by RC Ryan, contemporary (2010)
Grand Central Publishing, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-446-54863-2
Montana Destiny is part of a series featuring three McCord cousins, but this one can be read pretty well as a standalone story. The three men cover pretty much every contemporary romance hero stereotype between them, and Wyatt McCord has the Playboy and He Who Meditated With Tibetan Monk billing all to his own.
Wyatt is reunited with his cousins due to a will of his late grandfather. Read the review of Montana Legacy for more details if you are interested. In this story, he decides to wine and dine his way into letting the local emergency medic Marilee Trainor show him her underwear up close and personal. There will be no plot in this story if Marilee hadn't by chance stumbled upon the missing pages of the diary belonging to Wyatt's grandfather in the basement of the local town gossip. She and Wyatt along with the Sequel Bait Entourage band together to investigate the Mystery of the Missing Diary Pages even as someone tries to kill Marilee.
The characters aren't too complicated in this story. Both Marilee and Wyatt believe that they are not ready for love, and they spend a lot of time waffling before they get there. The mystery is pretty dull - the characters go from Point A to Point, interview Persons C and D, that kind of thing. Meanwhile, the accident scenes start to pile up in a manner that make them come off suspiciously like padding.
Indeed, this book feels way too padded for my liking. It only reinforces my suspicion that the whole series must have been meant for Silhouette until the author received the offer from Grand Central Publishing, because the middle portions of the story could have been easily removed without effective the flow of the story. The accident scenes pile up, the main characters wander around looking for reasons not to hook up, and secondary characters chew and spit out scenery.
This is a pity because Marilee and Wyatt have a solid chemistry going between them. Before the story plunges Marilee into a marathon of accidents, she has some very good quiet moments with Wyatt, which make it very clear that their developing relationship has a solid emotional foundation underneath all that physical attraction. These characters talk, banter, and share things about each other long before they get intimate. I like that. By the last page of this book, I can believe that these two having a happily ever after.
Really, it's a shame about the amount of padding in Montana Destiny.
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