Category Romance Review: Temporary Wife by Roberta Leigh

category romance
Temporary Wife by Roberta Leigh
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: 1974
Illustrator: Don Sinclair
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #109
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 189
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Temporary Wife by Roberta Leigh


The Book

Roberta Leigh’s Temporary Wife features a great heroine for a great book.

The Plot

Luke Adams has everything: good looks, a plum job at an investment firm, and his boss/best friend’s wife as his mistress. Unfortunately, his boss’s nephew has caught wind of the affair and threatens to out the pair.

Luke’s mistress, Gina, wants to have her cake and eat it. Sure she’s married to an old man, but he’s rich! In the meantime, she’s got Luke as her lover. Luke desperately wants to be open about the affair, but she keeps claiming her husband’s health is too weak to stand such a shock.

So Gina comes up with the brilliant idea of arranging a marriage of inconvenience for her Luke–who truly does love her–with an old friend from school: plain, mousy Emily Lamb.

temporary wife roberta leigh

Emily is a magnificent heroine. One of the best I’ve read in a Harlequin Presents, no matter what decade. She’s confident in who she is and accepting of the world as it is.

She knows her marriage is one of convenience and understands why.

Gina dismisses Emily as her “pet lamb”, but Luke is not dismissive. Within time, Luke gets to to see that there are many facets to Emily, and all of them strong and beautiful as any precious gem.

Emily [Lamb] might be a lamb by name, but she was certainly not one by nature. A wolf cub was nearer the mark.


Final Analysis of Temporary Wife

Temporary Wife by Roberta Leigh was an unexpectedly fantastic read.

Watching how Luke fell in love with Emily was a wonderful experience to see. Normally, in contemporary romances, I can’t stand adulterous heroes. But here, I understood Luke was genuinely in love with the wrong woman.

Fortunately, Emily comes along to show him who the right woman is. With her, love isn’t a sordid thrill just to get one’s kicks, it’s a meaningful relationship of shared joys and experiences with a partner who doesn’t deify him, but accepts him, flaws and all.

Very deep themes for a genre that receives much ill-deserved derision.

4.5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.6


Emily Lamb thought Luke Adams was attractive and powerful enough to arrange his own marriage–but when her friend Gina Harrick asked her to marry him for business reasons, Emily had her own reasons for agreeing.

It was, of course, to be a temporary marriage of convenience; only Emily hadn’t counted on falling in love with Luke. Nor had she suspected that the secret behind the business reasons was the fact that Luke was in love with Gina, his boss’s wife . . .


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