Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Manning Brides: My Review

Another part of my Bookmooch haul was Debbie Macomber's The Manning Brides. This book contains two previously published short romance novels, each about one of the Manning brothers and the woman who ends up as his bride. The first couple have been best friends for years and have never considered romance. Each recently hurt when a long-term relationship ended. She hears her biological clock ticking. She isn't interested in marriage, but wants a baby. She asks him to be the father, via artificial insemination. He agrees, providing she will marry him, though both agree to divorce not long after the baby is born; and they draw up papers memorializing their agreements regarding child support and custody. Well, one thing leads to another, they conceive in the old-fashioned way, .... you know how it ends, right?

The other brother is happily married and the father of toddler twins. Then his wife dies shortly after giving birth to their baby girl. A few months later his wife's sister, who has been helping with the kids, offers to move in for a couple of years to care for the kids. He gratefully accepts. Before long, they are attracted to each other. However, her self-image is so poor, she can't believe he would want her. His parents suggest they marry, and they decided to do so, for purely practical reasons (even though each loves the other, but doesn't know the other loves him/her)...and they lived happily ever after. You can't tell me that's a spoiler--once I told you it was a Harlequin, you knew the ending.

Both of these stories was exactly what I expected when I picked up the book. In this case there was no non-marital sex, and the marital sex scenes weren't all that steamy.

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