by Gayle Callen

January 2004
ISBN: 0-06-054394-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Miss Jane Whittington is to marry William Chadwick. A stranger and her absent fatherís choice. Janeís always trusted her father, now though she doubts he knows her at all. How is she to marry a man as shallow, vain and stupid as William Chatwick? With no talent for languages, no desire to travel and no interests other than fashion and the latest society gossip heís definitely not what she had expected in a potential future husband. Jane is determined to prove her fatherís choice wrong.

Will has his own doubts. A retired spy, looking for a proper society wife he doesnít know what to make of Janeís spirit, her unladylike education and choice of leisurely pursuits. She is proper enough to spurn all his advances. However, their heightened awareness of each other, the sizzle and the flying sparks might just be the only thing they have in common.

While traveling together to see her father, Jane discovers that Will can be dark and dangerous, a mystery to be solved, a man to confuse her senses. I did recognize the signs of Janeís growing awareness, desire for his touch and admiration for his conducts. I canít say the same of Will. And as Gayle Gallen allows both her hero and her heroinís point of view I was a little disappointed, as I would have liked to see both of them equally involved.

Will is far too much concerned about what he believes heís looking for in a perfect wife and mother to his children. His reluctance to accept the wilder and unconventional sides of Janeís character I found disturbing and aggravating. His willingness to bind her to him by seducing her shows that it is not love heís looking for in a marriage, nor trust as he doesnít reveal his secrets and sets different standards for both their desires, interests and actions.

No Ordinary Groom is an entertaining read; it never bores. But for it to be more than that it needs a more likable hero and overall a better characterization. As it is my first book by this author Iím not aware of how it compares to her other releases. Iíd be happy though to try another.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Kris Alice.

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