Gino's Arranged Bride

Author: Lucy Gordon

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: August 2004

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: PRINT

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It had turned out to be a beautiful day after all, Laura Grey decided, after being dragged to the park by her daughter, Nikki.  Nikki loved playing outdoors and today she wanted to play football (soccer). Nikki wasn't like other children, though.  Oh, at eight years of age, she could run and jump, read and sing just like any other child, but, it was her appearance that caught people off guard. 

You see, Nikki, had been born with a facial deformity.  Whenever she approached people, their reaction to her was most unbecoming, which was so sad because they would never come to see the beauty she possessed on the inside.  Because of their unwillingness to treat her like any other child, they'd never know her endearing qualities or feel her heart so pure and giving. 


Nikki did have a father, but he abandoned her when she was a young child.  Her deformity was too much for him to bear, his love for his only child never truly developed.  No, this child just couldn't have been his for how could he have created something so unmentionable.


But, it was one very special person who didn' t flinch when he laid eyes upon her, who gave Nikki a warm sense of belonging, and gave her mother a feeling that the world might not be all that terrible.


Gino Farnese just happened to be sitting on a park bench taking a nap in the very same park where Nikki was kicking her football.  If she hadn't been a bit overzealous, there would never have been this meeting of hearts.  Had Laura not given in to Nikki's insistent pleas to be outside, none of this would have been possible.


Right in the middle of a delicious dream, something slammed into Gino's stomach. Startled, he realized it was a football, and standing right in front of him was a little girl.  Never once did Gino flinch or show any reaction when he first caught sight of Nikki.  He didn't turn away in horror like the others who met her for the very first time. 


This man was different - this charming and handsome man had his own problems and fears that seemed insurmountable to him.  Even in a world that was supposed to be forgiving, his heart couldn't fathom such a thing.  He was on the run-hiding from his own emotions-trying to distance himself from the one he had loved with all of his heart.


Laura was standing nearby, watching her daughter speak to a total stranger as if she had known him all her life.  When Laura had realized where the ball was headed, she couldn't help but feel scared and nervous with anticipation about the end result.  But, Nikki wasn't afraid to take that chance and show herself - there was no fear or trepidation.  Yes, Nikki was a giving child - she had love enough for those who couldn't show it to her and right now, Gino was the man to accept it and return it a hundred times over. 


As fate would have it, Gino is looking for a place to stay and Laura just happens to have an extra room for rent in her old Victorian house.  They each need one another, yet they are so afraid of making commitments of any kind.  It's their love for Nikki that has them acting on impulse. 


GINO'S ARRANGED BRIDE is a beautiful love story.  It captures the love of a mother for her child through the eyes of fear and hope.  It's the story about triumph and overcoming obstacles. Lucy Gordon has written a wonderful novel, one that comes complete with a little girl who will have you cheering for the ending of your dreams.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Patti Fleishman

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