November 2008, Series Romance
Har Rom #4058, $3.99, 184 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373175485
As a reader, I find myself quick to praise the new and innovative. However, sometimes a sweet, "comfort food" book comes along that just leaves me smiling. Wedded in a Whirlwind is just such a book. It does not reinvent the genre, but in a very limited number of pages, the author constructs a beautiful fairytale that truly sweeps one right out of the everyday world.
Emotionally fragile Miranda Grenville takes a break from her life in England to go on holiday in remote Cordillera. When she arrives, she finds a rustic island with few of the wonders optimistically promised in the tourist brochures. While on a trek supposedly to see ancient ruins, an earthquake strikes and, in the aftermath, Miranda gets trapped underground. As she recovers from the shock of the quake and regains an awareness of her surroundings, she discovers that she is not alone.
Luckily for Miranda, she is trapped underground with a man who knows his way around. Unfortunately, archaeologist Nick Jago has just discovered that his most recent ex-girlfriend double-crossed him professionally. This betrayal, combined with what seems to be a somewhat curmudgeonly personality, don't exactly make him perfect "let's be trapped together in a small space" material. However, unlike many heroes in Romanceland, Jago at least does not blame Miranda or all women for the wrongs of his ex-lover - even if he isn't entirely above taking out his frustration on whoever might happen to be in an underground cavern with him.
After they get over the initial roughness of their meeting, Mirando and Jago slowly start to bond. Miranda needs Jago's knowledge of Cordillera if they are to make it through their ordeal, while for a variety of reasons, Jago also requires Miranda's assistance on occasion. As they work together, these two people who are unused to trusting others, start to bond. And that's when the magic happens. It's not love at first sight by any stretch, but the two reach deeper understanding with one another bit by bit.
The relationship between Miranda and Jago is well done. Parts of it are not entirely believable, but somehow that doesn't matter. The chemistry between them is entirely credible and this aspect of the story becomes the part that really matters. The author's tone matches the story well; her voice makes it clear that readers are to expect a fairytale and she then proceeds to give exactly that. The backstory does have its weaknesses, but the story holds a genuine emotion that brings the reader beyond that.
Wedded in a Whirlwind is the perfect diversion for anyone who wants to be swept away into a romantic daydream for an hour or two.
-- Lynn Spencer
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