Duets 17

Duets 48

Too Smart for Marriage

The Marine Meets His Match
by Cathie Linz
(Silh. Romance # 1736, $4.25, G) ISBN 0-373-19736-5
Two strong willed people meet and sparks start to fly – from sexual tension, as well as from differences in opinion and personality. Their encounter stays with them. The man needs a name quick and this woman’s name flies from his mouth. Now he has a dilemma. He imposes his will and creates a situation she can’t refuse. But the plans go awry and love blossoms.

While this sounds like a formula for many stories, the depth of the characters and the enjoyment the reader gets from watching these two people fall for each other is pure writer’s skill. The Marine Meets His Match is thus recommended despite some quickie transformations at the end of the tale.

Rad Kozlowski is a captain in the U. S. Marine Corp. And he has a slight problem. The General’s daughter, Heidi, has decided she likes him and is causing him angst. He turned down a date and she got him assigned to talk to a class of third graders on Career Day. He presents the Marines to them as a serious intense choice of career. Serena Anderson, a bookstore owner, is in the audience. She sees the intimidated faces of these young children and takes exception to the Captain’s manner. She confronts him about it and the chemistry between them seems to boil. They part, but their encounter sticks with them.

Rad is confronted by Heidi when he returns to base and he lies and says he can’t see her because he has a fiancée. She demands a name and Serena’s name slips out. Knowing Heidi will not just let this drop, Rad decides to take action. He buys the building where Serena has her store and apartment. (He is a rich Marine, having inherited money from his grandfather). He makes a deal which lowers her rent for six months if she agrees to pretend to be his fiancée. Serena is upset that he tries to boss her around, a trait she grew to hate from her military father. She resents that he has found her vulnerable spot – money. But she signs the agreement.

But Rad is not like her father and Serena is much more intriguing than women Rad has encountered before. As they spend time together and get to know each other, tensions rise and their emotions are engaged. Serena meets Rad’s family, partly in thanks to some machinations by Heidi. She learns the while Rad is Marine through and through, he is also a tender, caring man. How they resolve the fake versus real engagement is best left for the reader to discover. And it is a delightful journey indeed.

There are a few conflicts that get resolved very quickly and this causes a mild discomfort. But it is category romance and quick transformations are often necessary. The strength of the characters, both the main two and all the supporting cast, easily override this one small objection.

The Marine Meets His Match is part of the Men of Honor series and there is a promise that Rad’s twin brothers will be featured in books of their own. If this story is an indication of the author’s ability to spin a tale, then the reader is in for another treat.

--Shirley Lyons

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