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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #162

Bride for Real - Lynne Graham
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin UK, 2011
ISBN: 9780263886764

My rating

From the back cover:

"Their vows have been broken, yet neither is prepared for what this tempestuous reunion will bring...
Tally Spencer is an ordinary girl with no experience of relationships; Sander Volakis is an impossibly rich and handsome Greek entrepreneur. What could they have in common? Little - except an overwhelming sexual attraction. But within weeks Sander finds himself betrayed into exchanging vows with Tally.
Just when they think their hasty marriage is finished, Tally and Sander are drawn back together, and the passion between them is just as strong... However, Sander has dark reasons for wanting his wife in his bed again - and Tally also has a terrible secret...
THE VOLAKIS VOW A marriage made of secrets..."

This is the second part of 'The Volakis Vow' duet by Lynne Graham. I reviewed the first book in my last post, and I really enjoyed it. I liked this book too, but not as much.

The hero Sander and the heroine Tally are on the verge of a divorce. Their marriage broke down after the devastating stillbirth of their son. Tally and Sander had both struggled with their grief in their own way, causing them to grow apart and eventually Tally had left. Now, eighteen months later, Sander realises that he doesn't want to let Tally go, he goes to see her when she is at their former home collecting some of her belongings, and they have an explosive reunion. But it's not enough for the still suffering Tally and she tells Sander that she won't give their marriage another go. Tally later learns that her rather irresponsible mother has gotten into financial trouble so she is forced to go to her father for help. He agrees to help on the condition that Tally reconsiders a reconciliation with Sander. She reluctantly agrees and lets Sander know she has changed her mind, although she doesn't tell him why. Sander is really pleased and promises to try harder and make Tally happy. Things go well between them and they begin to re build a very strong marriage as well as the hope for a second child, Tally knows she never stopped loving Sander. But, once again, their happiness is destroyed when the consequences of Sander's drunken one-night stand during their separation are revealed.

I must admit, I am very confused about this book. On one hand I really liked it and on the other I didn't. I liked that this book didn't immediately follow on from the first book, instead there has been a lot of time and events in the characters lives. Reading about their stillborn son was heartbreaking and the grief they felt, especially Tally's, was handled really well. I could really see how the different reactions from the hero and heroine caused their marriage to slowly breakdown, this is a major plus for this book.
I didn't, however, like the hero's one night stand and the consequences of it. I found it very difficult to stomach and I was hoping that it would would turn out to be a mistake. Sadly it didn't, however I think that it is because of the strength of Lynne Graham's writing that made me accept this in the end. I do think that the character of Tally lost some of the sparkle that she had in the first book, but perhaps that is to be expected after what she had gone through. The HEA is wonderful and not at all rushed, which really helps to balance out some of the unsavoury elements of this book.

This is a flawed, but overall enjoyable book.


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