by Diane Perkins

November 2004
ISBN: 0-446-61437-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Mass Market Paperback

Captain John Grayson is injured, in mourning and in 1814 back in England on leave. Haunted by nightmares of his young pregnant wifeís death heís not prepared for the sight of another pregnant woman on his door, a woman claiming to be married to Captain John Grayson. Knowing that she must be wrong and looking for the wrong man he still does the honorable thing. He serves as an impromptu midwife and sends for his cousins to take care of the woman. He even pays her debts and provides his cousins with funds to provide Maggie and her son with a new home. Having done the right thing he returns to war.

His cousins, kindhearted that they are, refuse to believe in any wrong doing and when they find a marriage certificate with Johnís signature on it they do what they believe is the right thing. They send the young mother and son to Johnís estranged father, to stay with family.

When John returns two years later heís not happy to find Maggie at his ancestral home and believed to be his rightful wife, and he still thinks her to be out to con him and his family, but he canít help seeing her worth in the love and respect she gives and receives from a family he himself feels estranged from.

Maggie is a heroine, who although naÔve in believing the false promises of her first ďhusbandĒ, grows on the reader by being courageous and lovable in her quest for a safe future for her baby boy. Unwilling to just take what good fortune is offered to her, Maggie sets out to bring happiness and love to a family so much in need of it. Is it any wonder then that John canít help being tempted by his improper wife?

Donít expect too much of a mystery when it comes to the first husband and the signature on the marriage certificate. Itís not needed. Seeing how those two learn to trust and love, respect and cherish the other is enough. And with the help of one young boy and other wonderful secondary characters itís so very easy to be absorbed into their world and to understand and identify with their actions.

The strength, pride and courage shown, the support and love given, shine through every word written. Itís obvious that the author loves her characters as much as their story, never giving up on them and providing them with the means to succeed in achieving the happily ever after that they deserve.

The Improper Wife is a very satisfying romance. Diane Perkins aka Diane Gaston is an author with an amazing storytelling talent and itís the readers luck that not just one but two publishers discovered her. With many more stories already written and ready to be released, a shortage of her wonderful (and sometimes ďunusualĒ) stories and lovable characters is not to be feared.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Kris Alice.

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