Title: Marriage of Inconvenience (Dreamspun Desires #16)
Author: M.J. O’Shea Narrator: John Solo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 9-12-2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 5 hours and 35 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Lights, camera, lies.
Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.
The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love – with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.
The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?
John Solo has become one of my favourite narrators. He holds my attention and draws me into a story with his excellent character voices and wonderful style. His pacing and emphasis are always spot on. He gets the emotions just right and portrays the chemistry between the main characters superbly. I especially loved how Jericho’s voice mellowed as he fell in love with Kerry.
You always have to suspend reality for these Dreamspun fake boyfriend stories. However, this one was very enjoyable and was relatively plausible. It’s set in the supposedly glamorous world of PR for naughty actors who want to portray a different and more wholesome image. The unassuming PR twink and the bad boy (and previously closeted) Hollywood star come out and pretend to be in a relationship to limit the damage caused by an uncompromising photo of the actor. Thus putting a positive spin on his indiscretion to save his career and his next movie role.
I especially enjoyed the story from when the guys started living together and their relationship began to develop positively. I adored when Jericho and Kerry started to show feelings for each other to the end of the story. Their wonderful chemistry was shown well and John Solo’s voice changed accordingly so their scenes together became hot. Explicit scenes are deliberately kept low in this series. In fact the requirements are that “Sexual content should be restricted to no more than two significant events” and M.J. O’Shea made the most of the lovers’ time together to create some lovely steamy scenes. The trip to Turks and Caicos was delightful.
I didn’t like the persona Jericho portrayed at the beginning of the story and how he treated Kerry so rudely. Although I liked how his character changed over the course of the story—thus fulfilling the enemies to lovers trope.
There were a few minor details that knocked off that fifth star because some things didn’t add up for me. I’m not sure why the paparazzi didn’t twig that Kerry was on the PR team and it was all a hoax. Surely they would have delved into Kerry’s background? Plus I still can’t fully understand Jericho’s reasoning for ‘breaking up’ with Kerry after a summer of happiness. Surely those fearful thoughts would have arisen earlier and he should have gone with the original plan until he started his new acting role in Canada. However, I loved the angst the separation caused for our two love-struck heroes because of this. Jericho was sort of in the closet and pretending to be straight with fake girlfriends at the start of the story, yet he went to gay clubs and got caught out. We didn’t get much of a hint of his future behaviour.
Having said all this, I still enjoyed this addition to the series. These stories are best not taken too seriously. Overall, it’s a sweet and well written love story between two very different guys, who turn out to be perfect for each other after all.