A Whirlwind Engagement - Jessica Hart
Mills and Boon Tender Romance
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2003
Convenient Engagements By Request
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
"Josh and Bella have been friends for years, but suddenly Bella is starting to see 'her Josh' in a very different light. She's falling in love! It's confusing enough but, worse, Josh has just asked her to be his pretend fiancée.
Josh needs a stand-in fiancée to clinch a business deal. Bella finally agrees to play the part but after they spend a week on an exotic island pretending to be head over heels in love, the tension becomes almost unbearable!
Especially when Josh starts to wonder if his best friend is pretending at all."
OK, so this is the third and final book in the 'City brides' mini-series by Jessica Hart, and once again a really enjoyable book! Having only read one Jessica Hart book previous to this mini-series, I can now honestly say that I'm a fan! This is great end to the saga!
So, the story is set around Bella and Josh, who consider themselves best friends, they have known each other over 10 years and never once had any romantic feelings towards one another. The story begins with Bella feeling lonely and emotional, not only have her two best (girl) friends recently got married leaving her alone in the house once they all once shared, she has also realised that her latest relationship is going nowhere, and Josh is in a relationship with a woman Bella can't stand! As the story progresses, Josh gets engaged to his current girlfriend, just as Bella realises that she is in love with Josh. Josh doesn't really love his new fiancée, he just seems to have been swept along with everything. After his fiancée leaves him for her previous boyfriend he and Bella decide to pretend to be engaged for a business trip to the Seychelles he needs to take. Once there, Josh realises that he is also in love with Bella (and always has been) but neither of them have enough courage to admit this to one another!
This book was a lot more emotional than the previous two in the series, don't get me wrong, Bella is once again a fantastic female character of Jessica Hart's, but this is a much deeper romance. The moments where Bella is heartbroken over Josh's engagement is really emotional, also the misunderstandings between each other also add to both the tension and the romance. I really liked that the story focuses on two people who have been so close for so long realising that they are meant to be, in my opinion one of the most important parts of a relationship is a very strong friendship! You would think that it would be frustrating waiting for the characters to come to their senses but it was actually very sweet, and once again Jessica Hart has written two very good characters!
These books can be read as stand alone novels, but I definitely recommend reading all three, grab the By Request book (details above) to have them all together!