A lot more fun than I expected
When Mason's eccentric aunt bequeaths the family ranch to him and his brothers, it's not without some rather unorthodox conditions. Not only do all the brothers have to marry, but at least one must have a child within a year. Spread out among the branches of the Armed Forces, none are really ready, especially to do so in such a rush, so Mason places an online ad for them all. Regan's answer is not at at all what Mason expects, but he's immediately intrigued and sets out to convince her that a life with him just might be what she needs.
But... That title… I have to say that I probably saw this book a hundred times on different freebie lists, and I rolled my eyes at the title and just kept going. Is it supposed to be kitschy? I just figured it was some ridiculous drivel I would never want to read. But then months later I realized Cora Seton is a pretty popular author, and if there was ever a time to try reading a new (to me) author's work, it's when you can download the book from a retailer for free. I'm still kind of embarrassed to post this title on my site, though. It just doesn't get cheesier than this.
The Verdict: Reagan won me over the second she replied to Masons wife-wanted ad. Ready to move forward with her life, despite the lack of husband or even somewhat significant romantic relationship, Regan's already made her appointment to be artificially inseminated and become a single mother. Sure, she'd prefer to have a husband by her side, but without any prospects on the horizon, she knows it's up to her. She doesn't immediately fall for the “wife wanted” ad she sees and really can't imagine the kind of woman it takes to agree to that kind of arrangement, but it's a nice fantasy. Lots of alcohol later, though, she ends up sending a ridiculous reply, immediately capturing the attention of one very hot Navy SEAL.
Mason is a good guy, but rushing into marriage with a virtual stranger was not in his plans. However, he does want the family ranch back, and he can get it if he and his brothers all marry. They're not thrilled about the conditions either, but they're willing to do their part if it means getting back the house and land they love. Mason, though, is the only one nearing the end of his service, so it's up to him to get the ball rolling and fulfill the second part of his crazy aunt's conditions — having a child.
Regan's response to Mason's ad was nothing short of hilarious. With the absurd list of qualifications she includes, the mention of wanting to lick him, and the photograph of just her foot, she was bound to stand out. She just didn't expect it would stand out all the way to the delete button. But Mason can't help but appreciate her wit, and they soon strike up an online relationship of sorts. Granted, she insists they can simply be friends, but now that he knows more about her, he's all about convincing her to give him a chance. Finally, she agrees to go with him to check out the ranch.
Mason hopes the house and land will impress her enough that she'll see they can have a good life together, but what he finds is not what he expected. It seems the uncle who's had the property has pretty much let it fall apart, sold off just about everything of value, and left him with a money pit. To make matters worse, he ran up some debts locally, striking down the chance that Mason might get any of their neighbors to help him get the ranch and house back into shape.
Again, though, Regan is not what Mason expected. Having now developed a solid friendship with Mason, along with a healthy level of attraction, Regan sees what Mason has to accomplish and wants to help him. She's not quite sold on forever yet, but there's no reason she can't see him through the challenge he now faces. Before long, they're working side by side, and while Regan's never lived the country life, she throws herself fully into every task, winning even more of Mason's respect. Their situation is certainly odd, but the more time they spend together, the more it becomes clear that they belong together. Regan's plans to have a baby fall in nicely with Mason's plans, though he plans on doing it the old fashioned way. But with the disrepair of the house and ranch, along with the gigantic obstacle of Mason's pride and sense of duty, they're facing an uphill battle.
The Navy SEAL's E-mail Order Bride is a lot more fun than I expected, and I loved Regan from page one. Unlike other romances in which marriages are arranged, this story doesn't have that one person doing it out of desperation. Mason's being given a big shove, sure, but he's not looking to marry someone he has no interest in, and of course, Regan has every chance to back out if she wants to. The marriage of convenience plot line may be pretty typical, but the way these two take the time to know and then fall for each other makes it a great read. I just might have to grab the rest of the series.