Synopsis: The Prospective Husband with a Racy Past... — Hank Mallone spotted trouble when she sat down and said she'd marry him! Maggie Toone was a tempting firecracker who'd make his life delightful hell if he let her pretend to be his wife in order to improve his rogue's reputation. Would his harebrained scheme to get a bank loan for his business backfire once Maggie arrived in his small Vermont town and let the gossips take a look?
Maggie never expected her employer to be drop-dead handsome, or to affect her like a belt of bourbon on her empty stomach, but she was too intrigued by his offer to say no... and too eager to escape a life that made her feel trapped. The deal was strictly business, both agreed... until Hank turned out to be every fantasy she'd ever had, and Maggie was so bright, funny, and downright irresistible that Hank fell head over heels in love! While the town watched, Hank wooed his wife with a charm that had never failed him yet. Could he make her dreams real by proving she belonged in his arms?
My Thoughts: An average read by one of my favorite authors. These Pre-Plum books are just short fun little reads that are more of a filler between better reads. That may sound harsh but I'm not trying to sound that way. Evanovich is my go to girl for fun. I will pick up a Plum book knowing it will make me smile and not tax my brain. These early books are even less taxing. They are the Extra Brand Chewing Gum you chew between meals hoping that they will satisfy you until you can gorge yourself on real food.
This book is short and sweet. Typical of her early books the man falls for the lady early on (read this as meaning love at first site) and then spends much of the book convincing her she loves him back. The man is a total hottie and the girl is a cute spunky gal that ends up being trouble with a capital T.
Many of these characters appear to be early prototypes for her Plum characters. One of my favorites being Elsie Hawkins. Many of these early books have her as a secondary character. I love her. She would be Grandma Mazur later on in the Plum books. Her character is enough for me to keep reading these early books. You usually find a dog in these books too. In one case the dog's name is Bob which you will recognize from the Plum books if you have read them.
There was a slight mystery as to why people were breaking into the house and if Aunt Kitty's diaries are what they are after. The mystery aspect is weak and the only reason I bring it up is to mention that because of the break-ins a bit of mayhem ensues. Mostly in the form of Elsie packing a gun and firing it through walls and stuff.
I would recommend this book to fans of Evanovich who need a quick filler read. If you like Harlequin type books this should be right up your alley.