Desert Isle Keeper
I Do, I Do, I Do
What a delightful book! I was charmed from the first sentence and I did not want this book to end at all. When I closed it, I wished for a sequel and I wanted that sequel immediately. I simply have to take I Do, I Do, I Do to the desert isle.
In I Do, I Do, I Do, Maggie Osborne gives us three heroines, three heroes and three love stories. She deftly manages all the characters and we readers grow to know and love all of them. All the characters have unique stories that blend into a wonderfully satisfying overarching whole. This is truly a masterful piece of storytelling.
Juliette March is a wealthy sheltered spinster who fell madly in love with the charming Jean Jacques Villette. After their wedding, he disappeared with a large chunk of her money, ostensibly to buy them a home. When he did not return, Juliette decided to track him down even though that is not exactly the proper thing to do. She tracked him to an inn where she finds:
Clara Klaus who had met a Frenchman named Jean Jacques Villette. Even though she was German and he was French, Clara fell in love with the charming Jean Jacques, married him, sold her inn and gave him the money to buy a new one for them to manage together. When Clara meets Juliette and discovers there is another Mrs. Villette, she is angry as can be – so she and Juliette join up and trace Jean Jacques to:
Seattle where they meet the third Mrs. Villette, Zoe Wilder. Zoe grew up in a coal mining town and had dreams of bettering herself. She saved a nest egg and when she met the charming Jean Jacques, she married him, gave him her money and now is so mad she wants to track him down and shoot him.
All three Mrs. Villettes join forces. It seems that Jean Jacques has gone to the Yukon to take part in the gold rush there. Even though the three women do not particularly like each other, they can see the benefits of pooling their money and they all three want to find the charming, lying, cheating, Jean Jacques and (depending on the woman) ask him why or shoot his miserable hide.
During the course of the book, all three women find themselves taking part in adventures they never even dreamed of. They also meet three fine men, Ben Dare, Bernard “Bear” Barrett and Tom Price, with whom they fall in love. But are they still married? And what happens when they find Jean Jacques?
One thing I especially loved about I Do, I Do, I Do is its wonderful depiction of the friendship that grows among its heroines. All three women began by hating each other. Despite the fact that they know that Jean Jacques is a rat, there is still that element of “Whatever did he see in her?” among them. The women’s dislike for each other changes during the course of the novel to a deep friendship between them. This is the best depiction of female friendship in a romance novel that I have seen this entire year.
I Do, I Do, I Do is also a very funny book. It’s not silly slapstick type of humor – the humorous incidents instead serve to hold up a light to the characters and show the reader (and the characters themselves) their true colors. Two of the love scenes are especially funny. When the prim and proper Juliette meets Ben for a “date,” she is so turned on by the fact that he knows the proper way to set a table that she becomes, shall we say, wanton? When Clara (a big strong woman) and Bear (a big strong man) finally get together, their passion literally brings down the house.
I simply loved I Do, I Do, I Do. I am sure that when the votes are due to be cast for the best American Historical Romance of 2000, this will be at the top of the list. I don’t have a single quibble with this book at all and can’t wait to read it again, especially the scene where Clara beats Bear in an arm wrestling contest. That scene alone is worth the price of the entire book. Never underestimate the power of a low-cut dress!