A delightful and fun fake marriage trope with memorable characters from Noelle Adams‘ Convenient Marriage Series.
A Bookbub deal find, I snatched A Negotiated Marriage up one afternoon when I was in the mood for something light and easy. Ended up reading it in one sitting.
Luke is a reserved, successful businessman. To almost anyone, including Molly, he’s confident and outgoing. However, as we get to know him better, there are definite signs that he’s as insecure as the rest of us, at least on matters of personal importance. He reminds me of the kind of guy who maybe wasn’t the most popular in school, but was studious and kind.
Molly agrees to Luke’s proposed fake marriage scam because she’s just been burned by her ex and the agreement will help her business. She’s completely blind to Luke and is much more focused on portraying the wife he can be proud of to hold up her end of the contract.
I love how in several parts of A Negotiated Marriage he wanders into her bathroom to locate her wedding band to put it back on her finger, since she keeps forgetting it after her shower. In the beginning, there’s a scene where her skirt rises, and he’s staring at her thigh. Molly thinks he’s staring in a critical manner, but we the reader…oh, we know better.
The tension and passion between these two slowly ramps up after they both agree to add sex to their terms. Which, by the way, even the way Luke proposes this addition is kind of endearing. These two aren’t rip-your-clothes-off, sex-in-the-car kind of people, and the way they sometimes discuss sex hardly feels like the start of a heated romance. But, nevertheless, it’s a heart-warming love story that does pack some heat.