TERMS OF A TEXAS MARRIAGE – Lauren Canan
Harlequin Desire #2358
Contemporary Series Romance
Calico County, Texas – Present Day
For two centuries, Shea Hardin's family has leased acreage from Alec Morreston's family, and that continues as long as the terms of the deed are met. With the latest renewal due in a matter of days, Shea is aware that Alec wants the land for some unknown development, but she feels there's no way she can lose the lease. That is, until a buried condition in the deed is revealed and one that she might have a problem meeting: she must be married at the time the deed is renewed or it reverts back to Alec. Shea isn't married and doesn't have anyone she can ask, so she desperately starts to seek a husband. Alec is determined that she won't meet the goal, and Shea responds by throwing back in another stipulation of the deed: that they can marry each other, and if they stay together a year, she retains the land.
After one bad marriage that left him raising his son alone, Alec isn't looking to repeat the same mistake again, but with this huge deal riding on him securing the land Shea's ranch sits on, he decides he'll marry her and make life hell for her which will force her to give in before the year is up. Of course, the fact that he's attracted to her won't play into his actions. Once married, Alec makes her sleep with him – without making love to her, which turns out hard for both of them to not react to the other. How long will it take before they give in to the passion that threatens to sizzle between them?
Shea and Alec are at odds in TERMS OF A TEXAS MARRIAGE, and neither plans to back down. Shea's father recently died and she has thrown herself into running the ranch, even if it's overwhelming at times. Businessman Alec has a profitable business and the next big project needs to add Shea's ranch as promised to the potential investors. He figures forcing her to relent will be easy, but he didn't expect a tigress hanging on as hard as she can. Her spunk and hard work ethic intrigue him, and for a man not looking for a wife, Shea just might be his perfect match. Add in that she adores his little son, well, one can't blame him for falling for her. He can't wait to consummate their marriage.
Shea is as stubborn as they come, and she's determined not to give in to Alec. She'll put up with being married to him for a year but won't let him make love to her. Of course, the man is darn attractive and knows how to push the right buttons to turn her on. Soon she's practically coming undone in his arms. It's not a matter of if they'll make love, but when . But Shea has to be strong, because the ranch is her livelihood and holds cherished memories of her beloved family that is now gone.
TERMS OF A TEXAS MARRIAGE has a plot that is similar to Taming of the Shrew in that Shea doesn't want to marry Alec but is forced to against her will. Alec feels like an observer as he watches Shea not only try to figure out a way not to marry him, but after they are married, she finds excuses to avoid sexual relations with him. However, Alec's charm and Shea's fiery personality have them coming together in a way that is as stormy as the night on which it finally happens. If you love a battle of the sexes tale that will make you chuckle and have you fanning your face, then TERMS OF A TEXAS MARRIAGE is just the one you'll want to read.