The President's Daughter

Tall, Dark & Texan

Marriage Prey by Annette Broadrick
(Silh. Desire #1327, $3.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-76327-1
three hearts Annette Broadrick has taken what could have been a standard romance, lovers separated by a misunderstanding, and given it an interesting feel just by introducing a time-lapse element into it. The old saying that the course of true love never runs smoothly applies to Robin McAlister and Steve Antonelli, aided by meddling brothers and the insecurity that new lovers often feel.

Marriage Prey begins in March as Steve Antonelli wakes up to find three brawny men in his Los Angeles bedroom, men he soon learns are the brothers of Robin McAlister, a woman he's fallen in love with, but hasnít seen in months. Steve humors the brothers who are demanding that he marry Robin, but when he learns that something is wrong with her, he decides to go with them to Austin to see whatís wrong.

Backtracking to December, Robin McAlister and her best friend decide to live recklessly, accepting a free cruise to the Caribbean. Itíll be a welcome break before they begin their last semester at the University of Texas. Robin, who considers her brothers an overprotective pain in the patootie, doesnít even tell them sheís going away. When the cruise ship leaves her behind on an island, she's glad she hasnít told them. Some embarrassments need to remain a secret.

Instead of an embarrassing situation, things pick up when Robin meets a hunk whoís using the island as a vacation retreat. Los Angeles policeman Steve Antonelli is enjoying the break from his high-pressure job, but this red-blooded man recognizes the endearing beauty of this innocent young woman and is smitten.

Their island romance shows promise of being more than a vacation fling and when Robin leaves to reconnect with the cruise ship, she and Steve have made a promise to keep in touch. But a series of mishaps keep them apart. At this point the story jumps to the present as Robinís brothers congregate in Steveís bedroom.

What Annette Broadrick has done is give us a story thatís a bit different. It keeps us on our toes as we try to keep up as to whether weíre in the past, present or points in between. Robinís immaturity shows as she vacillates between being interested in Steve and wondering if sheís ready to give up her independence. Her immaturity and need for independence are plausible considering her family history, but these two traits do clog up the wheels of romantic progress for a good bit of the story.

Here's a quote from an inside page. ďMarriage Prey is a romance between the offspring of two couples from Annette's earliest Desire books, which Silhouette reissued along with a third early Desire novel last month as Maximum Marriage: Men on a Mission

Family series and tie-ins are always fun to read, and while Marriage Prey does stand alone, reading the stories about Robinís and Steveís families would only add to the enjoyment.

--Linda Mowery

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