Review of SNOWBOUND WITH MR. RIGHT by Judy Christenberry (see her website)
MISTLETOE & MARRIAGE
Harlequin Romance #3991, December 2007
Since her parents' death in a car accident, Sally Rogers has run the family store in small-town Bailey, trying to build on the tradition her father had set. When a handsome man walks in, demands to talk to the owner, and seems shocked to find the owner is an attractive 20-something woman, she's instantly suspicious. When she learns Hunter Bedford is heir to a huge department store company, she's convinced he's after something--something like trying to buy her out or opening a competing store in the area. Getting him to sign a non-compete agreement is hard enough, but it'll take a lot more than that for Sally to give him her trust.
Since his childhood, Hunter has wanted to be involved in the store, but he hates the corporate office. What he sees in Bailey is close to his dream--a small store that's doing a great business, a store that's part of the community, and a store where even the owner wraps boxes and cleans up display cases. That the store happens to come with the prettiest woman he's seen--well, ever--doesn't hurt any. But can he gain her trust when Sally is so obviously unwilling to do that.
It doesn't take Sally long to realize that Hunter wants more than an unpaid internship in her shop. He insists on taking her out to dinner, insists on paying even though they'd agreed to go Dutch, and insists on walking her home even when she knows she is perfectly safe in Bailey--safe from everyone but Hunter, at any rate. Still, when a sudden storm dumps massive snow on the town, she can't exactly send him out into the weather, can she. Even though Sally knows how dangerous it is to spend time snowbound with Hunter. Because Hunter has a way of stealing her heart and when he leaves, she's afraid he'll take it with him.
Author Judy Christenberry (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Christenberry) continues her Mistletoe and Marriage series with Sally's story. Fans will love the small town atmosphere, with everyone knowing everyone else's business and with matchmakers everywhere, intent on pushing the reluctant couple forward. As Christenberry knows, the general store is often the heart of a small town and the Bailey General Store proves to be exactly that in this charming story. Christenberry's heroes always insist on paying, on taking care of their women--even if they don't need it, adding to the popular, old-fashioned feel. But in the end, her heroines stand up for themselves and prove themselves to be equal partners--and Sally, who starts out fearful and unable to get on with her life, finally takes a chance.
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