Marriage for One by Ella Maise is a standalone romance. This review will be spoiler-free.
Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You’d think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You’d think he must be madly in love.
Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You’d think I’d laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.
It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I’d imagined for myself. I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.
One second he was no one. The next he became everything.
One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine.
One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.
After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else? (Synopsis from Goodreads)
A sweet slow-burn that will keep you turning the pages.
I had really mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it and it was an easy read, but there were several things about it that bothered me.
Rose and Jack. I loved the idea behind this story. Fake marriage is not one of the tropes that I melt for, but I did enjoy this one. I liked that there was more to it than we originally see. Plus the names themselves made me chuckle because it really did work for the story!
I really enjoyed Rose. She was a strong, independent woman who was forced to rely on someone else. I loved seeing the struggle within her. However, I did not fall for Jack. I don’t think there is anything more disappointing when reading a romance novel than not falling for the leading man. (or woman, whichever.)
There were a few specific words and phrases that were used that made me cringe. Some were supposed to be dirty talk and others were just random thoughts, but I think this book probably would have gotten another star from me if some of these phrases hadn’t been used.
I thought the slow-burn in this novel was going to kill me. It was so bittersweet. I found myself yelling at them to just get on with it, but isn’t that the fun part of a slow-burn?
There were several twists and turns in this novel that I did not see coming though. I loved when a book can keep me on the edge of my seat and I am caught off guard by the revelations. Maise succeeded in surprising me in this book, which I give her props for.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel, but I was also disappointed by it. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I HIGHLY recommend Maise as an author, but this isn’t her best work.