Just A Normal Marriage by Leigh Michaels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Good old school Harlequin romance with a marriage of convenience between an orderly accountant and a disorderly pediatrician, all for the sake of Shauna's younger sister, who is not doing well living with their self-absorbed mother (currently on her fifth husband). Shauna meets Rob when she takes her sister Mandy to the pediatrician for stomach aches that are due to the stress of living with their mother. She decides that it would be best for Mandy to live with her, and her mother says no. When her mother and her current husband are going to move to Mexico for a year to film a movie, Shauna intervenes in her mother's plans to place Mandy in a boarding school. She makes a deal with Rob that they will marry for a year, and she'll pay off his medical school debts, if he'll be her husband in order to provide a stable home for Mandy. It sounds really good on paper, but the feelings of attraction between the couple will grow when they are living in close quarters, making their convenient marriage into an inconvenient love match.
Shauna gave me some heartburn with her emotional ups and downs, and her mood changes towards Rob. I understand why, with her insecurities after having a father who walked out of her life after her parents divorced, and an ex-fiance who turned out to be a 'Baby Daddy' and a deadbeat dad out for her money. Rob was such a good guy, and it was frustrating to see how she always wanted to assume the worst about him. Thankfully Harlequin delivers a happy ending for this couple, and the final scene shows them coming clean with each other, admitting their love (from nearly the beginning) for each other. Just a Normal Marriage was a quick, sometimes fun/sometimes angsty read, taking me back to the Harlequin Golden Age.
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