Reese Duncan wanted a wife, pure and simple. Someone to have children with, someone to help him rebuild his ranch, someone uncomplicated...and someone very different from his first wife, the woman who'd destroyed his life. But he hadn't bargained on Madelyn Patterson. She was sophisticated and citified, and she was willing to herd cattle, keep house and start a family with Reese. The only thing she asked for in return was love - the one thing Reese refused to guarantee.
Home means many things to many people. To Madelyn, it represented something she longed for-- a husband and family. She wanted those things so much she was willing to take a huge risk in answering to the newspaper ad of a Montana rancher looking for a wife.
Reese Duncan was lonely; he wanted a wife and family, but not an emotional involvement that goes along with it because of the nasty divorce that he went thru a few years back which made him and his ranch financially ruined. It made him hard and bitter and he was busy working too hard to find a wife by the more conventional means of dating and courtship. A newspaper Ad was the most efficient way and it brought Madelyn to him.
Madelyn was struck the moment she first saw Reese. For the first time in her life she had experience the feeling of being poleaxed. Everything in her knew this was the man she had always known the right one for her...
On the other hand, when Reese first saw her, he knew immediately that she was perfect for his bed but not in his life. She was stunningly attractive and an embodiment of elegance, clearly unsuitable to his ranch and to be a wife he was looking for. He wanted someone rather plain and reliable woman, not someone who wreaks havoc in his senses. But none of this rationale had alleviated his physical attraction to her one bit.
I find this novel shorter compare to the previous Linda Howard books I’ve read before. It only got 196 pages on a softbound but that hadn’t kept me from being entertained. There were lines in this book that really had me laughing. I love the part where they had spent their first meeting with the hilarity of exchanging bizarre trivia about anything towards the other in the midst of blatant sexual tension they’ve been trying to deflect. However, Reese had been a perfect gentleman knowing that his visitor possessed none of his requirements.
The following day he regretfully sent Maddie to the airport back to New York. While Maddie though silently disappointed, was too determined to keep her pain to herself. It was only then at the terminal they had shared their supposed first and last kiss. It was poignant knowing that would be their last and their goodbye kiss wasn’t at all polite. It went nearly carnal and too earth-shattering considering they were on a public place.
Maybe it was because of that kiss Reese had decided Madelyn was the one he’s going to marry after his two unsuccessful “applicants” of a wife. Regardless of the odds he might be going to take and could be making a terrible mistake with his decision, his desire for Maddie was too potent he had to have her. So after two weeks of sleepless nights and turning his bed in shambles, he finally called her and asked her if she still would be willing to marry him.
I’m telling you it was one of the most unromantic proposals in my record. But given his oozing maleness and raw sensuality he exudes, who needs a promise of the star and the moon? You would openly accept him in total abandon.
After they were wed was only the beginning. Especially for them who were basically strangers to each other. I love the spirited character of Maddie that managed to put up with a very complex man that was Reese Duncan. She’s very passionate and believes in love but very quick-witted and always up to the challenge. She’s a woman who knows her boundaries and knows how to exchange blows with her man without disgracing his authority.
I especially love the scene where she, a city girl had to chase a hen for dinner in front of her husband after saying, “You don’t think I can do it, do you? You want to show me how much I don’t know about ranch life. Well you’ll have your damn chicken for dinner, if I have to ram it down your throat with feathers and all!” I got carried away I read it aloud. Haha! And oh the next scene after that was so sweet.
The dialogues were funny especially the out of the blue trivia which had become the couple's hobby.
Reese was thoughtful and sweet but grouchy the next. He was fighting his growing feeling of attachment to his wife day by day. Reese’ bitterness about the ugliness of his first marriage was the root of their problems along with their day to day challenges of being husband and wife.
There goes the Carpenter’s song .. We’ve Only Just Begun… Sharing horizons that are new to us.. watching the signs along the way.. talking it over just the two of us.. working together day to day.. together… together..”
This was my first (thin and purely romance) Linda Howard book and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve read a lot of romantic mysteries written by her and sufficiently enough I could say that she has this way of turning a simple plot into marvelous one thru her characters which I find exceptionally compelling.
“Duncan’s Bride is the story of how Madelyn fought Reese’s bitterness, his lack of trust and of how she finally managed to make him see that home is many things, but the home represented by LOVE and family is far more important than the home constructed of four walls.”
“Never run if you can walk. Never walk if you can stand. Never stand if you can sit. Never sit if you can lie.
“Never talk if you can listen.“
“Then you listen, and I’ll talk.”
“Come home with me, Maddie”
“Give me one good reason why I should.”
“Because you love me”
“I loved you when I walked out the door. If it wasn’t reason enough to stay, why should it be reason enough to go back?”
“Come home with me and I’ll take care of you.”
“Give me one good reason why I should.”
“I love you.”
Mary Ann's Review
You know that feeling when you know that something's absolutely bad for you and still you can't help but have that? Duncan felt like that about Madelyn. He was jaded and disillusioned from his first marriage that he was so bent on finding someone totally opposite his ex-wife. Unfortunately for him, he thinks Madelyn is like his ex.
For Madelyn--she KNEW that they were meant to be. She just had to be patient with Reese and make him realize that he could trust and love her.
I really admired Madelyn. She didn't give up. She was so brave in doing what she thought was right even though she knows Reese will hate her for it. I love that she didn't leave him for New York and yet she gave Reese the fright of his life. Haha.
And I love the bantering between them, it felt so normal, like how a married and in-love husband and wife should be.
Oh and on my fave scenes--Ate Eu had already posted them haha, and I have other lines that I liked, but I want you guys to read them. I especially laughed out loud awhen I read the trivia about the safety pins and zipper.
Oh! The chicken Scene. The Kitchen sink. The frozen stream scene. The diner scene. I mean, the whole book is packed with them.
All in all, the book had made me fall in love.