Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Perfect Wife, by Lynsay Sands

Lynsay Sands
ISBN: 0-8439-5499-X
Historical Romance
Book #06-164

Avelyn has been indulged by her loving parents for as long as she can remember, but all that is about to change. Her betrothed, Paen de Gerville, is back from the Crusades and intends to claim his bride at long last. Fearful that Paen will not appreciate a curvy wife, and tormented by her three nasty cousins, Avelyn vows to lose weight before her wedding so she can be the beautiful bride she's certain her fiance is expecting. To that end, Avy has her maid alter her wedding gown to a smaller size, and instructs her to cut off the excess fabric. Of course, when her wedding day arrives, the gown is much too small, and Avy's mother refuses to let her wear the only other gown available, a red, wrinkled thing that makes Avelyn look like a round, ripe cherry. The only solution? Bind Avy and sew her into her gown.

Paen is ready to settle down to hearth and home, until he meets his bride and realizes there's something very wrong with her, and not just the fact that her posture is ramrod straight and she apparently cannot bend in the middle. Paen soon realizes the cruelty Avy has experienced at the hands of her cousins and resolves to show her how much he desires and approves of her. Unfortunately, his new wife is astonishingly clumsy and beset by one gaffe after another, and Paen begins to figure out that no one could possibly be that accident-prone.

THE PERFECT WIFE is a perfect romance: funny and sweet, touching and tender, with the perfect balance of humor and sensuality. Readers are certain to enjoy Avy's efforts to become the wife she thinks Paen wants, while Paen puzzles over the mystery of how to bring out the best in a woman who seemingly has everything he's ever wanted in a wife. The end of the book is somewhat reminiscent of Catherine Coulter, especially in the characters' speech patterns, and readers will have to decide for themselves whether or not that's a good thing. For most, however, THE PERFECT WIFE will be the perfect diversion for a cold winter afternoon.

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