A Cowboy at Heart

Cowboy Santa

My Daddy the Duke

Marry Me, Kate
by Judy Christenberry
(Silh. Rom. #1344, $3.50, G) ISBN 0-373-19344-0
Marry Me, Kate is the first of a three sister miniseries, "Lucky Charm Sister," where we're told that three sisters "marry for convenience...but will they find love?" This is Kate's story, followed by Maggie's in February and Susan's story in March.

Kate O'Connor is going to see businessman Will Hardison. His company is sponsoring small businesses, and her family diner really needs financial help. But Will has just been conned by another small businessman and is unwilling to help Kate. When she refuses to leave his office, he decides then and there that she may be exactly the kind of woman he needs to get his matchmaking mother off his back. How his mother would hate this woman, so demanding, argumentative, determined. He finally agrees to hear Kate's pitch, but only if she'll go with him to a top drawer social function.

Arriving at Kate's diner, he's aware that she's not dressed as formally as he expected. More's the better. All Will wants is a reaction from his mother and if Kate doesn't care that she's underdressed, neither does he. He brushes off her feelings that lightly. When Kate behaves outrageously, Will does get the desired effect from his mother, who exclaims, "I cannot believe you would bring such a social misfit to our gala." Speeding up his plans for Kate, he tells his mother, "Why wouldn't I bring her here, Mother? Kate and I are to be married." Mother goes into a dead faint.

Will then proposes a marriage of convenience contract with Kate. If she'll marry him for a year, he'll give her the money free and clear to refurbish her diner and begin a catering business. All she has to do is to keep him free of his mother's machinations. He even encourages her to work. That will be his excuse to miss all the social activities that his mother wants him to attend. Of course, no hanky panky. Will even puts a clause in the contract that if he does make love to Kate, he'll forfeit half his money. That's a new one on me. There's so much sexual chemistry that Will is a fool if he thinks he can pull that one off. I never did understand his reasoning on that clause, one which will come back to haunt him.

Much of the book deals with Will's mother and Kate and provides us with a look at the other half, the ones who live so high above the rest of us that they must frequently suffer from altitude sickness. But Kate's just a little too noble to be believable, too. There were times that I wished she'd kicked Will where it would really hurt. And then there were times when she needed some sense knocked into her ideals.

The Marriage of Convenience plot line became hard to buy when Will reveals that he's worth 300 million. For that much money he could thumb his nose at society, no matter what his mother thinks. Heck, he could buy Mother a title and ensconce her in some European principality. I wish he had. I think he and Kate would have been much happier.

--Linda Mowery

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