|“Zany, chaotic romp” is the description that comes to mind when I think about Her Sister’s Fiancé. Kathie Cassidy has been in love with her sister’s ex-fiancé for about five years. Since then, they (her sister Kate and fiancé Joe Reed) have broken it off and Kate has married someone else. The scandal is that Joe kissed Kathie more than once while still engaged and the guilt he felt is what caused him to dump her sister. In actuality, Kate and Joe both agreed they needed to separate because Joe had feelings for Kathie and Kate fell in love with someone else…Ben, her current husband. That was six months ago.
Kathie has been living at a school not far from Magnolia Falls, her hometown. She is acting as a live-in housemother and is teaching at the boarding school. The family misses her and decides to get her to come home. There is Kate and Ben, their soon-to-be-adopted daughter, Shannon, a younger sister named Kim and a brother, Jax, and his fiancée Gwen. Jax uses threats to get Joe to go to the school and convince Kathie to come home. Joe goes and muddles his way through an apology – making Kathie feel guilty that he is being blamed for her running away. She decides to return, but just for the summer and just to make the small town filled with small-minded people realize that Joe is not to blame, she is. Her plan is to go out with him a few times and show everyone that all is forgotten and forgiven.
Kathie loves Joe and has had a crush on him forever. She is mortified that she broke up her sister’s happiness and has convinced herself that they all hate her. In fact, Kate has never been happier and is thrilled that she and Joe found out they were not the perfect match before they got married. Joe, meanwhile just wants his quiet, staid, banker life back. That just doesn’t seem in the cards. Since Jax blackmailed him into going to see Kathie and convince her to return, he has gotten his picture taken having lunch with and kissing Kathie, been hounded by his mother to date some prudish schoolmarm type and gotten into a public brawl in the bank with Jax. More events are on the way; none of which fall into his definition of quiet staid life.
Kathie is at times prudish, silly, schoolgirlish and sane. The sane part is the least of her character, yet she was likable because she was so pathetically in love. The events that occur are madcap and often result in the lust Kathie and Joe feel (but deny) getting them into trouble. Joe thinks he is going mad and he just may be. Jax is hard to pin down, but often acts like an overprotective brute, even when things don’t call for it.
Reading this story made me feel like I was on a whirlwind carousel ride with things going by fast and furious and out of control. There was no real time to develop empathy with the characters or figure out what the right reaction to an event should be before another event happened. Joe acted like one of those men in TV sitcoms that just seem to go along with life and yet, he was caring and sensitive when he should have been, making him an endearing character.
Her Sister’s Fiancé is one of those tales that are easy to read and fun, yet leave you wondering what the heck really happened. There is much to like, yet there are a lot of things that require the reader to just go along for the ride to make some sense of it all.