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Rules of Engagement    by Kathryn Caskie Amazon.com order for
Rules of Engagement
by Kathryn Caskie
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Paperback
*   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

Magnus MacKinnon, new Earl of Somerton, came to London in search of a rich wife, needed to get his estate out of debt. When he meets the charming, klutzy Miss Eliza Merriweather, he's intrigued by her straightforwardness but disappointed by her lack of a dowry. With no interest in marriage, Eliza has reluctantly agreed to one London season in order to placate her spinster aunts. But she longs to escape to Italy and pursue her dreams of becoming an artist.

While Magnus and Eliza are both greatly attracted to each other (and indeed, they seem a wonderful couple), they realize that their mutually incompatible goals in life make them an unsuitable match. So they decide to help each other Eliza offers to find the perfect rich wife for Magnus if he'll pretend to court her and thus keep her suitors at bay. But as the passion between them grows beyond bounds, will they be able to continue denying their mutual love?

Kathryn Caskie's debut effort is charming though not very original. The characters' antics are entertaining, while the historical ambience is gently touched upon. The humor is derived mainly from the wily efforts of the two spinster aunts to marry off their niece, based on military strategy. The romance is gently developed. While not outstanding, Rules of Engagement is a pleasantly competent romance.

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