by Dawn Atkins

January 2003
ISBN: 0-373-44157-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #91
Mass Market Paperback

Wedding For One opens with Mariah Monroe fleeing her own wedding. Mariah has just learned from her mother that Nathan thinks she is pregnant with another man's child and is marring her to give the child a name. Mariah can't bear to have Nathan "settle" for her and flees town with her best friend Nikki Winfield. The two head to Phoenix to make a life for themselves.

In reality Nathan is marring Mariah because he is in love with her and he is late for the wedding because his car has broken down and the farmer giving him a lift refuses to drive over 20.

Eight years have passed since the dreadful day described above and the misunderstanding between Mariah and Nathan has never been cleared up as Mariah has never returned to town. Her father is looking to retire and Nathan has just announced that after 8 years of being her father's right hand man at Cactus Confections he is moving on to another job in California. Mariah is called upon to return to run the business. She hates the business and decides to return to talk Nathan out of leaving.

Upon her return Mariah discovers her feelings for Nathan haven't changed from 8 years ago. He still makes her knees go weak and her heart skip a beat. Whether he will admit it or not Nathan feels pretty much the same. Ms. Atkins has set the scene to take the reader on a hilarious journey as Nathan and Mariah try and sort out their feelings and find true love in small town Cooper Corners.

Tattoo For Two brings us the story of tattoo artist and shop owner Nikki Winfield. Nikki is Mariah's best friend and she left Cooper Corners 8 years ago to get away from her perfect parents, the town principle and teacher and her all-too-perfect sister, Donna. Nikki always felt like the misfit of her family and found the perfect out when she ran away to Phoenix to start a new life for herself.

Nikki has done alright for herself but it's too bad she has sort of lied to her family. She has told them she is a successful shop owner. She didn't mention the fact that the shop is a tattoo parlor. She also has told them she is happily married to a doctor named Warren.

Nikki has just learned that her father is ill. In fact he may be dying. She needs to return with her husband "Warren" to prove to her family that she is ok. It's a good thing Hollister Marx has just entered Nikki's life and owes her a favor. She convinces Hollister to return to Cooper Corners with her and pretend to be her beloved "Warren"

Dawn Atkins shows her gift for writing romantic comedy again with this double duets. The premise of the two misfit friends who return to their hometown to show everyone their successes is a wonderful start to this delightful duo of stories.

Wedding For One has some good moments, especially the scene where Nathan and Mariah get accidentally "locked" in the refrigerated cooler overnight while doing inventory. I feel that Tattoo For Two was by far the better story as far as delivering laugh out loud scenes though. Hollister and Nikki are two totally opposites who are drawn together by a sexual chemistry that neither of them expects. Ms. Atkins gets these two in some situations that had me laughing so hard I almost...well lets just say it wouldn't have been pretty. If you are in a blue mood and ready for a good laugh out loud book then pick up this latest release from Ms. Atkins. Read Wedding For One first for some good chuckles and get ready to laugh until you cry with Tattoo For Two. I look forward to this rising star's next offering.

Reviewed in January 2003 by Barbara.

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