Conveniently His

A Cowboy, a Bride, and a Wedding Vow

 
Terms of Surrender by Shirley Rogers
(Silh. Desire #1615, $4.50, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76615-7
***
As amnesia tales go, Terms of Surrender is better than some because the amnesia is not the only plot in the story. Unfortunately for the readers, the other plot involves a will that makes two people who have a “hate on the surface/love underneath” relationship share a home for a year in order to inherit. That plot comes off as rather predictable but overall it is still an acceptable story.

David Taylor had a contentious relationship with his father, Edward, and he left Cotton Creek Plantation, their family home because he feared he would grow to hate his father, an embittered man ever since David's mother died when David was only 10. In the five years since he left, he started his own business and made something of himself. He returned because his father was critically ill and now the father has died.

When David left, he left his friends and a new acquaintance, Tanya Winters. Tanya was found along the side of the road with a concussion and no memory. Her ID was the only information that they had. David's dad, sensing something in her, took her into his home and offered her both a place to stay and a job helping with the books. Tanya, at 17, developed a major crush on 19-year-old David. David was attracted to her too. The one brief kiss they shared has stayed with them both. In the intervening years, Tanya has developed into a strong manager and had basically taken over the reins of the plantation, convincing Edward to switch the main crop from peanuts to soybeans. She has felt safe at Cotton Creek and made it her home.

Edward's will demands that David stay at Cotton Creek for one year if he is to inherit and Tanya is to be given her job until she no longer wants it. If David does not stay, Tanya inherits. Even though Tanya doesn't want the plantation, always believing it would become David's, she has nowhere else to go and wants to keep her job. Their mutual attraction just complicates matters.

David is willing to do what his father's will required because he can run his company from Cotton Creek. Yet, he is hesitant because of the bad memories and because he is fearful of his strong desire for Tanya. He is an okay hero, nothing special but nothing about him that turns the reader away either.

Tanya is a strong character and can be admired for her spirit and her ability to pick up her life even as she is tormented by who she might really be. Because of the fact that this is part of the series Dynasties: the Danforths, the reader knows that Tanya is really Victoria Danforth. How she discovers her identity is an average tale of finding her memory and being found at the same time. Again, it is a nice tale but does not break any new ground.

Terms of Surrender is a three-heart tale: predictable, traditional characters and run of the mill plot lines. Fans of the Danforth series will not be too disappointed, but others may find this one easy to pass by.

-- Shirley Lyons


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