Lured in by a gorgeous cover and a trope I love, once again. I expected a lot more from this author, I’ll tell you that. This was… not good. Not good at all. The book is only about 160 pages long, and this couple’s past is WAY too complicated to unravel in that amount of time, so this just ended up feeling like EVERY SINGLE cliché you can imagine. Essentially, this playboy has spent years banging every available woman, but now that an accident has caused him to take a second look at his life, he wants the woman he tossed aside, who watched it all from the sidelines. And she says yes! Just… ugh. So much ugh.
The story follows Aramis, a playboy prince who was in a car accident several months ago. While he used to party and sleep around, the accident has left him with scars – both emotional and physical. So when his family decides it’s time for him to clean up his act and settle down, the only woman he can think of is Joslyn. Ten years ago, Joslyn fell for Aramis’ charms, but she’s spent the years since watching him play up his playboy image. When he asks her for a “fake” relationship, Joslyn is hesitant – because she knows she could easily be charmed again. And when Aramis decides he wants things to be real, Joslyn doesn’t stand a chance.
I literally cringed a few times. What woman doesn’t want the man who has treated her like garbage and seduced every other available woman in front of her? Who now has a kid he never knew about – because, yes, that tired cliché is part of this story too. He also gets jealous of her boyfriend and there’s some drama with his baby mama, because, obviously, every stereotype needed to be included. This is an author whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past, so I thought this would be a solid read. There are parts of it that are soapy fun, with some decent banter and a playful tone. But the vast majority just didn’t work. With another hundred pages, this MIGHT have been something good. There were moments when I really liked Aramis, and the vulnerability in his backstory is something that could’ve been played up to eliminate some of the cringe. But that didn’t happen here, and the whole thing stayed surface level.
My job was to clean up his reputation and find him a wife.
It was supposed to be easy, but nothing about Prince Aramis was ever easy.
I was about to throw in the towel when he came up with a solution: I’d be his pretend girlfriend. Forget the fact that I was sort of seeing someone, or that I had no interest in joining the royal family. Once Aramis sets his eyes on something, there’s no use in fighting him on it, besides, in a way it would make my job a little easier.
I accept the offer but set boundaries. Boundaries that Aramis is intent on testing. Before either of us know what’s happening, the lines start to blur and I can no longer tell the difference between pretend and reality.
My job on the line is one thing, but losing my heart to Aramis was never in the cards.
Want more royals?
Aramis’ brother is mentioned several times in The Wicked Prince, but he’s not a major part of the story. If you’re in the mood for royal romance but don’t want to try The Wicked Prince, The Sinful King might be more your speed. It’s on my TBR and I’ve heard good things, so here’s hoping it’s a better read.
About the Author:
Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author who traded her psychology degree to write fiction. Don’t worry, she still uses her knowledge on every single one of her characters.
She’s a 2x Breast Cancer Survivor, who was born in the Dominican Republic, raised in Florida, and currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband, two adorable boys, and French bulldog.
Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in over fifteen languages. When she’s not writing, she’s usually lost in a book.
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