by Mindy Neff

January 2004
ISBN: 0-373-75005-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #1001
Mass Market Paperback

Tracy Lynn Randolph is about to turn thirty and doesn’t see her handsome prince anywhere in sight. Her mother’s fondest wish before she died was that Tracy would give her father lots of grandbabies to spoil. Tracy takes matters into her own hands and decided to become pregnant by artificial insemination. Although her first attempt didn’t work her second try has been more successful and she can’t wait to tell her father the great news.

Tracy’s father Jerald is the mayor of Hope Valley, Texas, and Tracy Lynn has been first lady of sorts to the town since her mother’s untimely death some years earlier. Tracy rushes to the courthouse to tell her dad the exciting news. She is stunned when her dad demands to know who got his daughter pregnant. Happening upon the two, Lincoln Slade says he was the one right before Jerald Randolph collapses with a heart attack.

Linc performs CPR until help arrives and saves her father’s life. Once at the hospital and feeling a bit better Jerald demands that the two get married right away. He plans to run for senate and can’t have his daughter an unwed mother. Jerald is still in very grave condition and Linc suggests to Tracy that they “pretend to marry” in order to reduce her father’s stress.

Tracy has lost one parent prematurely and could not bear it if her father were taken from her too. She agrees to Linc’s proposal and the two are soon married in her dad’s hospital room. Now they must live as husband and wife until her father is fully recovered and out of danger. This will be much harder than it sounds as there is definitely some chemistry going on between the two.

Once again Mindy Neff takes a typical arranged-marriage-and-baby story and makes it seem fresh and new. Bad boy Lincoln Slade has become my favorite hero of this remarkable 'Texas Sweetheart' trilogy penned by Ms Neff. Mindy again assembles her secondary characters and gives the reader a further look at not only Tracy and Linc’s lives but theirs as well. I was sad to see this book come to an end but there is one more “Texas Sweetheart”. Let’s hope that Mindy has plans to write Becca’s story soon. I can’t wait to return to Hope Valley.

Ms. Neff has shown a gift for giving her readers a taste of small town Texas life in the 'Texas Sweetheart' trilogy. I look forward to future releases from this talented author who can make an everyday plotline seem fresh and new and creates memorable characters that almost beg for their stories to be told.

Reviewed in December 2003 by Barbara.

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