The idea behind this series is this: Aunt Heloise is giving the family ranch to her son, Darren, if the Hall boys don't get a snap in their behinds, and by snap, she means wives and at least one child, all in a year's time.
The Hall boys are all military men, each of them in a different branch. In Mason's book, a novella introducing this series, he came up with the plan to put out a Wife Wanted ad. Through this ad, he found Regan -- who really only answered it because it was funny and couldn't possibly be a real deal.
With The Soldier's E-Mail Order Bride, we meet one of the middle-of-the-pack brothers, Austin. He's getting out of the Navy, but with some deep regrets and a ton of emotional turmoil. But, to hold his end of the four-ended bargain, he puts out his own ad -- because Mason's ad just isn't giving him any luck.
Austin doesn't want a wife in the real sense. He wants someone who is ok being married in name only, who just wants to live a quiet, hardworking lifestyle for the next nine months. They would put up a ruse and so long as Heloise believes them, all is good.
Ella is an actress who just had her world crash down around her. On a whim, and as a way out of the tabloid eyes, she answers the ad and meets Austin in Montana. They get married quickly and quietly -- but when Heloise finds out about it and starts to look as if she's catching on to the game, they quickly add that they were planning on a reception in a month's time, too, to include the family that missed out on the church (yes, their wedding was still held in a church) wedding. When Heloise still isn't buying it, Ella throws in that they were renewing their vows, too.
As the days progress, Austin and Ella have a hard time sticking to their rule of 'no sex' -- they did it once, it was great, but there was no way it could happen again. But looks and touches and respect keep leading them back to each other. The more he feels happy with her, the more his survivor's guilt takes over his mind -- even though that same survivor's guilt throws thoughts in his head of his buddy, Donovan, giving him the go-ahead to be happy with Ella.
I enjoyed the banter and fighting between Regan and Mason as they stumbled around to make their Wife Wanted ad work. I really, really loved Ella and Austin.
...and I thought I enjoyed Regan and Mason's run through the Obstacle Course but... Ella and Austin have them beat. Guess you'll have to read to figure that one out.
|While perusing Pinterest, I stumbled across this quote and all I could think|
was this was totally Austin -- yes, Ella is Hollywood beautiful, but he sees so
much more in her. No matter how hard he tries to stay away, he just can't.