Linda Lael Miller
Date: 27th January 2015
Genre: Western contemporary romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley and Little Bird Publicity
The women of Bliss County have a pact—to find husbands. The right husbands.
One already has: Hadleigh Stevens, who married rancher Tripp Galloway a few months ago. Now Melody Nolan thinks it's her turn. Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She's not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She's always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she's convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn't what you'd call husband material.
Spence is a good cop who isn't scared of anything—except love. And he's done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there's something about Melody he can't forget. Something his heart can't ignore.
The Marriage Charm is the second book in the The Brides of Bliss County by Linda Lael Miller. It is aptly named as the heroine - Melody is the artist who has designed the charm bracelets that all three women wear as part of their pact to find husbands they love and all the delights that follows with family life.
Melody first proposed to Spence, who is now the town's chief of police nine years ago, and he declined! That really upset her so now she is a little wary as Spence begins to pay her more attention. After all she knows he has a bit of a reputation with the women! Slowly their relationship rebuilds, but Spence is treading warily too. When he was nine years old he was dropped off in Bliss County to his Aunt Libby who has reared him since. So he has some issues of abandonment. Now a letter from his mother sits unopened in a desk drawer. He can't decide whether to open it.
I liked the way the point of view alternated in this story in a fairly even way. It gave the reader a chance to really get to know both Melody and Spence and how they were feeling as they circled each other. We knew early on the reason why Spence had declined Melody and it wasn't all bad!
As always in a Linda Lael Miller animals play a small but endearing part. Melody's three cats were fun and Spence's dog Harley and Reb his horse are very much part of the scene. As in The Marriage Pact like Hadleigh, Melody is surprised by a gift from Spence that she very aptly names. Mind you it's very difficult to keep anything quiet or a surprise in this small country town in Wyoming. Mrs Arbuckle a wealthy member of the community also is involved with many plans - some endearing, some risky and some downright unpalatable.
There is some mystery in this book - someone is stealing items from homes and in doing so hit very close to some of the characters in the book. However finally with a few wily moves by other characters in the book this mystery is totally solved much to Spence's chagrin.
The Marriage Charm was a very pleasant, romantic story with familiar and likeable characters, a little humor thrown in and set in the beautiful Wyoming countryside.
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than one hundred historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, the self-confessed barn goddess now lives in Spokane, Washington. Linda hit a career high in 2011 when all three of her Creed Cowboys books—A Creed in Stone Creek, Creed’s Honor and The Creed Legacy—debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Linda has come a long way since leaving Washington to experience the world. “But growing up in that time and place has served me well,” she allows. “And I’m happy to be back home.” Dedicated to helping others, Linda personally finances her “Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women,” which she awards to those seeking to improve their lot in life through education. More information about Linda and her novels is available at www.lindalaelmiller.com. She also loves to hear from readers by mail at P.O. Box 19461, Spokane, WA 99219.