Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly (2013)
Given the ridiculousness of the premise, the author did as good a job as possible making it believable. Megan and Connor both had backgrounds conducive to making them want to settle down, and they did hit it off well the night they met, discovering their similar values as well as mutual attraction.
As it progressed, Megan seemed determined to prove Connor wrong and make him want to end the relationship. Connor was equally intent on being the perfect husband and winning her over, just to spite her. The emotional manipulation - especially on Connor's part - got to be such that I no longer wanted them to stay together and the happy ending was less than satisfying.
The story was so tightly focused on Connor and Megan that they seemed to exist in a vacuum, noticeably missing important details. For instance, Megan packs up and moves from Denver to CA without any mention of leaving behind friends or a job. She seems to be working at home from his apartment, but doing what is anyone's guess. Similarly, Connor mentioned wanting a wife to accompany him to businesses dinners, but we have no idea what his business is. Other life details were also noticeably omitted. Megan does not seem to have one friend aside from her cousin's friends, with whom she doesn't seem close and who are two-dimensional and unlikeable. The setting is weak and could have been happening anywhere. I'm not familiar with contemporary romances, so I don't know if this sort of thing is usual but I found the lack of detail made the characters seem less real and the story too superficial.
Still, it was a fun scenario and the books in this series are meant to be short, quick reads, though I think a bit more detail could have been added without compromising the length. Given the sort of book it's supposed to be, I can live without these details and my only real issue is the way the the male character developed during the story. But if it means anything, I've tried two other contemporary romances and wasn't able to read more than a couple of chapters of each.
Waking Up Married is the first in the new Harlequin KISS series, to be released in a couple of weeks. The Harlequin website describes kiss as "sharply contemporary, glossy and chic, attracting readers who enjoy a short hit of romantic excitement with a thoroughly modern twist." It has a fairly chick lit kind of feel, which seems a bit behind the curve but I like chick lit and would try another. I also really like the bright, fun covers. These might be just the thing for a plane ride or day at the beach, when you want a little bit of fun fluff just for a couple of hours.
I received my copy from NetGalley.
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