by Dee Henderson

September 2004
ISBN: 0-373-78519-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Steeple Hill
Trade Paperback

Scott William has just celebrated his thirty-eighth birthday, and he realizes that something is missing. It doesnít take much to realize what. Even though he is successful, blessed with friends, and has a rich faith, he has no one to share his life with. No one to come home to every night. No family to love. So when he blows out his birthday candles, he has one wish. He wants to meet his future wife.

Jennifer St. James is walking the beach on the anniversary of her husbandís death. When Scott approaches her, she is initially afraid, and doesnít try to encourage this unknown man to get to know her. But Scott is afraid Jennifer is in an abusive relationship. Sheís wearing a wedding ring, and has a nasty bruise on her face, which Jennifer claims she got when she walked into a door. Concerned for Jenniferís safety, Scott isnít easily rebuffed and is determined to help her.

When Jennifer finally explains to Scott that she is widowed and that she really did walk into a door, Scott is relieved and feels free to ask her out on a date. Even though Jennifer is still mourning the death of her husband and child, she agrees to date the kind, caring man. Scott quickly falls in love, but Jennifer has some serious issues to work through. Will she ever be truly capable of loving another man and having more children?

As a serious fan of Dee Hendersonís OíMalley Series and True Heroes Series, I was looking forward to reading The Marriage Wish. I was disappointed to realize that itís a reprint of her first novel and not a new book. The Marriage Wish isnít quite the quality of Ms. Hendersonís later books, but it is still a sweet romance and kept me turning the pages.

Jennifer and Scott were both realistic characters. Scott is almost desperately searching for a wife and is quite pushy in establishing a relationship between them. Jennifer is equally scared of a relationship, especially once she realizes that Scott will want to have children. She doesnít want to go through the pain of loving and losing another child.

Written in Ms. Hendersonís unique style, readers will be able to easily recognize the authorís voice. While not as exciting as Ms. Hendersonís other series, The Marriage Wish is still an endearing book and is not easily put down. If you want to revisit Ms. Hendersonís classic first romance, The Marriage Wish is the book for you.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Laura.

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