I've been trying to get the rest of the August reviews up this week, and I might just manage it. This time out, I have Linda Lael Miller's next 'Stone Creek' book, The Bridegroom (HQN). It's youngest brother Gideon Yarbro's turn this time, as an old letter he wrote to himself finally finds its way to him, just in time for him to stop a wedding. Lydia Fairmont has no choice but to marry the banker, just so she can keep her aunts' home safe. She never imagines Gideon will really come to her rescue when she mails the letter he gave her years ago on the off-chance that she might need his help someday. But when he does arrive, she tries to send him away, knowing that her family depends on her wedding taking place. But Gideon is determined to make sure she doesn't marry the other man, and if he has to kidnap the bride from the ceremony, he'll do it. Of course, he hasn't thought far enough ahead to realize that in order to continue to protect her, he may have to take a step he hadn't planned on: marrying Lydia himself. Lydia is both relieved not to have to marry the other man and afraid, because she's very attracted to Gideon, even though she knows he's not really husband material. But their marriage will be a real one, despite Gideon's best intentions. Now they just have to stay a step ahead of their enemies. Gideon is a really great hero, stepping in to help even though he hasn't seen Lydia in years, and then taking the next step even though he knows he'll make a terrible husband with the secrets he keeps. Lydia is no shrinking violet, willing to sacrifice herself and her own happiness for those she loves, but also willing to try to find that happiness when given the opportunity. And the heat between these two is terrific. Linda Lael Miller has always been a fantastic romance author, and she's as much a keeper now as when I read her many years ago. This one's earned four of Cupid's five arrows. Gideon is one yummy hero.
Until next time, happy reading!