The Baby Bonus

Dad in Demand

Switched at the Altar

The Wager

And The Winner Gets…Married!
by Metsy Hingle
(Silh. Desire#1442, $3.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76442-1
And The Winner Gets…Married! is a sure-fire winner for all. It is a great romantic venture with a solid hero and heroine and very few detractions.

In this entry into “Dynasties: The Connellys,” Justin is the lead performer. And a true lead he is. Having recently taken over as the Vice President of Marketing for Connelly Inc., Justin is immersed in his work. (Not sure what the product is, but Justin is hard at it.) He puts in lots of hours, and has been dealing with crisis after crisis. His able assistant has been a lifesaver to him. And she is in love with her boss.

Kimberly Lindgren is intelligent, pretty and competent. She is attracted to Justin, but knows where her boundaries are and has no intention of crossing that line. This is not just another ridiculous novel about unrequited love. Kim is too smart for that.

Enter spunky sister Tara Connelly. She needs Justin to be a bachelor on the auction block at a charity event and he is resisting. Kim helps to rearrange Justin’s schedule so he can make it. . Once there, Tara convinces Kim to help Justin out by bidding on him to save him from the clutches of a fortune-hunting dame. Tara even gives her the money. Kim wins, and Justin, seeing a sexy side to Kim, persuades her to go on the date…a day cruise on Justin’s yacht.

Now, I was worried about this tried and true - and rather silly - premise, but hang in there because it gets better. Both Justin and Kim recognize that they are treading on slim ground due to their working relationship and are cautious. At the same time, they have an attraction that is hard to deny. One of the fun parts of this story is watching them try to deny it anyway. The sexual tension builds, yet they are smart enough to be cautious; intelligently, compassionately and with common sense.

The Connellys are introduced to add to rather than detract from the story. Tara is a charmer. This novel stands alone without the history of the other stories.

As their relationship deepens, and they struggle through personal issues, Kim and Justin stay true to themselves and each other. They argue, they worry and they stumble, but they do so intelligently and with heartfelt emotion. I was truly engaged and was eager to see how things would work out for them.

One minor problem in The Winner Gets Married involves prospective brother-in-law Robert Marsh. He is a scum, yet he is allowed into the family business due to his “soon-to-be” status. In a family this powerful, wouldn’t there be some restrictions or limitations? It seems inconsistent that smart business people would make a decision like this. There is a problem that is implied, and yet no resolution is brought to bear on Marsh. Rather it is his personal interaction that eventually gets him into trouble.

Overall, good writing, good relationships and good characters overcame the predictablility of the beginning. In the end, I forgot all about the inane auction, and enjoyed the great romance. Readers will also win with And the Winner Gets…Married!

--Shirley Lyons

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