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book cover Limecello’s review of An Officer and a Millionaire by Maureen Child
Contemporary romance released by Silhouette Desire on 13 Jan 09

Maureen Child is a Desire author whose books I always keep an eye out for. I know I can expect a good, solid read, and I’ve also got a soft spot for Silhouette Desire’s “Man of the Month” series.  I think that Hunter Cabot filled that role admirably, as he was the first man of the month during Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary. It’s also cute because Hunter has appeared in previous books by Ms. Child. And really, for Man of the Month, a hero who actually is an officer and a millionaire? In Harlequin world, this isn’t overkill, it’s a perfect hero. (And hey – I definitely wouldn’t turn down one in real life were he to show up on my doorstep.)

First, however, we’ll talk about Margie Cabot, because everyone knows the woman is (and women!) and are most important to Harlequin. One would think I’d find Margie contradictory, but I rather liked her. She’s snappy when backed into a corner, has a great big bleeding heart, but does her best to put up a good front. Margie’s reactions and face she shows the world runs the gamut. Margie is the town savior (okay, this I had a bit of a hard time believing), is a friend to Hunter’s grandfather, and is able to hold her own against Hunter.

While everyone loves her, Margie still feels alone and adrift. I don’t know that I’d really label Margie’s effort to resist Hunter as valiant, but it’s cute how she initially interacts with him. I have to admit that her “I’ll never find a place to belong, and the orphan in me will never be loved” moping didn’t elicit much sympathy from me, but it did explain why she was racing to put down roots. It’s not that I didn’t feel bad for her, merely that Margie took it a bit too far.

Hunter Cabot is basically your typical clueless hero. We know he’s a stand up guy because he’s a Navy SEAL. However, I didn’t feel that I knew much else about him as a person. He’s incredibly loyal to his team – they’re his best friends, and he loves his grandfather, but he is a bit careless with his relationships. Maybe it’s because he’s a soldier, or like so many people it’s “out of sight, out of mind” for Hunter, but most of Ms. Child’s focus on Hunter was how he felt about Margie, or didn’t want to feel about her. I have to admit, however, I did enjoy his bumbling at the end, with the “why not just stay married?” It was entertaining. That, and his killer ex-girlfriend. It’s always fun to have a hero be embarrassed because he dated a woman – regardless of how hot and seemingly perfect she is.

To be honest, I picked up this book, and put it down again after reading the first few pages. A man who didn’t know he was married? A woman posing as his wife? Really? I’m supposed to believe that? Well, actually, yes, there is a pretty good explanation a few more pages in. (Well, at least one I was willing to accept.) I definitely didn’t know proxy marriages still took place today – and don’t know if they do, but was charmed by the idea. How quaint – and how interesting, right? I liked that Margie wasn’t painted as the villain in this book. (Well, only by Hunter – but it added an interesting dimension for Margie not to be the mercenary gold digger.) I really appreciated the fact that Ms. Child didn’t try to spin some outrageous tale where the heroine is trying to con the hero…

I suppose proximity had a lot to do with bringing Hunter and Margie together, but I liked the little events that pushed them together. For example, how Hunter felt when he overheard women getting catty about Margie. I will say that I’m not entirely convinced of the “Cabot is King” concept – but maybe I just don’t know enough about small towns. An Officer and a Millionaire is a cute story, and I really enjoyed all the secondary characters. They really helped move the plot along, and showed different facets of the character’s personalities.

While I found the end a little bit cheesy, I did like the way Hunter went after Margie. Once he finally decided what he wanted, and realized he was in love, Hunter was a man on a mission, and it was nice to see him get a little riled. I also really enjoyed the banter between the men. I’m enjoying the newest books in the Man of the Month “series,” and definitely hope to see the remainder of Ms. Child’s SEAL team have their own romances. If you enjoy categories, you should read this book, especially if you haven’t already given the Man of the Month books a try.

LimecelloGrade: B-

Mr. January: Hunter Cabot, Navy SEAL
Vital Statistics: Tall, rich and…married?
Mission: Find out who’s been sleeping in his bed.
The broad-shouldered military man had no patience with games. Margie—Cabot?—had to go. She’d been masquerading as his spouse for nearly a year, living in his house while he’d been overseas. Now all his skills were focused on payback: it would be sweet, swift and sexy.
But first he’d have that “wedding night!”
Read an excerpt.