With its powerful themes and emotional impact, this lovingly crafted first of Callen’s Brides of Redemption series uses letters to set the stage for a marriage of convenience plot with a twist. Immediately engaged by the characters, readers will keep turning the pages as a bit of the gothic, and great depth of emotion, draw them in while Callen works her magic.

Cecilia Mallory begins an innocent correspondence with one of her father’s military friends, Sergeant Michael Blackthorne, believing he is an older gentleman. When she is pressed for the funds she is to inherit upon marriage, she proposes they wed by proxy — never thinking he is young, virile and a man who wants a real wife. From the moment he sees Cecilia, Michael realizes the debt of honor he owed her father is going to be difficult to repay. He must stay and help her sort out problems in running the estate and managing her rebellious brother. Being together fans the fires of passion and love. There are unexplained accidents and incidents that force Cecilia to mistrust Michael, and secrets to uncover that place them in danger. (AVON, Aug., 380 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin