by Millie Criswell

October 2003
ISBN: 0-373-44175-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #1
Mass Market Paperback

Oh no! This can’t be happening! For the third time, Francesca Morelli is walking down the aisle, and running right back up it again, leaving stunned fiancé No. 3 at the altar. This seems to point to some selfishness on Francie’s part, doesn’t it? The facts couldn’t be further from the truth. Francie really does care for Matt Carson, she just realizes that her affection does not equal the passion that a marriage requires. So she bolts. Better to come to your senses before the marriage than afterward!

Matt’s half-brother, Mark Fielding, is running late. The handsome photojournalist’s overseas flight was delayed, and he is just pulling into the church parking lot in time to see Francie make her getaway. Shocked and angered by the disappointment and embarrassment his brother is experiencing, Mark wishes he could find a way to exact some revenge on the cold-hearted woman who broke his brother’s heart.

Staying Single by Millie Criswell is a delight. Her well-written characters sparkle with life. Ms. Criswell takes her time with the story, going deep enough to show the humanity of her characters. I was especially fond of Josephine Morelli, a true Italian mother, and Leo Bergmann, Francie’s roommate. The two of them nearly steal the show!

It is a lot of fun to watch Francie fumbling through her first encounters with the hunky photographer. Mark Fielding’s pictures may be stark realism, but the man is pure eye candy! The scenes heat up nicely, without changing the overall pace of the book, which I appreciated. This books keys on the humor, without sacrificing the other necessary emotional aspects. Both Francie and Mark have very personal reasons for the choices they have made, and this serious side is not glossed over.

I think that readers who have been not-so-patiently waiting for Millie Criswell’s return will be pleased with this story. For new readers who start with this book, plan a trip to the bookstore, you will definitely be looking for this popular author’s backlist!.

Reviewed in September 2003 by Paula.

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