Romance can be defined many ways and in many forms, this novel by Ms. Hallberg reminded me of one of the reasons that I love to read a good romance novel. According to the Romance Writers of America “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending”, this book is the embodiment of that definition and I can’t wait to read the next novel penned by this author.
Josie Holland is a model on a photo shoot in Wyoming, dressed in a wedding gown and with a parachute on her back. The plan had been to photograph Josie with the Grand Tetons and the majestic landscape in the backdrop; it was a good thing that she was wearing a parachute as the wind literally sucked her out of the small plane and she fell thru the sky. She had not been instructed on how to use the parachute, however, she managed to pull the rip cord and luckily for her she landed on top of Stone Powers.
Stone Powers is a handsome and rich rancher who has a slight problem, he wants custody of his deceased sister’s children and to get it he needs a wife. His lawyer had arranged for a woman to marry him so that he would be able to satisfy the judge in charge of the custody case. The woman was to be paid a salary and settlement and after a year they would divorce and she would walk away leaving him with sole custody and she was also running behind schedule. Stone was in his tux and waiting for his “contract” bride when Josie fell out of the sky. Stone leaps to the conclusion that Josie is his intended bride and proceeds to rush her thru the wedding ceremony and sign the marriage certificate in both of their names. He has no idea that Josie is a famous model and manages to get her to agree to go to their hotel to discuss the situation they now find themselves in.
Very few people know the real Josie Holland, a woman whose father abandoned both her and her mother when she was just a small child. When Stone explains his situation to Josie, she decides that no child should have to grow up in an environment without love and agrees to help him. Of course as Robert Burn’s poem, To a Mouse tells us “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew” and both Stone and Josie find themselves changing plans on an almost daily basis.
The supporting cast in this story is a great compliment to the main characters. The children are precocious, Stone’s grandfather is a darling and so is his housekeeper. The issue becomes will Josie and Stone recognize what they have found in each other and take a chance to keep it. Will they both risk their hearts and their pride or loose what could be the greatest love of their lives? I encourage you to read the book to find out.
Stone Powers needs a wife. Today. Though he hadn’t intended to marry—ever—the court refuses to award custody of his orphaned niece and nephew to a bad-boy, bachelor father. The only way to keep his family together is a sentence of play-acting at marriage for twelve months with a clause for parole at year’s end. So, when the beautiful answer to his prayers literally drops from the sky dressed in bridal white, he doesn’t hesitate to say, “I do.”
Supermodel Josie Holland can’t believe she’s even considering risking her career for a make-believe marriage. True, Stone is too sexy for his boots. But mother to two young children? Diapers and peanut-butter sandwiches? Not in her plans.
Oh, those best-laid plans!
And Stone agrees, for his simple plan takes a drastic turn when he finds himself falling in love with his pretend wife.