Thursday, 5 May 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #44
Vacancy: Wife of Convenience - Jessica Steele
Mills and Boon Tender Romance
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2005
The Right Bride? By Request
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2010
From the back cover:
"Colly Gillingham is in a bind. Not only has she been evicted from her home, but she also needs a job - and fast! So seeing an advert for a senior secretary at Livingstone Developments, Colly jumps at the chance....
The moment Silas Livingstone sees Colly he knows she's exactly the woman he's been looking for. There's only one vacancy that Silas is advertising now - and that's for a wife of convenience. Will Colly take him up on the offer...?"
This is the third book in the By Request omnibus as above, and it was nice to read a more gentle romance than my current run of Moderns and Intrigues!
This is the story of Colly and Silas. Colly has been left homeless and penniless after her fathers death and him leaving everything to his avaricious wife. Colly has no job or work experience after dedicating her life to taking care of her father before he married again. She meets Silas when she applies for a job at his company, for which she is grossly unsuitable for. Silas is sympathetic when she breaks down and explains her situation.
Silas has recently learned that his grandfather has changed his will to specify that unless he is married Silas will not inherit the family business he has worked so hard for. Silas offers Colly a marriage of convenience, they will live separate lives and Colly will be provided with a flat to live in and an allowance. As they begin spending time together as friends both their feelings for one another begin to grow.
This is a really sweet romance, and beautifully written with some fantastic witty dialogue between the characters. Unfortunately certain elements of the story just didn't work for me. The story was set over a long period of time, and the two characters sometimes went months without seeing each other and for their love to develop in this time it seemed a little unbelievable. Silas's seasons for a marriage of convenience is pretty standard stuff (ie will conditions) but to keep it a secret was a bit strange, what was he going to do, turn up at his grandfathers death bed and say "oh by the way, I have been married for X number of years", it didn't really seem plausible.
I did like Colly as a character though, I really empathised with her feelings of being lost after living a sheltered life, and she was a warm and very like-able character.
Like I said, this is a very sweet romance, however I did find it just a little bit boring.