If you like “second chance at love” stories, you may well enjoy Christine Rimmer’s new release. Jenna Bravo and Mack McGarrity married young and after two years, Jenna left New York and her neglectful husband and returned to her hometown in California. Now she wants to marry her high school sweetheart but there is one problem. Mack never returned the signed divorce papers so, legally she is still his wife.
Imagine Jenna’s shock when Matt walks into her store one sunny day and says he needs to talk to her. She had asked him to sign and send her the papers; he has a very different agenda. Unless she agrees to spend two weeks with him, he won’t sign. Jenna will have to begin the whole divorce process all over again. She refuses at first, but Matt’s reappearance in her life has really shaken her up. She remembers their passionate love and realizes that what she feels for her fiancé doesn’t begin to feel the same. So she agrees to Matt’s plan.
Matt had been consumed with the need to succeed and had put his work before everything else. He had had no time for his wife and no desire for a family. So Jenna had left. Matt had certainly succeeded; winning a major law case had yielded him a fee of $10 million, which he had parlayed into an even larger fortune. But he had never forgotten the only woman he had ever loved.
But Matt soon discovers that the sweet and compliant Jenna he had known has changed. Sure, she’ll fall in with his plans but on her terms. Before the two weeks are up, Jenna has forced Matt to finally confide in her about his own past and to begin to deal with it. But there are still barriers for them to overcome.
What I like about The Millionaire She Married is certainly not the book’s title. (Has it occurred to anyone else that Harlequin/Silhouette titles are becoming ever more trite and cutsey?) Rather I like seeing Jenna force Matt to deal with the capable, assertive woman she has become. I like seeing Matt reevaluate his own priorities and recognize his own failings. I like watching two people discover that they are still in love, but that both they and their love have changed.
Rimmer has given us an enjoyable contemporary romance which proves once again that the only way for a relationship to work is for there to be a true partnership and real equality between the hero and heroine. Matt and Jenna failed to achieve this, mostly because of Matt’s driving ambition, but also because of Jenna’s youth and insecurity. Now they have a second chance to get things right.
Rimmer makes the reader believe that they may well succeed but only because both have changed and grown. I enjoyed The Millionaire She Married because of its strong characters, interesting plot, and hopeful message. Second chances are what we all hope for in life and love.