O’Reilly’s Bride
by Trish Wylie
(Silh. Romance #1837, $4.25, G) ISBN 0-373-19837-X
****
Silhouette is using this month to introduce some authors from across the shore. Trish Wylie is from Ireland. Her story has some Irish flavor and some interesting blarney, and it is cute and engaging. O’Reilly’s Bride is a nice first novel.

Sean O’Reilly is a reporter/cameraman who has been around the world, covering places like Somalia. He has seen it all and has had enough. He is home in Ireland now, trying to put those nightmarish images behind him and find a life with someone to love and a family he can embrace. He sets his sights on his co-worker Maggie Sullivan, in whom he finds security and warmth that is missing from his life. Sean needs her sense of humor and her nature of caring, yet he sees her as she is, with all her faults, and he loves her.

Maggie is a good reporter, one that people open up to as she interviews them. She is easy to trust. She and Sean have a great relationship – friendly, teasing and even flirtatious. Sean is known as a bit of a ladies man, but Maggie sees that he is just biding his time. She continues to tease him though, and while she finds herself attracted, she also knows they cannot have more than a friendship. Maggie, it seems, is sterile like her sister and will only be able to have children of her own through special fertility treatments. Maggie watched her sister suffer through the procedures and saw it destroy her first marriage. Luckily for Kathy, she now has a supportive husband and is moving on with having a family. But Maggie refuses to put any man through that. She has a crazy idea that if she marries someone who is a single father, they won’t be disappointed that they can’t have children with her. Sean does not meet the criteria.

The basic premise is that Maggie is looking for this single dad “man of her dreams” on the Internet dating sites and Sean is determined to show her all their faults. Then he gets the idea to “become” one of those dates, hoping to find out what he thinks Maggie is hiding so he can breach her defenses.

For a short category romance, there is much packed into the pages. The relationship between Maggie and Sean shines, full of teasing, love and sharing. Even when they are being evasive, they are clearly connecting on a romantic level. It is a fun book to read. While both are a little skewed in their thinking, they both love and want what is best for the other. This makes their mistakes endearing rather than annoying. Wylie’s style shines through too, with a tad bit of tongue in cheek and a sparkle in the writing that keeps the reader engaged and encouraged that all will work out in the end.

There is a backdrop of Ireland and a small fishing village that adds to the setting but the story moves on the characters and their actions, thoughts and feelings. O’Reilly’s Bride is an engaging and entertaining first effort. Wylie will have a future if she continues to write stories and characters that jump from the pages like these. Keep on eye open for her future tales.

--Shirley Lyons


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