Title: Married by Contract
Author: Noelle Adams
Series: – –
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Three years into a five-year marriage of convenience, Jenn finds herself wanting something she never thought she’d want from her laid-back, ex-military husband. Sex–as a much-needed release of tension from her high-stress job. But weekly sex with Nick, despite their careful parameters, is likely to get messy eventually.
Ever since her father walked out on her as a child, Jenn knows never to assume the people she loves will stick around, so she’s not about to trust Nick with her heart. She vows to stay strong, no matter how much intimacy develops between them in bed.
But what starts as a tension-reliever soon becomes so much more, until it threatens both their practical arrangement and the heart Jenn has worked so hard to keep safe.
Source: ARC via NetGalley
This was a quick, easy read with an intriguing marriage of convenience plot that I mostly enjoyed. However, it’s only told from Jenn’s POV (third) and starts three years into their marriage, with very little exploration of their lives up until this point. I liked it, but it definitely felt incomplete to me, and I would have loved to have had a scene or two from Nick’s POV, because Jenn is exceedingly blind when it comes to her husband’s feelings.
The thing I most wanted to know about was just how their marriage came about. How on earth did they go from mild acquaintances meeting up in their hometown and deciding to have a drink, where they moaned about their problems, to a marriage of convenience with an iron-clad contract about him getting money and her getting a prop husband. There is so much story there that I was pretty disappointed that none of it came up. I also found it interesting that nothing the least romantic has happened between them in three years. Jenn is oblivious in many ways, so I could see why she might have missed it, but I got the feeling throughout that Nick has always wanted more. Ah well.
Despite all the missing back story in this book, this is still an enjoyable read. I have to admit neither of them are the most compelling characters. I think this is down to the lack of history I got for each of them, but they felt a little meh to me. However, the situation they’re in, and their relationship definitely held my interest, even if the lack of conflict led to certain things being blown out of proportion.
There’s also plenty of sex – which to be honest I found oddly boring – but between the weekly meetings, I really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and their friendship blossom into something deeper. I just wish the whole story had been given the same depth and allowed more detail, because although I enjoyed this, I’m more likely to remember it for what wasn’t included than what was.
If you’re looking for something quick and easy, like marriage of convenience tales with plenty of sex, and don’t mind not knowing much about what led up to this point, then you might well enjoy this. If you like a bit more depth, then maybe try something else. It is only a novella, so for an undemanding read, it’ll do just fine.
Marry by Contract is Out Now.
Visit Noelle Adams for details.