SOLD INTO MARRIAGE - Ann Major
Silhouette Desire #1832
Paris, France and Austin, Texas - Present Day
After being betrayed and very publicly humiliated by the man she thought she loved, Josie Navarre, at the urging of her prominent family, flees to Paris. Feeling a little lonely on Christmas Eve, Josie fantasizes about a dark stranger while staring out the window, and suddenly, there he is. Though it's out of character, she finds herself trying to entice the man watching from across the courtyard, and when she realizes what she is doing, Josie is a little embarrassed and decides to take a walk. Of course, the stranger is waiting for her, and before she knows it, Josie has invited him to have dinner with her.
When Adam Ryder's younger brother, Lucas, tells the family of his intention to marry Josie Navarre, their mother decides something needs to be done. Though Josie comes from a good family, her early years were not spent with them, and the recent scandal she was involved in does not make her the prime candidate for Mrs. Ryder's youngest son. Since Josie hasn't even agreed to a date with Lucas yet, it shouldn't be hard for Adam to convince her to stay away from him. But Josie isn't what Adam expects at all. By turns a bold seductress and a shy young woman, Adam is intrigued by her.
After a very passionate night, Josie finds out that Adam is Lucas's brother -- the one who expressed his disapproval of her without meeting her -- and she comes to the conclusion that the connection she had imagined the previous evening was a lie on his part. She has no intention of ever letting him close enough to hurt her again, but Josie doesn't expect that their one night will have such lasting consequences.
In SOLD INTO MARRIAGE, two strangers share a very passionate night that goes horribly wrong in the morning. Abandoned at birth by her mother, only to be brought back into the family as a teenager, Josie has always felt as if she doesn't fit in. She's very insecure and often feels inadequate, so finding out that Lucas's family does not approve of her, sight unseen, is not a surprise. Adam has his own reasons for not wanting Lucas to get involved with the wrong woman, but after meeting Josie, he knows that Josie is not the woman they had imagined -- but she is wrong for Lucas. What starts off as a very promising romance, though, becomes mired down in misunderstandings and miscommunication as soon as Josie finds out who Adam is. Josie's past makes it impossible for her to trust or even listen to Adam, and his bruised pride keeps him from trying too hard to convince her that he is sorry.
While it has its good points, SOLD INTO MARRIAGE would have been a little more enjoyable had the characters opened up to each other much sooner.