- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Silhouette Books (16 Nov 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373226047
- ISBN-13: 978-0373226047
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.7 x 2 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,389,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
In spite of the misleading and fraudulent title, which would have been perfect for Intrigue 603 (This book has nothing to do with weddings or brides. Harlequin editors, shame on you.), Daniels's book is surprisingly and wonderfully original. No cop heroes, no cowboys, no weddings, no secret agents, no secret babies (well, sort of), no Texas. There is a child involved, but he's used better than in most books that play up the presence of children on the back cover. It doesn't feel like he was tacked on because kids are required in romances these days. He's an integral part of the plot in a complex romantic mystery. "Mystery Bride" has a neat puzzle involving computers, a subject that isn't used in too many Intrigues. There's plenty of action and mayhem to keep readers turning the pages. The characters are likeable and the way Daniels uses Samantha's point of view is humorous. Fans of strong heroines will find one here. This is an entertaining read.
The sense of freshness does help carry the reader past some of weaknesses in the story. The setup, though entertaining and fast-paced, is purely silly and the romance virtually disappears for about 75 pages at one point when the plot takes over. I'm pretty forgiving if Intrigues have an emphasis of plot over romance (Sharon Green's recent "To Die For" is one example), and for a while, the investigation is interesting enough that the lack of romance didn't bother me. The weak ending did bother me. I like surprising endings, but this one seemed like the "came out of nowhere" variety. We know too little about the secondary characters to be able to figure out who it could be. Daniels could have changed the villain's identity and I'm not sure we would have known the difference. The ending simply isn't set up very well. (Examples of better surprising endings would be Daniels's "Undercover Christmas" and "Intimate Secrets.") I also had at least one question that remained unanswered.
I'd certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fresh, light and exciting read that doesn't feel like they've read it a hundred times before. Fans shouldn't be disappointed. It's not the author's best work, but it is an entertaining ride.
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