Verdict: 4 Stars
One of the original adopters of early onset digital publishing was the romance imprints. While other critics were still arguing over whether or not people would actually read on a tiny little screen, publishers like Harlequin were forging industry-changing imprints like Carina Press, which offered unheard of royalties and a turnaround time of only a matter of weeks.
Soon, it was the romance readers once again who changed things up in the industry, as they were some of the first fans to fully embrace digital self-publishing by creating one of the first million-title sales indie authors, Amanda Hocking.
So it’s no surprise that it’s once again romance that is changing things up.
Sylvia McDaniel, who penned the title The Wanted Bride, broke with convention by creating a romance heroine who could frustrate Satan himself with her witty comebacks and take-no-names attitude towards coming out on top. On the very first page, Valerie Brown bought a one-way bus ticket while still wearing the charred wedding dress she had on when she set fire to her lousy fiance’s Corvette. She ended up in a tiny Colorado town barely ahead of a blizzard with no money, no wallet, and only her Louis Vuitton luggage to keep her company.
The kindness of strangers saves the day, as she quickly finds a waitressing job and a room to rent in order to avoid calling on her wealthy father to save her skin one more time. The only person not buying her poor-little-me situation is Matt Jordan, one of the most notoriously ruthless lawyers in the state and a handsome devil on top of it.
But where McDaniel parts with convention is in the bold attitudes of her heroine, one of the most resourceful romance leading ladies on the market. It’s this type of new voice in romance that makes the genre so appealing to so many, but still keeps with some of the formulaic traditional story pacing that steadfast fans have come to expect from their favorite romance authors.