Ten years ago, Hadleigh Stevens was eighteen and this close to saying “I do,” when Tripp Galloway interrupted her walk down the aisle. Now that she’s recovered from her youthful mistake and Tripp’s interference, Hadleigh and her single friends form a marriage pact. She doesn’t expect Tripp to meddle with her new plan to find Mr. Right—or to discover that she’s more attracted to him than ever!
Divorced and eager to reconnect with his cowboy roots, Tripp returns to Bliss County to save his ailing father’s ranch. He’s not looking for another wife—certainly not his best friend’s little sister. But he’s never been able to forget Hadleigh. And this time, if she ends up in his arms, he won’t be walking away!
From the Author (front of book)
Dear Readers and Friends,
I’m excited to introduce you to an entirely new series of contemporary Western romances, The Brides of Bliss County. Set in Wyoming in and around a small fictional town called Mustang Creek the stories come directly from my heart.
The saga begins with The Marriage Pace, and the agreement between three close friends – Hadleigh, Melody and Becca (also known as Bex) – to work together to find a Mr. Right for themselves and each other. They’re successful in their chosen careers, and that’s fine with all of them, but they’re also tired of being perennial bridesmaids; they want homes and families of their own, beginning with a husband – preferably perfect.
In The Marriage Pact, you’ll read about cowboy/businessman Tripp Galloway, who has just sold a very successful charter-jet company and come home to the family ranch, along wit his dog, Ridley, to help his widowed stepfather and maybe – just maybe – come to terms with his own past. Hadleigh Stevens, local quiltshop owner and quilt designer, is a big part of that past, and not just because Tripp “rescued” her from marrying the wrong man a decade before – by carrying her bodily out of the church before the “I dos” could be said. Hadleigh’s known her share of tragedy, losing both parents and then her beloved older brother, Will, who just happened to be Tripp’s closest friend. He’d made a solemn promise to look after Will’s kid sister, to step in and be her big brother.
Promises have consequences, though, don’t they? What happens when time and trouble have mellowed both Hadleigh and Tripp, and fate has brought them together again?
And what happens when Hadleigh decides to let go of her childhood crush on Tripp and get on with her life, just when Tripp is finally realizing she’s all grown-up and he wants to be her partner, not her honorary big brother?
The Author: In January of 2006, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Linda Lael Miller left the Arizona horse property she’s called home for the past five years and listened to the call of her heart. Packing up her work-in-progress for HQN Books; her dogs, Sadie and Bernice, and her four horses, the author of more than 70 novels bid farewell to her home in the desert and returned to the place of her birth, Spokane, Washington.
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda grew up in Northport, WA, a community of 500 on the Columbia River, 120 miles north of Spokane. Her childhood remembrances include riding horses and playing cowgirl on her grandparents’ nearby farm. Her grandparents’ spread was so rustic that in the early days it lacked electricity and running water.
As delightful as this childhood was, Linda longed to see the world. After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, she left to pursue her dream. Because of the success of her author career, Linda was able to live part-time in London for several years, spend time in Italy and travel to such far-off destinations as Russia, Hong Kong and Israel. Now, Linda says, the wanderlust is (mostly) out of her blood, and she’s come full circle, back to the people and the places she knows and loves.
Before Linda begins her writing day, she takes her first cup of coffee while enjoying the scenic view of the wooded draw behind her new home. The first morning there, a snowfall blanketed the pine trees, something she had missed in the desert outside Scottsdale. Still enamored with the people she came to love in Arizona, she says she will still set books in that starkly beautiful area, and, of course, in other stories the action will take place in Washington.
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Even after twenty years, I can still remember the very first book I read by Linda Lael Miller, and she remains one of my favorite authors. If you are looking for a deep-seeded romance with loads of suspense, then you probably will not enjoy Linda’s books. I’m saying this because I’ve read some of the reviews on this book. What I enjoy about her books is that they are light-hearted romances that you can sit down and read in one sitting – a beach read, a Sunday afternoon read; books that transport you to a place where love happens quickly and forever. They are fun, quick reads.
THE MARRIAGE PACT was such a book. There are three friends in a very small town who are bound and determined to find marriageable men to love them and to have their happy ever after. They form a pact as friends are known to do and it is a sweet part of their friendship. Hadleigh is the first to have love find her – in the form of her older brother’s best friend and one good-looking guy who knows how to wear his boots (and transport her to another dimension with his kisses.)
What follows is a sweet love story with little suspense and drama. It is an easy read and how it ends is a given. It did seem to have a little de-ja-vou in the storyline, but I read a tremendous amount of books, so chances are, any story-line has a chance of sounding vaguely familiar to me. I enjoyed the book, especially the ending and if you are a fan of Linda’s, you will definitely want to read it. I am eagerly awaiting the second book in the series to see who finds love next. There may have been an oh-so-subtle hint in this book, but we’ll see.
I’m giving THE MARRIAGE PACT five stars. It was typical of Linda’s style and a good book. I think this trilogy is going to be fun.
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