The Boss & the Beauty

His Wild Young Bride
by Donna Clayton
(Silh. Romance #1441, $3.59, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-19441-2
His Wild Young Bride is a rather ordinary story of two people who manipulate each other into marriage. In addition, the use of a guardianship arrangement seems somewhat contrived and out of place in a contemporary novel.

Blake Campbell was appointed Cassie Warrington's financial guardian when her father died a few years ago. Blake has had weekly meetings with Cassie ever since, but he talks to her about more than her finances. She is about to turn twenty-one and he is worried because she has become more wild in the last few months. At the last meeting, she announced that she was going to lose her virginity -- to get it over with, not because she loves someone. She plans to marry the first person who will have her and go from there.

Blake feels responsible for Cassie so he decides to marry her and then not have sex with her to give her time to grow up. When she has grown up a bit, he will end the marriage knowing she is more stable. Blake has been avoiding marriage after the problems he had with his first marriage.

Cassie is not wild at all. She has been in love with Blake since she was a teenager and making up wild stories to get his attention. The virginity story is part of her plan to get Blake to marry her. He does marry her, but tells Cassie he wants to wait on sex a while until they can get to know each other better. Cassie knows that he is attracted to her, so she seduces him on their wedding night and he can't resist. When he finds out the next day that all her stories have been to get him to pay attention to her, he is furious.

Cassie is shown has being very manipulative. Once Blake gets mad at her, she decides maybe she isn't as grown up as she thought and now is the time to figure out who she is. Why she gets mad at Blake when she discovers his real reason for marrying her makes little sense when she had manipulated him even more.

I was never convinced that the two of them had enough going for them to make a marriage work. The scene where Blake finally tells Cassie he loves her is fun, but there just was not enough substance to the story to make it believable.

--B. Kathy Leitle

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