Review of MONTANA TWINS by Charlotte Maclay
Harlequin American Romance #984, August 2003
Laura Cavendish has been raising her late foster-sister's twin babies, but now she has to make a choice. Her sister had wanted the babies to be with their uncle, but only if he had a suitable wife. Sheriff Eric Oakes was abandoned by his mother and knows that he isn't the loving kind. Still, when he sees those precious babies, he wants them--wants them badly enough to advertise for a wife who'll let him live up to Laura's rigid qualifications. Unfortunately, once Laura walks into his life, she's the only woman who attracts him.
As time passes and no suitable wife-candidates turn up, Laura gets ready to return to her teaching job--when Eric gets a brainstorm. Why don't the two of them marry. Both love the babies. Both want the babies to have both mother and father. Although Eric is still convinced that he cannot love, he's willing to do anything for his family. More and more, family includes Laura. Laura is convinced that she is unworthy of love as she cannot bear children. The twins are the only babies she'll ever have. But is a loveless marriage fair to anyone?
Neither Laura nor Eric has bothered looking into the issue of the babies' father--but attentive readers will pick up on the growing threat to the loss of everything that Laura and Eric have worked for.
Author Charlotte Maclay offers a well-written tale of romance, unexpected babies, and marriage-of-convenience that turns out to hold unexpected passion. I found the casual dismissal of the biological father issue to be troubling and Laura's belief that no man would want her because of her inability to bear children to be a tad excessive, but Eric makes a fine lightly-tortured hero. Eric's family and the entire town of Grass Valley, Montana, provide the warm feeling Harlequin American readers have learned to count on.
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