The Man Must Marryby Janet Chapman
Trying to escape marriage,
they are snared by love.
When Sam Sinclair's self-made millionaire grandfather sends Willa Kent, a woman none of the three Sinclair brothers have even heard of, as his proxy to an ultra-important meeting of the Sinclair shipping company, most people would think the old man had lost his marbles. But Sam knows his grandfather/i>
Trying to escape marriage,
they are snared by love.
When Sam Sinclair's self-made millionaire grandfather sends Willa Kent, a woman none of the three Sinclair brothers have even heard of, as his proxy to an ultra-important meeting of the Sinclair shipping company, most people would think the old man had lost his marbles. But Sam knows his grandfather too well. For some reason, the wily old man has decided that one of his three grandsons should marry Willa, and this is his way of trying to force the issue....
So Willa and Sam team up on what seems like a wild-goose chase to find some loophole in Grandfather Sinclair's crazy notion. But as Sam crews Willa's yacht en route to Maine, he finds to his surprise that his grandfather's offbeat scheme is growing more attractive by the moment. Willa is smart, beautiful...and has a wild streak that sends them soaring together above the clouds.
But Willa isn't about to let Sam fly away with her heart until she knows his true motives. If the man wants to marry for money, then the woman in her says that first he must fall in love.
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Read an Excerpt
Sam Sinclair stood beside Tidewater International's reception desk, waiting for the elevator to reach the thirtieth floor. The bell finally pinged, and whatever expectations Sam had, the woman revealed by the opening doors was... she was...
Good Lord, Abram had sent them a partridge!
Her hair, which had probably started out as a neat bun, was disassembling around her face. Though she couldn't be a day older than thirty, the shapeless brown suit she was wearing was more appropriate for someone twice her age. Half of her blouse hung out below the jacket. Both of her stockings had runs, the overnight bag at her feet the likely culprit. The woman truly resembled a partridge, her plain brown feathers rumpled and sadly outdated.
She looked exactly like a Willamina.
Frozen in shock, Sam watched as her monstrous purse fell into the lobby when she bent down to pick up her yellow overnight bag. She scrambled out of the elevator with a muttered curse, unsteady on two-inch heels, and retrieved her purse just as the elevator doors closed.
Her overnight bag was still inside.
The straps to it, however, were in her hand.
Instead of the doors reopening as they should have, the elevator softly pinged again, and the handles rose up along the crack in the doors. They stopped at the top, the woman frantically tugging on them. Sam heard the unmistakable sound of cloth ripping, and Willamina Kent fell to the floor with a yelp of surprise, the handles of her bag still in her hands.
Several people in the decidedly stunned audience finally rushed over to help her, and the floor beneath Sam's feet shifted at the sight of the warm, shy, sincere smile she bestowed on her rescuers.
God help them, they'd been invaded by an angelic frump.
This was not what they needed right now. The shareholders meeting today, to decide the new CEO of Tidewater International, was going to be a circus.
And it was all Bram's fault.
Abram Sinclair had sent a terse cable from Maine that morning, stating that he was sending Willamina Kent in his stead. Miss Kent held Bram's proxy vote, which would decide who would be succeeding him as chief executive officer.
His grandfather had entrusted the fate of a multibillion-dollar business to a woman who couldn't even exit an elevator without causing an uproar?
Several Tidewater employees were gathered around her as Miss Kent zealously explained the absurd chain of events that had ended with the bag-eating elevator. Sam edged closer.
"I flew in on one of those commuter prop planes. My seat was right between those huge propellers," she explained, tugging her ear, "and now my ears won't stop ringing. You'd think they would have put the airport closer to the city, too. The cab ride was nearly two hours! Heck, I could have rented a car for the fare I paid."
Ten to one, the cabbie also had found Willamina Kent a plump partridge and had given her the scenic tour. What was usually a mere hour's drive in midday traffic could take nearly two hours if the victim didn't know her way around Manhattan.
"Miss Kent," Sam said, moving forward and grasping her elbow. "The meeting is ready to begin, if you are." He ignored her subtle tug for freedom.
"But my luggage..."
"Someone will retrieve it for you," he promised, looking at one of the men. "And have maintenance see why the elevator doors didn't reopen," he added, then turned to lead her down the hall.
Sam had to stop when she stumbled. She looked up with intense, curious eyes of an indescribable color. They looked gray at first glance, or maybe blue. They were definitely arresting.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Sam Sinclair." He dropped his gaze to frown at her shoes, which didn't match her suit. Her skirt and jacket were brown. Her shoes were green. And they looked too big for her feet.
"Abram's grandson," she said.
It wasn't a question. Sam forced a tight smile. "His oldest grandson."
"How do you know who I am?" she asked, giving him a pleased, expectant look.
"A lucky guess," he muttered, once again towing her toward the boardroom, though he did shorten his stride.
"The meeting's starting now? But I'm not... I need..."
Her voice trailed off as she gave her hair a useless pat, straightened her shoulders, and took a deep breath. Sam hid an involuntary smile. Miss Kent looked like a Christian preparing to enter the Colosseum which was probably exactly how she felt. The boardroom would be filled with lions today, three of whom where vying for the CEO position. And Sam was one of them.
"We've already held the meeting back an hour," he told her as he pushed open the door to the inner sanctum of Tidewater.
"Oh. I'm sorry," she whispered, her cheeks flushing a warm pink. "The ride in from the airport was longer than I'd anticipated."
"Had you contacted us with your arrival time, we would have sent the helicopter for you."
"A helicopter," she repeated, sounding intrigued, then gave him a brilliant smile. "I bet it wouldn't have taken me two hours to get here."
He attempted to lead her into the boardroom again. "More like twenty minutes."
She pulled to a stop and peeked inside. Conversations ceased, and all heads turned toward the door. Miss Kent took a step back. "If they've waited this long, they can wait another five minutes. Tell me where the powder room is, please," she demanded, tugging on her elbow again.
Sam turned back into the hall and directed her three doors down. "Five minutes, Miss Kent, and then we start without you," he warned, finally releasing her.
She gave him a smug smile and walked to the bathroom. "Feel free. But you won't be finishing without me," she shot back, disappearing inside.
Sam scowled. Damn his grandfather. He held the reins to Tidewater; he should be there. Where was he? In Maine?
Bram had disappeared six weeks ago. He hadn't told anyone he was leaving and had barely contacted anyone since. The eighty-five-year-old had simply up and vanished into thin air. Once a week for the last six weeks, messages had appeared on an office computer telling everyone that yes, he was still alive, not to worry.
Bram was a wily old wolf. He had complained loud and long about the computerization of his company, but he was not above using the technology to his advantage. Even Tidewater's computer gurus hadn't been able to trace the origin of his messages.
Sam could only guess why his grandfather had disappeared like a thief in the night. It couldn't be easy to step down as head of the company he'd built from scratch with blood, sweat, brain, and guts. Bram obviously hated to relinquish control, though he likely hated growing old even more a fact that had been resonating with all of them since Grammy Rose had died five years ago.
Sam walked into the boardroom and stood at the head of the table and waited. The twenty or so members of the board quietly took their seats and also waited in silence. Ten minutes later, the large door opened, and Miss Kent walked in, still looking frumpy despite her obvious primping.
Her light brown hair had been brushed out and was gathered in a clip to trail down her back in soft, wavy curls. Her face had been scrubbed clean and glowed with softly tanned freshness. Her shirt was tucked into her skirt, but she still looked more like a child playing dress-up than a woman about to alter the course of an international shipping conglomerate.
"Thank you all for being so patient," she said, walking to the large table. She looked at Sam. "Where should I sit?"
He indicated a seat to his right. The man beside it pulled out her chair.
"Thank you," she told him. As she sat down, she dropped her monstrous purse on the table and immediately started rummaging around in it.
With barely controlled patience, then with growing amazement, Sam watched, along with everyone else, as Miss Kent pulled out the broken straps of her suitcase and set them on the table. Then came an overstuffed wallet, a ring of keys that could sink a cargo ship, three packets of airline peanuts, a packet of tissues, an address book, and a candy bar that was squished beyond recognition. She began to mutter softly, her words lost in the cavern of her purse.
Out came a personal radio and earphones. More tissues. A romance novel, the corners curled, the spine broken, with a pen acting as a bookmark. An eyeglasses case. Finally, a folded mess of papers appeared in her hand.
With a sheepish smile directed at no one in particular, Miss Kent unfolded the papers and pulled one page free, then pushed it toward Sam.
"My letter of proxy." She glanced around the table, then stood up. "I should introduce myself. I'm Willamina Kent, a friend of Abram's. He's asked me to come here today to vote in his stead." She smiled at everyone, then turned expectantly to Sam. "You may begin now," she softly instructed as she took her seat and began stuffing everything back into her purse.
"Thank you," he drawled, picking up the paper and scanning it. Bram had given Miss Kent his proxy, all right. His distinct signature sprawled boldly across the bottom of the notarized paper. Sam narrowed his eyes and read the handwritten note in the right margin: You boys be nice to the lady.
Biting back a smile, Sam opened the meeting, telling the board members what they already knew: Abram Sinclair was tired and unable to run the business anymore. Hell, he should have stepped down ten years ago. Sheer stubbornness had gotten him this far, but age had finally caught up with Bram, and Tidewater needed a new CEO.
"Then where is Abram? Why isn't he passing on the reins himself?" one of the members asked with a frown at Miss Kent.
Miss Kent raised her chin. "He's still on vacation. I'm to vote in his place."
"But where the hell is he?" Benjamin Sinclair demanded.
Ben was the middle Sinclair brother, and he also wanted the CEO position. He'd been groomed for it, just as Sam had, as well as their younger brother, Jesse. All three were there today, each hoping to persuade the board that he was the best man for the job even though Miss Kent would have the deciding vote.
Or, rather, Bram's vote, with Miss Kent giving it.
"He's in Maine," she told Ben.
"That certainly pins him down," Ben drawled. "Where in Maine?"
"He asked me not to say."
"How do we know Bram is even alive?" another board member asked, glaring at Willamina.
Sam interceded before she could answer. "Bram sent a cable this morning, telling us Miss Kent would be coming in his place."
"How do we know he sent the cable?"
"He did," Sam assured him. "There's no mistaking Bram's voice in the words. Now, shall we begin?" He turned to the partridge. "Miss Kent. There are three of us in contention for the CEO position. Myself, my brother Benjamin," he offered, nodding to Ben, who nodded to her. "And our brother Jesse."
She smiled at each of them.
"As Bram probably explained to you, the CEO position needs to be filled, at least temporarily until he can decide what he wants to do with Tidewater," Sam explained. "I gather he's taken this little vacation to think about just that. Meanwhile, Tidewater is without definitive leadership."
She nodded, her expression intent.
"Jesse, you may begin. Ladies and gentlemen, you may ask questions as we go along," Sam instructed, leaning back in his chair.
While Jesse spoke of his vision for the company, Sam quietly studied the board members. They were all intelligent people, with a lot at stake in the company's future.
Sam's roving gaze narrowed on Miss Kent when he noticed she wasn't scribbling notes as the others were doing. Nor was she paying much attention to what was being said. That's when it hit him: the woman didn't know a damn thing about this business. Those blue-gray eyes of hers, which were sharpened with thoughtful attention, watched Jesse with an intelligence that had nothing whatsoever to do with spread sheets, growth curves, or bottom lines.
Ben spoke next.
And again, Miss Kent studied him with the intensity of a woman attending an auction to buy a horse, not hiring a CEO.
Sam's gut tightened. Their grandfather was at it again, only the old wolf was getting more devious.
He had sent Willamina down to shop for a husband.
Sam was thirty-six years old, Ben thirty-four, Jesse thirty. Since they'd each turned twenty, Bram had been trying to get them married off and settled down. Their grandfather had paraded more women before his grandsons than Sam could even count, much less remember. And now the old man had found another fortune-hunting woman, this time in Maine.
Bram must be getting desperate to sic a gold-digging frump on them, a little brown twit with faerie hair and angelic eyes, possessing all the grace of a newborn filly on ice skates. And from what he'd seen so far, those appeared to be her good qualities.
But as long as she voted as instructed, who cared if she was husband hunting? The three of them had successfully escaped their grandfather's campaigns for sixteen years; they'd send this one scurrying back to Maine two minutes after she voted.
Sam stood up and spoke last, explaining that he didn't intend to make any major changes yet. But he did emphasize his own vision for the company's future, reminding the members that he'd been making most of the daily decisions for the last five years.
Then he called for a vote.
Most of the members had been anticipating this day, and the speeches were more a formality than anything else. All three had their own members in their corners, and as the votes were orally given, each member backed his or her man. Eventually, it came down to Bram's deciding vote, as everyone had known it would.
"Miss Kent," Sam said. "Please tell us what Bram wished."
She looked up at him. "I ah I haven't decided."
"You don't have to decide, Miss Kent," Sam told her, his shoulders stiffening. "You just have to give us Bram's vote."
"Um... Abram didn't give me a specific vote."
"What?" Ben said in surprise, jumping up from his seat across from her. "What do you mean?"
"He told me the decision was mine," she told Ben, her chin rising defensively.
"Yours?" Jesse repeated, also standing up. "What in hell are you talking about?"
Willamina Kent stood up, though her insignificant height only mocked her attempt to look imposing. "Just what I said. Abram told me the decision was mine."
"He can't do that!"
"Well, he did."
Willamina's gaze moved from one grandson to the other, and she spread her arms wide. "Think about it, gentlemen," she softly implored. "The man's your grandfather, and he loves each of you very much. He couldn't choose one of you over the others."
"Love has nothing to do with this," Sam said tightly. "He just had to name the man best qualified to be his successor."
"He told me you were all equally qualified and that he wouldn't worry about Tidewater if any one of you succeeded him."
Whispered murmurs erupted around the table, along with an underlying tension.
"So what in hell are we suppose to do?" Jesse growled.
Everyone looked at Miss Kent.
She gave them a sheepish smile. "I guess the three of you will take me to dinner."
"But what about the vote?" somebody asked harshly.
Miss Kent darted a wary glance at the table of hostile stares. "I understand the importance of my decision. And frankly, I didn't want to take on this obligation. But I have, and I need some time to decide."
"Why are you doing this for Bram?" Sam asked.
"Because he asked me to."
"Abram has been renting a cottage on my property for the last six weeks, and we've become friends. He needed this favor, and I couldn't bring myself to refuse him. I tried all last week to talk him out of this, but he just got..."
"Stubborn as hell," Sam finished for her.
"Miss Kent," one of the board members interrupted. "This situation can't go on any longer. Abram Sinclair is Tidewater. The business community knows he's gone missing, and we have no leader with the power to make binding decisions. It's imperative that a new CEO be chosen soon."
"I'll decide by tomorrow, after I have dinner with you three tonight," she promised, looking at the three contenders. "But I simply can't vote right now."
"I have a date tonight," Jesse told her.
"Then bring her," she offered. "I just thought if I could get to know each of you a little better, it would help me decide."
"You expect to gamble the future of a multibillion-dollar business over dinner?" Ben asked incredulously.
"I was told the company would be in good hands with any of you."
"If this is a fishing expedition, Miss Kent, then beware," Sam whispered tightly, leaning over the table, watching with satisfaction as her eyes went wide and wary. "The three of us are liable to sink your ship with you still in it."
She blinked up at him. "Fishing expedition?"
"Dammit to hell!" Ben growled, slapping his briefcase shut and storming out of the boardroom.
Sam took her by the elbow again, restraining himself from dragging her to her feet. They didn't need this right now. Not after six weeks of worrying about their grandfather.
"Come on, Ms. Kent," he ground out.
He had to let go of her elbow while she scrambled under the table to retrieve the purse she'd dropped again. While she was there, she patted the floor, looking for her shoes. Sam looked up at the boardroom of equally incredulous people.
She dropped her purse again when she tried to sit down and put on her shoes. Sam picked it up, deciding he would hold on to it for sanity's sake. Finally, he all but dragged her into the hall.
"I've booked a room at the Marriott," she told him as she scrambled to keep up.
"You can stay at the penthouse tonight."
"No. I prefer to stay at the hotel," she said, looking up with unwavering eyes that were nearly the color of slate.
"If you insist." He stopped at the reception desk. "Did you find Miss Kent's luggage?"
"Yes, Mr. Sinclair. It's already in your car."
"Thank you." He started toward the elevator.
"I am quite capable of walking on my own," she quietly told him, tugging on her elbow.
He freed her, then watched with ill-concealed anger as she eyed the elevator doors as if they were going to open up and eat her.
"First time visiting New York?" he asked dryly, forcing his emotions under control. He also had to relax his shoulders forcibly, as they were bunched with the desire to throttle the little twit.
"Actually, it's many firsts for me," she answered, looking up with what Sam could only describe as excitement. "Including my first plane ride."
"Yup. And I can tell you, I'm in no hurry to do it again."
"What do you do for a living in Maine, Miss Kent?"
"I'm a casket maker."
Sam blinked. The elevator doors opened, and without thinking, he took her elbow again and ushered her inside. "Did you say casket maker?"
She smiled up at him indulgently, as if she'd been expecting his reaction. "I own a small casket-manufacturing business. I have a few highly skilled craftsmen who do the woodwork and others who do the interiors."
"Abram's been working for me," she said, pulling free. She touched Sam's sleeve. "He's been building his own casket."
Sam swayed slightly, as if he'd just taken a blow to the gut.
"It's been comforting for your grandfather," she continued softly. "Abram says he feels good using his hands. And he's proud of his final accomplishment." She moved to stand directly in front of him, looking up with concern. "Your grandfather is dying, Mr. Sinclair," she said gently. "He's come to terms with it, and now you and your brothers have to, too."
"Then he shouldn't have run off!" he snapped. "He should be home with his family. We're all he's got left."
"He'll be back. I think."
She canted her head, her countenance calm before the growing storm she must have seen in his eyes. "In some cultures, the elderly go off by themselves into the wilderness to die. In a way, I think that's what Abram has done. I suspect he didn't want the fuss and bother of a deathbed scene," she explained, her voice soothing.
Dammit, he didn't want to be soothed. He wanted to grab this woman and shake her until she rattled. She was a stranger. A twit. And she was saying things he didn't want to hear.
"Tell me where he is," Sam ground out, grabbing her by the shoulders.
Her eyes widened, her sympathy turning to alarm. "I can't. I promised."
Sam glared at her. "I'll find him, you know. There can't be too many casket makers named Willamina Kent in Maine."
"You'll hurt him if you do."
"He belongs at home."
"He'll come back."
"In a box!"
"If that's his choice," she said, her chin rising but not her voice. "We don't have any say in how we enter this world, Mr. Sinclair. But if we have the chance to leave it on our own terms, then we deserve to."
Sam felt the blood drain from his face and tightened his grip on her shoulders.
She winced but didn't try to break free. Instead, she brought one small hand up to his chest. "It's Abram's choice, Sam." Her eyes became beseeching. "Have you thought that maybe he wants your last memories of him to be of a strong man who sat at the helm of his empire? If Abram could have had his way, I think he would have died sitting at his desk."
"Or standing on the deck of a cargo ship, watching the sun rise," Sam whispered. He released her to slam his hand suddenly against the wall of the elevator. "Damn!" He spun back toward her. "He was a sea captain, did you know that? It's how he started. Bram could tell just by the smell of the breeze what tomorrow's weather would be. He loved being at sea, and he and Grammy often traveled on whichever cargo ship was heading where they wanted to go."
"I didn't know that."
Sam closed his eyes against the pain tearing at his insides. He didn't like it, but he understood. Oh, Christ, he really did understand Bram's pilgrimage to Maine. If the old man knew he was dying, he would not want witnesses, especially his grandsons.
Sam took a deep breath. "Okay," he said hoarsely. "Bram is likely coming back in a box."
"The old wolf couldn't live forever," he said with painful resignation, rubbing his temple in an attempt to erase the realization that he would probably never see his grandfather again.
She touched his sleeve, smiling sadly up at him. Just then, the elevator stopped, and the door pinged, and he watched her stiffen. Pushing down his anguish with an iron will, he held up her purse.
"Don't worry, I'll protect it with my life."
She laughed, and the haunting weight of morbidity magically left the elevator. Every muscle in Sam's body involuntarily reacted to the simple, pleasant sound of her gentle laughter.
"You think I'm bad with elevators?" she said, her smile crooked. "You should see me with escalators."
Well, hell. A partridge with the laugh of an angel.
If there was one weakness in Abram Sinclair, it was women. The old man had always liked them plump, laughing, and warm, which was why he was forever preaching to his grandsons that breeding, beauty, and bank accounts didn't matter. Full bosoms were nice, and backsides built to cradle a man were necessary.
Which explained exactly why Willamina Kent was there.
Sam escorted her to the car in the underground parking garage in silence, where Ronald was waiting. He gave his driver instructions to take them to the Marriott, and they rode through Manhattan in silence. Willamina spent the trip with her nose nearly pressed to the window, watching the city go by.
Sam passed the time watching her.
Her shirttail was untucked again. And the suit, which looked as if it had been made in the late seventies, was wrinkled beyond repair. She'd unknowingly knocked over the heavy purse at her feet, and half the contents had spilled out.
Sam silently sighed. He couldn't figure her out. For all of Miss Kent's artlessness, he definitely had seen intelligence in her eyes during the meeting.
A less astute person might only notice her appearance, but Bram always tried to see past the mask a person wore, just as he was always trying to see beyond the ocean's horizon.
Sam felt he'd inherited his grandfather's talent, which was why he would bet there was a lot more to Willamina Kent than first impressions. Abram Sinclair never would have left the fate of Tidewater or his grandsons in the hands of a twit.
So, was she merely the dying whimsy of an old man? Bram wouldn't be averse to shaking up his family or his business to achieve an end, which meant the old wolf had an ulterior motive for sending her here.
Marriage, most likely. It wasn't beyond Bram to have fallen in love with Willamina himself; and who better, he would figure, for one of his grandsons to marry? Willamina seemed like a sympathetic creature, if a person could get past her antics.
Although her chosen profession was... weird.
Well, hell. He guessed somebody had to build caskets.
But Bram was building his own. Sam still couldn't shake off that macabre vision.
"Do you need help checking in?" he asked when they pulled up to the Marriott.
"No, thank you. I'll be fine." She frowned down at her purse, then started shoving everything back into it. "Will we all be going to dinner tonight?"
"We'll pick you up at seven," Sam told her. He stepped out of the car behind her and watched with wry amusement as Ronald handed her defeated luggage to the porter, noticing some kind soul had wound it shut with packing tape. The porter, bless his training, didn't even bat an eye when he took it.
Once Miss Kent was safely on her way, Sam climbed back into the car and headed back to the office. Maybe he could salvage something of this hellacious day as well as do an Internet search for a casket company in Maine.
As the elevator doors were closing back at the parking garage, Sam saw a scrap of material caught in the door track. Shoving against the doors to open them again, he reached down and retrieved what turned out to be a pair of iridescent lilac panties.
They were a little larger than he was used to.
With a smile of anticipation for the evening to come, Sam shoved them into his pocket. It appeared the little partridge didn't always wear brown.
Copyright © 2008 by Janet Chapman
Meet the Author
A native of rural central Maine, Janet Chapman lives there in a cozy log cabin on a lake with her husband. Three cats and a stray young bull moose keep them company. The author of the hugely popular Highlander time-travel series, she also writes contemporary romances.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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After reading all about the highlanders, Midnight Bay, Spellbound Falls I decided to try the Sinclair Brothers. Definitely happy I tried this. There was a bunch of humor, energy between the hero and herione, and heartfelt moments. Truly an unique and wonderful story that is a Chapman book. You will not be disappointed. Be sure to read the second in the series. I hope there will be a third eventually.
Reviewed for queuemyreview.com; book release Nov08
I just can¿t resist the hero who has to work hard to win the love of his lady. Can you? If not, you won¿t be disappointed with ¿The Man Must Marry¿ by Janet Chapman. I¿m a big fan of her series about time-traveling highlanders, and enjoyed most of the other contemporaries she wrote. But this story rates right up there as my favorite of her contemporaries so far. I think it¿s likely due to the engaging heroine with her many `faults¿ and the sexy man who sets out to win her heart.
Willa has come to New York to do a favor for a friend. Bram is dying and he asked her to go to his company¿s shareholder¿s meeting and vote his proxy for the interim CEO, one of his three grandsons. And poor Willa is supposed to `get to know¿ all three and decide which one should take over! While Willa is definitely NOT thrilled about Bram¿s request, she finally gave in and here she is. She may not be a big-city type, but her own firm is successful and she has no intention of letting his three grandsons run roughshod over her!
Sam is Bram¿s eldest grandson. At first glance, he can¿t quite believe what his grandfather has sent¿a brown wren. She even looks like a Willamina! Within a few hours, Sam realizes his grandfather is again trying to select a bride for his grandsons and he wants no part of it¿and tells Willa just that. Within 24 hours, Sam begins to see exactly what his grandfather does, and his interest grows. But when Bram dies and his will requires one of his grandsons to marry Willa to keep their company from falling into the hands of their worst enemy, Sam realizes that he¿s the only grandson that can really appreciate Willa. But now he¿ll have to convince her that his offer of marriage isn¿t just a business decision.
It¿s hard not to give away too much from Chapman¿s plot, but I was caught up in this story from the first page. Willa is a woman who¿s hiding from her future and Sam quickly becomes the man determined to win her heart. His approach is one that had me either laughing or sighing while I was cheering on his efforts. And their attraction and passion will have you fanning yourself.
One of the biggest characters in this story is Bram, even though we never meet him and he dies in the first part of the book, he¿s still larger than life. Through Willa and his grandsons and friends, Chapman paints a vibrant portrait of a man determined to see his friends and relatives settled and happy. Other secondary characters carry a large part of the plot and are crucial to understanding both the main characters. The setting in New England with its own quirky character comes through beautifully.
Now that I¿ve read ¿The Man Must Marry¿, I know that I will be heading for the bookstore to buy the stories of the other two brothers when they are released. So far there¿s no word on the title or release date of Janet Chapman¿s next in this series. So I¿ll just visit her website at www.janetchapman.com on occasion and see what other goodies she may offer up!
The first book in the Sinclair brothers series is a wonderful beginning. How Sam has to prove to Willa that he loves her is just heartwarming and melting!
I never tell the story but then u know what its about. Shes a gifted writer n ive read all but one book now. Not into smut but like fun n romance her books r it.