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The Bride Hunt    by Jane Feather Amazon.com order for
Bride Hunt
by Jane Feather
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2004 (2004)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

This second story in the Duncan sisters trilogy begins on a serious note. As the mysterious owners of 'The Mayfair Lady' broadsheet, the sisters are being sued by an enraged Lord Barclay. Their inflammatory article, exposing his lordship's debauched ways and hinting at criminal practices, caused a furor in London. Since their dwindling finances are dependant on the newsletter's income, middle sister Prudence decides to persuade up and coming barrister, Sir Gideon Malvern, to take up their case.

The contrast between Prudence's outwardly meek demeanor and her rapier-sharp mind and tongue intrigues Gideon to accept the case. Since they can't afford to pay him, Prudence offers to find a wife for this divorced, single father in exchange for his legal services. Gideon, however, finds that his ideal of the perfect woman is rapidly taking the attractive shape of his termagant client. Though Prudence too feels a tug of attraction, she's exasperated by the cynical lawyer's combative style of working, living and loving. Will they find common grounds to establish a relationship or are they doomed to be only short-term lovers? Also, in order to win the case, the sisters must take a drastic decision are they up to it? Readers will be captivated by the spirited battle for love, justice and truth that commences.

Though this second in the trilogy has much in common with the first, there are differences. While apparently more progressive than Max, Gideon has a confrontational attitude that irks Prudence. But as the story develops, his motivations become clearer, while Prudence's no-nonsense attitude and sharp set-downs are very entertaining. This episode has more conflicts in it than the previous, as secrets are revealed and the past has to be dealt with. In short, the vigorous interaction between characters, as well as conflict, passion and love make an otherwise predictable story a pleasure to read.

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