It’s been almost four years(!!) since this book released, and I still get butterflies whenever I see the cover. It’s the book that made me fall hard for marriage of convenience romances, and that’s something that has not changed in the years since. It was also one of the beefiest books I had read at the time, and trends have definitely moved in that direction these days. So it’s an interesting book to look back on with fondness, and acknowledge just how influential it has been to my reading since.
Marriage for One – and everything else by Ella Maise (which I’ve adored most of!) – was released before I started my blog. So my original review is a little lackluster, and without the knowledge that this book would stew in my mind for years afterward. It’s fascinating to look back and see how my thoughts have shifted in the time since its release, and it’s also interesting to acknowledge that I’d be equally enthusiastic to read a book like this one in 2023. We’re getting closer and closer to Maise releasing another romance, so now’s the time to finally move this one up your TBR if you haven’t yet!
In November, I revisited my Top 19 of 2019 list in honor of my blogiversary – it was my most popular post of 2019 (with 11 views!), and it included Marriage for One. The blog has since had well over one million views, but my reading preferences haven’t changed all that much. You can take a peek at the post here to see what else made the cut back then – I’ve got my original thoughts and updated opinions.
Read on for my original review!
Man, I loved this book. It is the ultimate slow burn; an excruciatingly, torturously slow burn that builds along the way. These two start out as strangers, become spouses, and settle into a true partnership as they break down their walls. Our hero is by no means an easy guy to love, but he won me over more than any guy I’ve read about in a long, LONG time. This showcases the meaning of true intimacy and features some exceptional dialogue that builds into a chemistry that leaps off the page.
I fully acknowledge that this won’t be to everyone’s tastes. It’s one of the longest romance novels I’ve read and there’s zero steam for a significant portion of the book. Paired with the detailed descriptions of everyday tasks and simple events, and if you’re not feeling the story it will go off the rails in a big way. I’m not saying that to deter you; it is a FANTASTIC book that will linger in my memory for a long time to come, but you’ve got to stick around for the romance to turn a corner. It’s completely original and so immersive that you’ll feel like you’re part of the story. I’ve always enjoyed Ella Maise’s writing, but this is leaps and bounds above anything I’ve read by her – and most other authors – before. I recommend it without hesitation.
Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You’d think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You’d think he must be madly in love.
Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You’d think I’d laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.
It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I’d imagined for myself.
I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.
It wasn’t long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn’t talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own.
One second he was no one. The next he became everything.
One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine.
One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.
After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?
About the Author:
Ella Maise is a Washington Post and International Bestselling Author.
Writing became my world and I can’t imagine myself doing anything other than creating new characters and telling their stories. You know how some things simply makes your heart burst with happiness? A really good book, a puppy, hugging someone you’ve been missing like crazy? That’s what writing does to me. And all the hard work, all the sleepless nights, all the anxiety that comes with publishing…everything is worth it at the end.
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