Friday, January 18, 2013

The Marriage Campaign by Karen Templeton *ARC Review*


Maid of honor at her cousins' double wedding is as close as Blythe Broussard plans to get to tying the knot again. But Wes Phillips refuses to take "I won't" for an answer. The widowed Maryland congressman is passionately campaigning for a date with the once-burned D.C. designer. And Wes's eleven-year-old son just joined the race.

Getting reelected isn't as important as winning Blythe's trust and convincing the guarded beauty to take a shot at love...even if her scandalous past threatens to derail Wes's political future. His future with Blythe comes first-if they're both willing to risk their hearts for a second chance that's worth fighting for. 


I requested this particular title because of the description - it reminded me of the old Harlequin romances I used to pick up at the grocery store, the ones that had just the right about of conflict and romance.  Blythe and Wes are pulled towards each other but there isn't a guarantee in the beginning; these are two good people who have been hurt and neither are sure that this is the time for big life changes. Wes because his son has to be his first priority after his wife's death, and Blythe because she doesn't want her past indiscretions to affect Wes's political ambitions.

I'm sure someone out there might be disappointed with the lack of 'drama' in this book but I loved every bit of it. Wes, Blythe, and Jack have enough to work through - there's no need for shadowy figures or hidden complications; some of the best romances are focused solely on the development of the couple as people and this is a great example of that. Another bit I liked? The fact that Jack as a character did not feel like a throw-away, there only to forward the story. He was a fleshed out person in his own right and his growth and attempts to work through his grief were just as important to the story. Often children feel unnecessary to me, there for no reason other than to cause problems, but Templeton has done a wonderful job with his character and creates a very believable HEA in their journey to becoming a new family.

I read this as a stand alone and would highly recommend it but I think I'm also going to go back and pick up the first two just for completion's sake.

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - 1) The Doctor's Do-Over 2) A Gift for all Seasons 3) The Marriage Campaign (1/22)

**Title requested from NetGalley**

*Read as part of the 2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge