Then Comes Marriage
Avon, Jan 2003, 6.99, 384 pp.
America's wealthiest heiress Honor Witherspoon marries its most famous security recluse Bram Bennett. Last year, Honor was a kidnap victim; Bram makes the security devices that keep “Celebs” safe. Many skeptics figure this is a business deal brokered by her daddy to provide affluence to Bram and security to Honor. The cynics think that Daddy Witherspoon brokered the deal, blackmailing and forcing Bram into marrying his daughter with the real threat to destroy his hometown of Hot Springs, California.
Bram still mourns for his deceased wife, but Honor wants her marriage to work and not as a convenient deal sponsored by her dad. As Bram struggles to keep Honor safe and she still recovers from her harrowing experience, the impossible happen and they fall in love. However, can this couple turns their marriage of convenience brokered by an interested third party into a lifetime of happiness with he carrying eight years and she one year of baggage?
The device seems to have been used, as many times as there are stars. The baggage seems to have been used as many pieces of sand. Put together, THEN COMES MARRIAGES should be a trite disaster, but in the hands of a magician readers receive a warm uplifting contemporary romance. The story line overcomes the banal almost corny mechanisms through the delightful lead couple, each unknowingly seeking someone to believe in even while they deny their love for one another. The townsfolk add a feeling of homecoming and a bit of wackiness, but Christine Ridgeway's latest Hot Springs' novel resides with the couple avoiding that elusive butterfly.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner