After loosing his beloved wife and child three years ago in a tragic car accident, Neil believes he'll never marry again. But when Cara becomes engaged, not out of passionate love, but out of duty to her family, Neil can't help feeling jealous. When Cara ends the engagement, he steps in to accept her need for a "temporary husband." It's her grandmother's wish to live long enough to see Cara married. In their Italian family, she's the last child of eight to hold out. And after she overhears her grandmother sharing a dream with her mother, Cara desperately wants to make her beloved grandmother happy.
Besides, marrying the man you love is every girl's dream come true. Too bad that Neil's not in love with her. Neil's always treated Cara as beloved little sister. When they announce their engagement to Cara's family, Neil's overwhelmed with a desire that this engagement and marriage be real, that he really would be welcomed into Cara's family. He's pleased to be able to help brighten the last months of the grandmother's life. But he doesn't dare fall in love with Cara. He's already buried a wife and child, and he can't live through the chance of risking his heart again.
There seem to have been a glut recently of romance novels with the plot based upon a marriage of convenience. Some are more successful than others and, unfortunately, Carole Halston's plot doesn't work as well as I have come to expect. Perhaps the concept of marrying by the age of thirty to please one's family is just too old world for me. Despite the weak premise, however, I do also feel compelled to point out Halston's fluid writing style and blend of ethnic traditions gives the characters vivid individuality.