and the jealousy that leads to acknowledgement of his feelings in Benedict. The New Zealand setting was insignificant, as the story could have happened anywhere.

A slight sense of dissatisfaction came from not being privy to all of Benedict’s thoughts and motivations until the end. The story was primarily told from Riley’s standpoint. Although Benedict is a likeable hero, the reader had to guess about his inner feelings whereas she was more of an open book.

Life With Riley is a light, airy, late summer romance. Enjoy.

--Shirley Lyons

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