Monday, June 01, 2009

Year of the Category: His Substitute Bride by Elizabeth Lane

Annie never stopped loving Quint Seavers—not even after he fathered her sister Hannah’s child. Now Hannah is married to Quint’s brother Judd, and their little girl Clara is six years old. When Quint invites Annie to bring Clara to San Francisco for a visit, she jumps at the chance. Maybe after this trip she’ll be able to put Quint behind her and accept the wealthy man who wants her as his wife.

Quint always thought of Annie as Hannah’s kid sister. Now Annie has grown into a beautiful, spirited, woman—a woman made for his arms and his bed. But when danger demands the ultimate sacrifice, will their newfound love survive?

This book is the follow-up to The Borrowed Bride, which I positively loved. This is the story of the brother who lost out on the bride - Quint, and the sister of the bride, Annie.

It's set in 1906 San Fransisco right at the time of the earthquake. Annie brings her niece to San Francisco to visit her 'uncle' (really, Quint is the little girl's father - read The Borrowed Bride for details). Annie has been in love with Quint forever, and he always thought of her as his girlfriend's little sister. Well lo and behold, Annie is all grown up and Quint is taken aback by his feelings for her.

Parts of this book were really well done. I did like the romance between Annie and Quint. I would have liked it if the book had concentrated on that. Instead, we are treated to a suspense plot in which the little girl is kidnapped, and Annie and Quint fall in love while searching for her. He's a pretty selfish guy - out for the story. Even as the earthquake has hit, and Annie is trying to get herself and Quint's daughter out of San Francisco, he stays behind rather than get them out safely because it's his job to report on the earthquake. Right after they make love for the first time, he taking her virginity, he gets up and goes off. Quint was fairly immature and self-centered. In fact, even as they are marrying, Annie ruminates, "Marriage to Quint wouldn't be easy. Annie had come to accept that." Not something I'd want to be thinking on my wedding day.

So, while I did like portions of this Harlequin Historical, it was nowhere near as good or as emotionally deep and satisfying as its predecessor.


  1. I felt like a hypocrite reading this story because I normally hate it when authors completely "rewrite" a character between series books. Like when the sassy best friend in Book One becomes shy and reticent in Book Two.

    But with this book? It had been six years and Quint hadn't grown up AT ALL. And that's what bothered me. I really liked Annie (a lot) and thought she deserved a man who would put her first. Not some guy out for a story and chasing glory.

  2. I agree, Wendy. I felt like he could pick up at any minute and just go. And he'd just send Annie home to her family when the urge struck him to go on some wild goose chase. Any girl that's thinking about how hard it's going to be to be married to her groom ON THEIR WEDDING DAY is gonna have problems, IMHO.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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