Review of THE BUTLER'S DAUGHTER by Joyce Sullivan (see her website)
THE COLLINGWOOD HEIRS
Harlequin Intrigue #722, August 2003
When her bosses are killed by a bomb explosion, Juliana Goodhew, the butler's daughter, follows instructions and calls the mysterious guardian. It is even more important than ever that she protect the baby that the Colligwoods had entrusted to her.
The guardian is actually super-rich and hunky Hunter. Hunter has spent years looking for the kidnapped daughter of his friends, the Collingswoods, and now he has to protect their surviving child. The only way he can think of to protect the child is to marry the butler's daughter and pretend that the baby is his own. The marriage will be in name only, of course. Hunter knows too much of betrayal to trust anyone--especially not a woman who sets his blood on fire.
Hunter splits his time between his new wife and helping the police investigate, but neither he nor Juliana knows that the killer is still stalking the young heir to the Collingwood fortune.
Author Joyce Sullivan sets off to provide a cinderella story and delivers. Hunter is not only rich, he actually lives in a castle. Like any good romance hero, nothing makes him happier than to let his new wife spend money. And as a budding wedding cosultant, Juliana is happy to oblige.
Picky fans will wonder about the logic of the marriage of convenience. Hunter is intent on fooling the servants (hence the requirement for plenty of kisses), but surely he could have come up with an easier plan than marriage--especially since he's never met Juliana before and claims that he doesn't believe in marriage.
Sullivan's suspense plot mostly works, with several suitable red herrings. I would have liked a bit more logic to the killer's actual motive and plan. Instead, the killer came off as whiny rather than scary.
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