I recently read Loving Laney about the Broward family in
Montana. Land sales in the area are making the family
uneasy. Newcomers don't understand how much hard work is
involved in ranching and just want a fancy house and fine
view. Jameson Broward met some ladies who only had their
eyes on the strong family finances, so he's single and
spooky where women are concerned.
ENGAGING BROOKE refers to Brooke Palmer, the younger sister
of a lady James once dated. While they're neighbours, in
ranch land that still puts miles between their homes, and
the families don't see much of each other. Now Brooke comes
to call. In order to inherit the ranch from their late
father, the two girls must marry within a month. If they
don't, the land will pass to the foreman. As her older
sister is already married, and has no interest in the land,
Brooke has nervously come to explain her situation to the
one man whom she finds not only attractive, but a friend.
James can't be a fake husband. And he thinks of Brooke as
a girl, for all she's a woman of twenty-five who is an
artist in pottery. The only thing that makes him consider
agreement is the prospect of all that good land getting
sold for development by a Hollywood starlet.
Marrying for love is a relatively recent luxury, so many
cordial matches were made across fence-lines in the past.
Those didn't end up in separate bedrooms though, and the
excuse of Brooke's recent bereavement is used to explain
why she and James weren't seen dating. A year of sharing a
house like brother and sister, and they can divorce
safely. Between ranch accidents and a craft show, Brooke
is kept busy, but James is away on business. Wouldn't it
be nice if he acted like a husband?
I enjoyed the sense of place; the sumptuous feast of
barbecue pulled pork, roast potatoes and stuffed mushrooms;
the care of ill or injured large animals; a suddenly
flooding river dragging a car off the road. Meanwhile we
see that Brooke needs to gain respect as an artist and be
her own woman. The multicultural cast is well drawn to
show us all sides of Montana life. Dara Girard mixes
stories and characters through her tales so that ENGAGING
BROOKE reads perfectly as a standalone but complements the
series well. I'll be keen to read more of her tales.
If Brooke Palmer doesn't find a husband within thirty days,
she will lose her family home forever. So she turns to the
only man she trusts to save herÖ.
Jameson Broward has only one true love: his vast and rugged
ranch in Granger, Montana. But he understands the importance
of protecting a family's legacy, so he agrees to a marriage
of convenience to the woman he's cared about for years. As
the stoic groom and his beautiful bride begin their
businesslike union, they are confronted by the unexpected
lure of their sensual and passionate chemistry. Is it
possible for the sexy rancher and his pretend wife to turn
their short-term arrangement into a lifetime of love?