A Suitable Wife

Carol Burnside
A Suitable Wife
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Publisher
B & R Bookery
Release Date
January 2014
ISBN
9781310069949
Series
Book 1 of Sweetwater Springs
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

SUMMARY
This book is the first in the Sweetwater Springs series of stand-alone books by this author.

Sam Moreland is desperate to keep his daughter out of the clutches of her abusive mother seeking custody. He resists legal advice to provide the court with a complete family unit because past relationships have soured him on love.

Though she yearns for children, Rosie Baxter knows a failed pregnancy has likely left her barren. She remains single rather than bring her problems into a marriage and concentrates on her business with its financial woes.

A temporary marriage pact means Rosie provides Sam with the illusion of family in return for an influx of cash into her store. But kisses for show become all too real. When outside threats shake their growing bond, each must trust the other with their darkest secret or lose their best chance for love and happiness.

Warning: This book contains a heated tryst in the kitchen, a cricket choir, conniving exes, and big family gatherings. Do not read if you are allergic to tall, dark and handsome men with sweet baby girls or determined red-haired women with strong maternal feelings. The author makes no guarantees against sudden urges in the reader to move to a small southern town.

Fans of Marie Ferrarella, Tanya Michaels, Leanne Banks and Susan Mallery will enjoy this series, which contains sensual, contemporary romance against a backdrop of family and community in the small town of Sweetwater Springs, Arkansas.

Also in the series:
Book 2: Her Unexpected Family (Claire and Travis), February, 2014
Book 3: His Small Town Princess (J.T. and Cass), March 2014
Other titles are planned for this series.

Visit the author at CarolBurnside.com

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Jul 15, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
150 people found the following review helpful
He needs to set in motion some defensive counter measures in case his limelight loving model ex-wife attempts to gain custody of his daughter for the benefit of her own career. She's being a good friend to her old crush by helping him and his toddler daughter relocate to a small town where they can try and build a normal life.

Trying to prevent his traumatized toddler's exposure to the New York media, bestselling author Sam Moreland decided to relocate to small town Sweetwater Springs, Arkansas, where he'd spent summers with his grandparents and still had supportive friends. Yet, his overprotective streak towards his daughter and his need for privacy meant the media had no idea why he'd divorced his wife and become custodial parent of his child. But now that his ex was set to leave rehab, there was no way attention-loving Jasmine wouldn't eventually seek custody of Lorelei just to regain the spotlight she craved.

Sam's loyal friend and attorney's advice was simple--Sam needed to immediately contract a temporary business deal marriage to a woman of impeccable reputation to create the illusion of the perfect stable home and marriage. It didn't matter if Sam didn't want to remarry since remaining single increased his risk of losing Lorelei.

Learning that her old friend and teenage crush Sam wanted to relocate to Sweetwater Springs with his young daughter, local florist Rosie Baxter offered to rent him the small attached apartment in her old Victorian home. Guarding traumatic secrets linked to her own broken engagement to a controlling man, Rosie wasn't prepared to receive a business arrangement marriage proposal from Sam within days of his arrival.

Yes, Rosie's business suddenly needed an unexpected infusion of cash, but having a taste of the things she'd always longed for, while lying to her family and friends about a whirlwind love match with Sam, a man she was still secretly attracted to, was hard to justify. Sam was clear and honest; the marriage would eventually dissolve when Jasmine could no longer challenge him for custody. Yet, Rosie knew her complicated feelings for Sam, and the ones she was quickly developing for Lorelei, combined with a fleeting taste of the home and family dream she'd thought would remain unfulfilled, might be more than she could bear to let go of in the end.

With a down-home flair for creating a sense of community populated with interesting secondary characters and relatable drama, Carol Burnside introduces a couple bound by the memories of friendship and torn by the choices each made during the intervening years of adulthood. Ms. Burnside builds the substance of her plot early, but cunningly drops an unforeseen bombshell or two amidst the showdown the reader knows has been building from the opening chapter. And, building upon the tension and drama that never lets up between a couple her readers will surely come to care about, Ms. Burnside sweetly reveals the selfless sacrifices Sam and Rosie are willing to make to ensure one another's future happiness.

This is my first foray into Ms. Burnside's work, and I can certainly see why she has earned an award-winning novelist label. I eagerly read the blurbs at the end of this short novel for the other two releases in this Sweetwater Springs series: Her Unexpected Family, Book 2, and His Small Town Princess, Book 3. I've already made a mental commitment to continue reading this series simply because of a sad reference to Cass, Rosie's likeable sister-in-law and employee, who features in the blurb of Book 3. To me, my commitment is proof positive that Carol Burnside certainly knows how to engage her readers and keep them coming back for more.
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