Title: A Negotiated Marriage (2013)
Author: Noelle Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Review: Molly and Luke are married, but their marriage is one of convenience. It works well to all intents and purposes, until three years into their arrangement, Luke decides he wants to re-negotiate their contract by adding sex.
I’m a huge fan of the whole marriage of convenience or fake relationships trope, so when I discovered that this book has both, I jumped right into it. A Negotiated Marriage is short, and I love that the marriage was one of actual convenience and both parties consented to it. So many books out there with the same marriage-of-convenience plot have one or both of their main character forced into the situation without a say in the matter, and this book happily strays from the mainstream, at least in that sense.
Both Molly and Luke are likeable characters. Molly is an independent woman, emotionally strong and extremely capable, and Luke is sweet, sensitive and occasionally vulnerable, (thankfully) not your typical do-as-I-say alpha male. Outside their public persona as a loving husband and his doting wife, they have an easy, trusting friendship.
The romance is fast-paced, but given that they have three years of living together up to that point, it’s also believable. They take care of each other the way friends would, which is refreshing to see. They own up to their attraction to each other and there’s not too much drama involved, mainly an ex-lover making a reappearance, and overall, it’s really quite enjoyable.
A Negotiated Marriage is a short, fast-paced and fun read for those who love the ‘pretend couple’ trope. It doesn’t exactly offer anything new to the contemporary romance genre, but the characters are likeable and the story as a whole is believable, entertaining and engaging at once. Three out of five stars.