Review of THE SUBSTITUTE FIANCEE by Rebecca Russell (see her website)
Silhouette Romance #1752, January 2005
With only a week before her twin sister's wedding, Jessie Taggert is shocked when her sister drafts her to fill in on a dress fitting. Her sister, Jenna, is an important lawyer and has other plans, but surely she could make time to try on her own wedding dress? When Jenna's absence stretches out, she begs Jessie to keep filling in. But filling in means spending time with hunky super-lawyer Mac McKenna. Mac is sexy, rich, and sets Jessie's hormones on a rampage, but he's also pure poison. First, he's her sister's fiance. Second, he shares none of Jessie's homebody values. He's the perfect match for Jenna--but Jessie finds herself wishing she could fill in on more than a social function.
Mac had decided that Jenna was the perfect wife for him. A hot-shot lawyer like himself, she shares his interest in mingling in society, advancing their mutual careers, and using law in pursuit of the cause of justice. That is, he had thought Jenna was right for him. But in the days leading up to their planned wedding, she seems to have changed. Mac finds himself liking the new 'Jenna.' Still, all of the original reasons he agreed to marry her are still valid--aren't they?
Author Rebecca Russell (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Russell) spins a charming tale of mistaken identity, affection, old-fashioned values, and the battle between what seems important and what is really critical. Jessie makes an interesting character. Her self-image, of being a push-over for her sister, makes her the softer, more easily lovable one, but that doesn't keep her from ambitions of her own--ambitions that Mac can help her achieve--if she allows him to help her.
THE SUBSTITUTE FIANCEE is a heartwarming tale of personal growth, with a strong built-in conflict from Jessie's substituting for her sister as well as Jessie and Mac's apparently divergent interests and values. Russell pulls it together into a warmly satisfying story.
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