Mia Savard is thirty, recently dumped by her model boyfriend, and the top designer
at her fatherís bridal design company, Savard Creations. And she hates it. She is tired of making gowns for everyone else when sheís still single. Mia has been trying for years to get out of the bridal line and into couture, but her father wonít hear of his best bridal designer leaving her post. He already fired his other children when they dared go against him; why not Mia?
After quitting before he can fire her, disaster strikes Savard Creations, and Mia is back at work. It seems someone has stolen one of Miaís designs, and all fingers point to Savardís rival, Heavenly Bridals. Before scandal can hit the pages of the top fashion magazines and put Savard out of business, Mia and her father have to find out who stole the design and gave it to Heavenly Bridals.
Enter Joe Kerr. Head of Joseph Kerr Inc. Private Investigations, hired by
Mia's father to find out who stole Miaís design and hopefully also bring down his archrival Oren Angel, head of Heavenly Bridals.
But the investigation gets complicated as things heat up between Joe and Mia. Joe has been suspicious of Mia from the get-go.
She quit minutes before her design was stolen, and as he questions the Savard's
staff, Joe learns that Mia has been threatening to quit for years, and that Lucien has fired her more than twice. Joe suspects Mia more and more, but Miaís curiosity and
own investigating leads Joe to look at others who work under her father - and lets Joe pursue his romance with Mia, who happens to watch Law and Order and is determined to think how they think on the show, which annoys the hell out of Joe.
The romance between Joe and Mia is sweet and subtle. They try and hold off because of the investigation, but it slowly builds until they canít resist any longer, and the result leaves you thinking it couldnít have worked out any other way. The result of the investigation is not really surprising;
the characters telegraph by their behavior who is innocent, so itís not at all unforeseen who
is revealed to have stolen the design.
All in all, Marriage By Design is a pleasant read and a sweet romance complete with abundant humor and a fine plot, but the some of the characters could have been sketched better to fool the reader.