Marriage of Inconvenience, by M.J. O’Shea
A Dreamspun Desires Novel
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 15, 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Lights, Camera, Lies.
Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.
The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love—with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.
The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?
The fake relationship trope is MY FAVORITE. Especially when the person asking for the favor is perceived as the “meaner” one of the two. In this story we also got the amazingness that is the indignant, shy Kerry trying to fit into Jay’s high profile world. O’Shea does a good job of balancing the character’s lives outside of each other with the fake relationship to show that these characters are genuinely trying put on a charade (despite their desire not to).
O’Shea had to contend with these characters come from two different worlds and the awkwardness of them trying to fit into each other’s lives (even if it is just pretend). There wasn’t anything particularly innovative in this story, but O’Shea made the character’s insecurities and love seem really organic and believable.
This is another one of those novellas that is short in pages but not in content. You really get a lot of world- and character-building in a short amount of time, so the romance doesn’t feel forced or sudden. I hate it when authors have the characters SUDDENLY fall in love and you’re left there going where did this come from? However, this book did not have that problem at all, and it made it easier to root for Kerry and Jay’s romance.
One of the best parts of these kinds of romances is the slow build/”getting to know you” aspect of it and O’Shea nails it. At first the characters are too busy sniping at each other to do that, but then they start to talk. The growing romance leads to a ton of chemistry between Jay and Kerry.
There are angsty parts of the book but most of it was pure fluff. I enjoy novellas that are like that, though, and all-in-all this was a good, quick read.
M.J. O’Shea has been writing romance since algebra class in sixth grade (when most of her stories starred her and Leonardo DiCaprio). When she’s not writing, she loves listening to nearly all types of music, painting, reading great authors, and on those elusive sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, she loves driving on the freeway with her windows rolled down and her stereo on high.
You can find her online at http://www.mjoshea.com/
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.