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The Sister Swap (Dangerous Liaisons) (Harlequin Presents, No 1788)

by Susan Napier

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I don't think Susan Napier can write a bad HP. I mean, I usually hate deception-based plots - there's always cringing as the lies crumble, and it's hard to sympathize with a liar caught in his/her own trap - but Napier can apparently make me like one.

Anne Tremaine is our liar. Her sister Katlin is an author and single mother who won a lucrative grant to write a novel. Lovely as this is, she feels she can only write at her secluded cabin and without her infant to fuss over. As the grant requires the recipient to reside at an Auckland university, they plan to have Anne stay with the baby in Auckland and pretend to be her sister.

Anne's neighbor Hunter Lewis turns out to be a visiting professor, a famous author and a personal friend of the grant giver. Naturally, he's also gorgeous, overbearing, mercurial and absolutely irresistable. Cue the angst over competing wants and needs.

Regardless, I loved the characters and their conversation. Anne is fiercely devoted to her family, and the book seems to agree that it's both a strength and a flaw of hers, so her ruse is a bit more palatable. Watching her brazen it out with Hunter is pretty amusing, seeing her mix truth, half-truth and outright fabrication, and occasionally painting herself into a corner doing it. Hunter was a big cuddly bear with Anne and the baby, and just a straight up bear with Anne, and she was all up ons, more than a match for his moods, whatever they were.

These two were made for each other. Anne's eternal optimism and pragmatism complement Hunter's cynical pessimism, and neither would ever be able to run roughshod over the other. Exactly what I love to see in an HP - a strong alpha male and a woman who can take him down a notch. ( )
  Ridley_ | Apr 1, 2013 |
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