Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Marine’s E-Mail Order Bride (Heroes of Chance Creek Book 3)
by Cora Seton

If Gunnery Sergeant Zane Hall wants to save his family’s ranch, he’ll need to fix up the buildings, stock the spread with cattle—and find a wife. The first two are easy with the help of his brothers, but getting hitched is proving more difficult. When he meets mountaineer Kenna North through an online ad, she seems like the perfect fit—at least in her e-mails. She wants the same thing he does: a temporary marriage to secure an inheritance. But when Zane meets Kenna, she’s nothing like he expects, and Zane finds himself changing his priorities, fast. 

If Storm Willow wants to save her family’s seaside cottage, she’ll have to keep her boss happy—which means taking Kenna’s place and marrying Zane when Kenna is detained out of the country. As long as Storm acts her part, no one will know that she’s an imposter. But when she falls for the handsome Marine, Storm begins to wonder if holding onto the cottage is worth giving up on love. 

Can a fake marriage lead to real happiness? Or is disaster just a heartbeat away? 

Published & Release Date: One Acre Press, January 6, 2015

Time and setting: Montana  

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 2

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

"What Gunnery Sergeant Zane Hall wants, Gunnery Sergeant Zane Hall gets." This is so true for Zane! I thoroughly enjoyed this great addition to the Heroes of Chance Creek series. I have read all the books in Cora Seton’s The Cowboys of Chance Creek series, which I found delightful. Now I am a huge fan of hers and cannot wait for the next one in this series to come out.

Storm Willow, assistant to Kenna North arrives in Chance Creek, Montana with her boss’s wedding dress to find out that Kenna now expects her to pretend to be her and actually marry the cowboy Kenna is supposed to wed in six weeks. Her boss is off on another one of her climbing expeditions and cannot be bothered to play the part of Zane Hall’s fake fiancée, soon to be wife.

After being disappointed when he finds out the woman he wanted to marry was gay, he posts his own e-mail, looking for a woman to marry him with the understanding that they would divorce after his aunt signs over the ranch to him and his three brothers. Kenna North seems perfect; she needs to marry to gain her inheritance as well. A match made in heaven, right? Not that Zane does not want to get married, he just wants to take his time and find a woman he can love.

When Storm pulls open the door of the motel room, her gaze travels over the most handsome man she has ever seen in her life. She immediately feels an overwhelming attraction all the way to her core. She sees the same interest in his gorgeous hazel eyes as well. Before she could stop herself, she says, “Hi, I’m Kenna North,” and the deception begins.

This is a very light-hearted read. Zane and Storm hit it off right away and before they even make it out to meet the rest of Zane’s family, they tumble into bed with each other. The chemistry between the two is off the charts from the very beginning, and Ms. Seton is able to maintain their attraction throughout the entire story, making this a very sensual read.

Even though Storm is lying to Zane, there is such a vulnerability to her that I immediately warmed up to her. After all, her boss has put her in an untenable situation. Either she assumes Kenna’s identity or Storm will be out of a job. Then who will help her mother with her three much younger sisters. I felt a lot of empathy for her character right from the beginning. I think that is why this worked for me, because Storm feels so much guilt and remorse over deceiving Zane. That is the fabric of the entire tale.

Zane’s character is a sweetheart from the first scene. While he is also lying to his aunt, it is because she has placed such unreasonable goals for all of them. He cannot let his brothers down, yet he does not want to tie himself permanently to a marriage without love. Of course, now that he has met Kenna/Storm he is reconsidering that part, since it is love at first sight.

I found this book so refreshing, in the sense that Zane and Storm actually like each other, so there is very little conflict between the couple, yet the circumstances they find themselves in allows for a great deal of external conflict, and it works so well for this story. Yes, some things do seem to work out a bit too easily, but it did not take anything away from my reading enjoyment.

I am a bit surprised I have fallen under Ms. Seton’s spell because while I enjoy cowboy stories, they are not my first choice when looking for something to read, but I just love all these characters. The plots in her books are very much character driven.

If you have not read any of Ms. Seton’s books, I highly recommend them. I do suggest you read The Navy Seal’s E-Mail Bride first so you will have a better understanding of the dynamics between the brothers and the full dilemma their aunt has put them in. I feel confident that you will enjoy her books as much as I have. Happy reading! 

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