“You want me to find you a wife?“No. I want you to be my wife.”
Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…
Will they end up with more than they bargained for?
What I love
Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee is the first book in The Heirs of Hansol series. This being a Harlequin, there is the requisite romance trope. This story uses one of my favorites: the fake marriage. What I love best about this story is the heroine. Natalie is super nice, sweet and honest. She admits right away to her fake fiancé that she is not good at lying so he’ll have to do it for her. I love that about her. I’m not good at lying either and wouldn’t be able to lie my way through an event (not that anyone is asking me to fake marry them). Natalie is also ambitious and smart and in the running for a Director position. But they both need to marry each other for their own reasons. Natalie needs Garrett so she can adopt a baby and Garrett needs a wife if he wants to be promoted to CEO. Garrett is not a jerk (and I’m so glad the days of jerk heroes are mostly behind us). The stakes are high, the hero and heroine are likable and I found myself rooting for them.
What I don’t love
There isn’t much I don’t love, but if I had to nitpick I’d say that from the time of the marriage agreement to the wedding day it all goes too fast. I feel like I was missing a few pages. Even the moving-in-together scene is glossed over. They went from being colleagues to suddenly being married. That said, I highly recommend this romance novel if you enjoy reading the other books in the Harlequin Desire line.
It’s time for my reading wrap-up for the first quarter of 2019.
I read romances (of course!) and books on photography and fashion. All in all, a very successful first quarter. This is a long post so get yourself a cup of tea and settle in for a fun read about books.
Coming Home for Christmas – A Christmas anthology by Lindsay McKenna, Delores Fossen and Geri Krotow. This anthology features three stories, all military-themed. If you like military-themed romances, then this anthology of three novellas is for you. It’s perfect to read during the festive season (so make a note of it for Christmas 2019). The stories were well-thought out, with rich plots and fleshed out characters. And there is always something romantic about a hero coming home from war.
Except…truth be told, I didn’t realize I would not find this theme romantic. I’ve had a brother and a husband go to war and it was stressful and scary and anxious. And I’ll always have the gray hair I got while my husband was in Afghanistan for one year. I probably won’t be reading military-themed romances again. You learn by reading and I learned that it’s too soon for me to read these types of stories. Nevertheless, the stories were well-written and penned by female military veteran writers and I was happy to support them by buying this book.
A Christmas Railway Mystery by Edward Marston. This book was a treat. It’s actually part of a series, but I was able to enjoy this book without having read any of the other books. Set in December 1860 in a small town outside London, a detective is on the hunt for a murderer. I played a game with myself to figure out who the murderer is while reading this book, but I was dead wrong with my conclusion (pun intended)! The murderer was someone I least suspected. I’m not sure what Christmas-time and murders have in common, but nevertheless I loved reading this book and I will seek out more English mystery/detective books next Christmas.
Paris for One by Jojo Moyes. This was a very charming short story. The main character is a young British girl (somewhat depressed) who is stood up by her boyfriend at the train station. This forces her to travel to Paris alone. But this is good because she embarks on an entirely new adventure in the City of Light. By the end of the story, our heroine discovers that she deserves to be treated well and learns how to live more daringly. I won’t say anything else, as I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. But if you have an afternoon to spare, this book is a must-read. Looking for Captain Poldark by Rowan Coleman. This is another short story. It starts out sweet and funny, but quickly becomes action-packed and leaves you at the edge of your seat. Our main character Lisa is a withdrawn woman (and easily overwhelmed by life) and doesn’t trust anyone because of something bad that happened to her. We don’t find out what that bad thing is until the end of the story. Most of the story takes place while Lisa is driving to Cornwall with a small group of Poldark fans (who dubbed themselves “Poldarlings”) riding along in her car. As they are driving to Cornwall, chaos ensues which leads to soul-searching and self-discoveries for all the characters. This is another quick afternoon read, perfect for summer. Go for it.
Wild Wyoming Nights by Joanne Rock. This was a very romantic, feel-good Harlequin novel. I wrote about it in a previous blog post.
PrettyCityLondon by Siobhan Ferguson. This book is a gorgeous read about London’s most scenic neighborhoods and gives you tips on photography. It inspired me to dust off my old camera.
Kate: How to Dress like a Style Icon by Caroline Jones. I bought this book because I wanted to learn tips on how to dress more stylish. It has pages and pages of gorgeous photography, fashion tidbits, outfit ideas and acts as a look book. I’m so glad I bought this book. It gave me hours of enjoyment. Do I dress more stylish? The verdict is still out.
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Wild Wyoming Nights by Joanne Rock is Book # 8 in the nine-book series, The McNeill Magnates. I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but I was able to enjoy this story without reading the earlier books.
Emma Layton is hiding out in Wyoming. Her abusive ex-boyfriend was released from prison and is looking for her. Emma took a job as a stunt double for a movie being filmed on the McNeill ranch in Wyoming to hide out from her ex-boyfriend. Emma is great at the fight scenes, but isn’t an experienced horse-back rider. The owner of the ranch, Carson McNeill, notices Emma’s lack of horse training and decides to work with her so she can become a better horsewoman. Carson’s decision comes under the guise of making sure the horses aren’t mistreated because of her lack of training. But it’s obvious that Carson is attracted to Emma and he conjures up an excuse to be closer to her on a daily basis.
As they get to know each other, they soon discover their secrets. Emma learns that a blackmailer is threatening the McNeill family. Carson finds out about her abusive ex-boyfriend and decides the best way to protect her is to move Emma into his house (I’m not going to lie. I love this trope!!).
Carson is supposed to be the “fun” McNeill brother. He dates to date and doesn’t think highly of matrimony. Except, I didn’t get this sense from him at all. He seemed quite responsible, thoughtful and kind. His protective instincts kicked in when it came to Emma. But it’s possible this “wilder” side of him was fleshed out in earlier books.
Without spoiling anything, while Emma and Carson’s romance was blossoming, a McNeill family mystery was unfolding that threatened their future together.
Though the book came to a satisfactory conclusion, the mystery was actually not solved! I presume this mystery shadows over the entire series and will be solved in the final book. Either way, it was an enjoyable read and now I need to read the next one in this series.
Reading this story gave me all the feels. This book is what Harlequin Desire is all about. A++
If you love Harlequin novels and strong heroes, this book is for you.