Great Love by Rida Allen
AmErica House - July 2001
ISBN: 1588510247 - Trade paperback
Contemporary Romance for strong love scenes

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.Com
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The provisions of Jonathan Edward's father's will were that Jonathan, 29, must marry before he turns 30, and must start a family within the first year of his marriage in order to keep control of the family business. This business is Jonathan's obsession, and he has no idea how to find a woman with whom he would want to live the rest of his life. The answer comes one evening while he is jogging in the park. He is knocked down by Samantha Velmar's golden retriever, Molly.

Samantha Velmar is an assistant manager of a bookstore who has to shop for clothes in 14 plus size stores. She has been estranged from her family for 11 years because of an abusive stepfather who told her that no man would ever love her because of her size. She is very insecure; wants a better life, but doubts she will find it. It is love at first sight. But Samantha has difficulty believing Jonathan could care for her. Jonathan finally persuades her to marry him.

This is a beautiful, passionate love story, complete with the doubts, tensions, and ardor of two very likable people. The book is very smooth and well-written. The dialogue is written in a way that sounds like real conversations. The characters are well-defined. The golden retriever, Molly, is a delightful addition. The story moves rapidly and involves the reader in the action. It is refreshing to find a heroine who is "a full-figured woman" with charm and beauty both inside and out. There is an explicit sex episode, which is handled tastefully.

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