Borrowed Bride (Harlequin Historical Series #920)

The Borrowed Bride - Elizabeth Lane Eh, this book was just okay. I liked the tension between the hero and heroine and their families, and the mystery over Quint's whereabouts kept me reading until I finished it in one sitting, but the romance was ultimately left undeveloped. All of their thoughts of desire and angst over not wanting to betray Quint just seemed unsubstantiated. I didn't really see two people talking to each other and discovering a connection, I saw Romancelandia®-style elemental attraction where a chaste kiss or touch sets a treacherous body on fire. It's a common shortcut, for sure, but when used in a story where the heroine transfers her love from her lifelong beau to his brother, it's extra problematic. The hero spends much of their first married year away from her -- first leaving the day after their wedding to attend a weeks-long roundup and then leaving for months to look for Quint in Alaska. In the absence of conversation or some other sort of relationship building, what is there to convince me that Hannah's change of heart isn't just fickleness or gratitude? How do I know she won't flake out on Judd later?The one thing I did really like about the book, though, was the cultural diversity of the characters. Lots of westerns imagine the place as homogenous and WASPy, but immigrants were everywhere in reality. So I really enjoyed that Hannah's parents were Norwegian, Judd's mother's nurse was German and the cook they hire later on was a Mexican. It was a refreshing change.