Title: The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller
The Brides of Bliss County Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The women of Bliss County have a pact—to find husbands. The right husbands.
One already has: Hadleigh Stevens, who married rancher Tripp Galloway a few months ago. Now Melody Nolan thinks it’s her turn. Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She’s not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She’s always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she’s convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn’t what you’d call husband material.
Spence is a good cop who isn’t scared of anything—except love. And he’s done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there’s something about Melody he can’t forget. Something his heart can’t ignore.
The Marriage Charm is another delightfully heartwarming romance by Linda Lael Miller. This newest installment in The Brides of Bliss County is a beautifully written second chance at love story that old and new fans are sure to love.
Melody Nolan and Spence Hogan have known one another since childhood but their romance years earlier ended with broken hearts for both of them. Thrown together when their good friends Tripp and Hadleigh fall in love, it is obvious to both of them that they still harbor strong feelings for one another. Melody and Spence share one steamy night together, but Melody continues to feel the sting of Spence’s long ago rejection and finds it nearly impossible to trust the kind-hearted sheriff.
Melody is content with her life in Mustang Creek until her close friend Hadleigh marries the man of her dreams. She is truly happy for Hadleigh but at the same time, she cannot help but feel a little jealous. When the opportunity arises for Melody to reconnect with Spence, she does not give much thought to what, if any, future the two might have. Melody is still in love with him, but she is not sure trusting him is the smartest move for her.
Small town gossip has painted Spence as quite the player and as far as Melody is concerned, that is another black mark against him. Her jealousy gives him hope that all is not lost for them, but his undeserved reputation comes between them more than once. Luckily for Melody, Spence not only knows what he wants, but he is also willing to do the work necessary to reassure her that he is serious about her. He patiently waits for her to sort through her complicated feelings for him and Spence refuses to become discouraged when Melody keeps him at arm’s length.
Despite of Melody’s doubts, she and Spence do make progress on their relationship. Both turn to their closest friends for advice and while they may not always like what they hear, they do appreciate the different perspectives. Spence gently pursues her but he does respect her wishes when she asks him to back off. Part of their issues stem from lack of communication while others are a direct result of misinformation. While some of their problems are easier to solve than others, it is the unavoidable overlapping of their lives that really helps them clear up some of Melody’s misconceptions about Spence.
The Marriage Charm is a very sweet, fun and sexy addition to The Brides of Bliss County. As always, the characters are easy to like, well-developed and very charming. Linda Lael Miller adds a bit of a suspense element to the plot that helps keep both the story and the series fresh and unique. All in all, a captivating love story that is heartfelt and engaging.
Read my reviews of the other novels in The Brides of Bliss County series HERE.