This gets five stars for entertainment value, because while there were definitely things about it that turned me off, I was hooked. It’s sexy and kinda dirty, a little over the top, and a lot of fun. I loved the tension and the dynamic between these two – their relationship begins in a wholly unique way, and it was a fascinating journey from start to finish. This is definitely more of a steamy escapism/guilty pleasure kind of read than a top quality romance, but there’s something about Cole’s writing style that kept me turning the pages. If you’re looking for something intense, engrossing, and all kinds of steamy, you’ll find it with this.
The story follows Verana “Vera,” a woman who has known all of her life that she’ll have an arranged marriage. An intelligent, educated woman, Vera is fully aware that this is not the norm, but it’s the way things have happened in her family for generations, and she’s willing to go along with it. At least until she finds out who her groom will be. In her final act of defiance before agreeing to the marriage, Vera takes a job that her father would absolutely not approve of, working for a man who drives her a little crazy. Little does Vera know that her new boss, the frustrating yet sexy Nicholas, has his own connection to the family business – and his own reasons for agreeing to a marriage of convenience.
Let me be clear: this was not a cut and dry 5-star read for me. There’s one scene in particular (you’ll know it when you read it), that I really didn’t love for a variety of reasons. Not only is the intent behind it all sorts of problematic, but there were also logistical issues that bugged me. Ultimately, the scene was so early in the story that I was willing to set aside my concerns – and there was zero OW/OM drama after that. The steamy scenes are not going to be to everyone’s tastes (hot and dirty), but I loved that it felt like a slow burn in a lot of ways. The chemistry between these two was absolutely scorching, and Nico makes a great hero. He’s alpha and masculine and strong, but shows enough vulnerability that you know he’ll melt for the right woman. Vera, well, Vera is a study in contrasts. For a woman who is supposedly very intelligent and highly educated, she certainly doesn’t act that way for much of the story. It creates an interesting level of tension, and I loved the slightly angsty, very twisty path these two take before they find their happily ever after. Fans of marriage of convenience romances are sure to love this, but it’s also got enemies to lovers and office romance vibes as well. It’s a unique blend that makes for an engaging story, so I had no trouble devouring this quickly. I received an early copy via Valentine PR and am voluntarily leaving a review of this steamy romance.
There’s only one thing to do when you wake up, married to your brand new boss, whom you hate but can’t resist: You blame the champagne.
I blame the bubbles for my wild night with a masked stranger.
Who cares if it’s nothing this good girl would normally do–with a man that turns out to be my horrible boss?
Who cares that I’m promised to someone else?
I blame the alcohol for agreeing to marry him.
As long as my new husband keeps his mouth shut, I can survive five years of our little arrangement. It’s too late for anything else.
But our impromptu wedding leads to so much more than I bargained for. His dirty promises warm me. His kisses make me lightheaded. His respect slips past my best defenses. The hate turns to friendship, and makes me dream of more. He’s like the most dangerous kind of champagne.
That’s why I blame him for making me fall in love with him.
But when I find out our marriage was nothing more than revenge, what’s to blame for my broken heart?
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About the Author:
Fiona Cole is a military wife and a stay at home mom with degrees in biology and chemistry. As much as she loved science, she decided to postpone her career to stay at home with her two little girls, and immersed herself in the world of books until finally deciding to write her own.
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