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The Cowboy's Seductive Proposal
by Sara Orwig
(Silh. Desire #1192, $3.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-76192-9
***
During a solitary lunch in the park, advertising director Faith Kolanko overhears what she thinks is an intimate tête-à-tête. She soon discovers her mistake when she realizes that she's overhearing new daddy Jared Whitewolf coo and croon to his newly adopted daughter. And Jared is so taken with Faith that he and baby Merry follow Faith to her office, laying the beginnings of a siege on Faith's emotions.

Jared senses that Faith is attracted to him and drawn to Merry. Impulsively, he offers her marriage. She's been worried about the rut she's in, but doing something as impulsively as marry this world champion bull rider is a far cry from how she envisioned perking up her life.

Jared begins to share his life with Faith. He involves her in his rodeo activities and encourages her to spend time with Merry. He's intrigued with this lovely woman and really does want to marry her. She refuses his proposals until she realizes that his final ultimatum is really the last proposal. Knowing how sterile her life will be without this spellbinding man, she accepts. But will she be able to accept Jared's dangerous occupation?

As an adult, I know that trying to change a person is close to impossible and is wrong. I am always bothered when one character sets out to change the other. Our conflict here is Faith's fear that Jared will get hurt. Part of what makes this scenario unconvincing is Jared's ease as a bull rider. He considers it his job, one that's lucrative and one at which he's very competent, as noted by The World Champion Belt Buckle.

Jared is a superlatively drawn hero. He's aware of Faith's needs, wants, fears and does his best to make her happy. He even considers her request of finding a new occupation, but honestly doesn't see that his job is that dangerous. He's a wonderful father to his adopted daughter and agrees with Faith's desire to start their family. He really is one of the good guys.

Stick-in-the-mud, straightlaced, humorless Faith is what gives this book its three heart rating. What Jared sees in her is a mystery to me. Orwig has written Jared with such depth and sensitivity that it seems as though not much personality was left over for Faith. These two were just too mismatched.

If you have the ability to lose yourself into a book, to project yourself into the role of heroine, this book may be just what you need. Jared is sensitive, sexy and prime husband material. Try to appreciate him more than Faith did. He's one Grade-A hero.

--Linda Mowery


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