Tacky title and not very good cover image (slightly pudgy young man with his shirt off - a yatch would have been better), however a very amusing and witty story.
When Abram Sinclair, 85 years old and a self made millionaire, finds out that he has heart trouble and not long to live, he resigns as CEO of his company and disappears from his home, much to the concern of his 3 grandsons who don't know that he is ill. Since his grandsons hit 20 he has been trying to persuade them to marry - without any luck.
He goes to the Maine coast to visit an old friend. However, he rents a cottage off 29 year old Willa Kent, who has a small business making designer coffins. Willa employs several of the towns retired citizens, who basically take over and do as they want to when she is out of the office for a day or two. E.g. repainting the building and revamping the reception area.
Willa is a carer, who wants to help everyone and takes their troubles onto her own shoulders, hence her employing senior citizens. She is wracked with guilt over a car accident 5 years ago in which her then 11 year old neice was injured, never mind that Willa actually saved Jennifer's life at the time. Willa is divorced and "once bitten twice shy".
Abram's grandson's have been left with the problem of which of them is to run the business in his absence. So he persuades Willa to do him a favour and go to the boardmeeting with his proxy vote. She is to use her own judgement as to which man is the best for the job. Willa, may be many things but stupid is not one of them and she is aware that Abram is trying to match make and has no intention of taking the bait.
Willa is short, plump, curvy and doesn't care less re. clothes, usually wearing jeans. So she borrows one of her employees 1970's business suit and wears her mother's too big shoes. Her travel bag gets stuck in the lift doors and 'eaten'. She is nothing like the tall, sophisticated model girls that the Sinclair men usually go for.
So Sam Sinclair's first impression is of a little brown frumpy klutz of a woman, whose hair is slipping out of a bun and whose green shoes are too big for her and who is holding the handles of her travel bag. However, she soon lets him see that she is intelligent, fiesty and wryly witty.
Willa decides that she is not going to make an instant decision about use of her proxy vote and tells the Sinclairs that they must take her to dinner that evening so that she can get to know them and make up her mind.
The Sinclairs realise that this is another of Abram's matchmaking attempts and think that Willa is in on it.
Unfortunately Abraham then dies and leaves a mine field of a Will which includes Willa in it. One of the grandson's has to marry her or they all lose the business to a rival firm and they have 3 months to make up their minds. There is a further stipulation that Willa and her husband must have a child by the end of 11 months of marriage. Willa has already decided that she is not going to ever have children.
Incensed by the will, Willa takes off back to Maine, followed by Sam.
What follows is a gentle and witty story, amptly backed up by ecentric and funny secondary characters.
on 20 March 2015
I don't seem to read too many 'forced marriage' romances anymore, but I remember buying and reading this years ago. When I heard that Janet was coming out finally, with the third brothers story "It's a Wonderful Wife (Sinclair Brothers Novel)", I decided to do a quick re-read of the first two books. It was totally worth it.
This first book was so captivating what with all the different people trying to manipulate each other.
Willa was a wonderful heroine. Her clumsiness on land (at times hysterical) vs. her elegance on water was a wonderful way of manipulating the story-line. I loved how it made the 'perfect' Sam look a little less perfect.
The grandfather who thought all of this up is a sneaky, wily old coot and so incredibly smart to know just what everyone needs.
This is a book that I'm going to be putting into my 'comfort read's' folder on my Kindle and be re-reading at least once a year like I do with all of her other books!