No Groom Like Him
by Jeanie London
(Harl Super #1739, $5.50, PG) ISBN 978-0373-71739-2
Here is a story we have seen before...a woman who couldn't wait to get away from home comes back years later with her tail between her legs and a dose of bravado to hide her hurt. The man she had a crush on in high school is here and wow, the sparks still fly when they see each other. Of course, they have to relive their old issues and figure out who they are today so they can see that they are meant for each other. Jeanie London has done a good job with this well-used plotline and her characters are engaging enough to make it an acceptable reading experience.

Lily Angelica is one of many of the Angelica brood - but she hasn't been back to her home town since her twin passed away. The widow of her twin has found love again and Lily has agreed to come home and plan her wedding. After all, she is known as the Wedding Angel since her business is wedding planning. When she gets home, an old friend of the family, Max Downey, finagles her into also planning his cousin's wedding...and this one will be doubling as a campaign kickoff, so it has to be grand.

Everyone is worried about Lily since she is coming off of a broken engagement; something that occurred when her ex made his affair public. Lily is hiding her hurt and has also been avoiding her family in an effort to forget her grief. Max is there to help her and with the help of his little girl, he is able to convince Lily to take a chance on life with him. Their journey is also predictable, but Max is a convincing hero, having lived through the tragedy of losing his wife and other child in an accident. His surviving daughter helped to ground him and after five years, he is ready to move on. Now with Lily he feels he can have the family he has been yearning for.

What sets this apart from other tales is the depth of the characters. Lily is well rounded and while she has issues, she is also used to being on her own and determined to stand on her own feet. Her brother is angry with her about her lack of family connections and he doesn't hesitate to let her know. Max is a man who has dealt with tragedy but moved on with his life. He feels for Lily but is not willing to let her wallow in self-pity.

No Groom Like Him is a well written and engaging story despite its predictability. Enjoy.

--Shirley Lyons

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