A Knight to Cherish

You’re Marrying Her? by Angie Ray
(Silh. Rom. #1675, $3.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-19675-X
This book features one of those plots that is forced along by the utter cluelessness of the heroine, with the hero structuring his actions to fit her lack of introspection. If anyone in this story simply sat up and acted like an adult, there would be no story at all.

Samantha Gillespie is twenty-four and working as a seamstress in her sister’s wedding boutique. She loves the sewing and designing of the dresses, but has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She also has no idea what she wants to do with her old friend, Brad, who at the tender age of twenty-seven has sold his high-tech firm for a hundred million dollars. (Yeah, these high-tech millionaires. One on every corner, I’m telling you.) Brad shows up with a fiancée, and wants Samantha to design the dress and the boutique to do the wedding.

This unsettles Samantha, who believes that beautiful, blonde Heather is only a gold-digger out for Brad’s money. Heather’s private behavior seems to confirm it. Sam can’t let her old buddy marry a gold-digger! Especially when the thought of Brad marrying anyone is so troubling. Of course, it’s just because they are old friends. Sam has never thought of Brad as anything but a pal. Well, not very often, anyway. And the last time she wondered about her feelings toward Brad, she did the sensible thing. She packed and ran off to Europe for two years.

Samantha sets out to break up the engagement via a series of tiresome antics like pretending she can rollerblade and then getting caught in a rollerblade race, designing several stripper/dominatrix-style gowns for Heather, and inviting Heather and Brad to dinner with Samantha’s overbearing mother. Predictable consequences ensue.

The reader is given broad hints all along that Brad has an ulterior motive up his sleeve. But the whole thing falls flat in the face of Samantha’s refusal to do any sort of soul-searching about anything. The woman might as well have had “DUH” painted on her forehead. Brad suggests she might be an excellent - wait for it - fashion designer! since she likes to design dresses and is always sketching them. Samantha is awed by his insight. Of course! Why didn’t she think of that? Readers will no doubt be wondering the same thing.

Okay, so we have a heroine who must resort to silly sitcom-style antics to break up this engagement, all the while telling herself she’s doing it for Brad’s sake, rather than be honest about how she really feels toward him. Brad, for his part, must resort to subterfuge rather than tell the woman he loves how he really feels, because if he levels with her, she’ll turn tail and run. What is this, seventh grade?

You’re Marrying Her? is probably the perfect romance for the average sixteen-year-old, who wants to read about “like, you know, adults” but wants them to act in a way that makes perfect sense to her. This adult, however, recommends giving it a pass.

--Cathy Sova

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