by Cathy Maxwell

August 1997
ISBN: 0-380-787-18-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Mallory married John Barron, as it was the only way to keep her home - Craige Castle.

John was told the eve before the wedding and reluctantly went through with the marriage. He spent one night with his new bride then left to join the army. Seven years passed before Mallory was forced to go and look for the rogue who was her husband!

The setting is perfect for a conflict-filled story but it is so much better then that. When John finds he is bankrupt because of his cheating uncle he escapes with Mallory and takes up a post as a Steward at a country estate.

Mallory is far from a dutiful wife in fact she wants a divorce! John is determined to win her love.

I loved the way he tried to woo his bride of seven years! She is stiff and proper and determined to give not an inch. Army life has taught him to mix with all types so fitting into their new surroundings with an assortment of wonderfully rich characters is easier for John.

Cathy Maxwell writes excellent stories, but in this one she outdoes her own talents! What a wonderfully delightful book this is. I canít praise it highly enough. Mallory and John are a couple who stay with the reader long after the last page is read. Their characters are so rich and full that there is something new to discover in each chapter about them.

A favourite scene for me is when Mallory empties a bucket of water over John while he is lounging on the bed, supremely confident she will join him even though she is seething at him. It is written into the story so well that as a reader I could visualise his shocked, dripping face while she flounced out the door with the empty bucket!

If you havenít read Cathy Maxwell before, this is a brilliant book to introduce you to her work.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Mary.

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