Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: The Weekday Brides, book 7
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Summary (via Goodreads):
The seventh and final tale in the dazzling, heartwarming, pulse-racing Weekday Brides series.
Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?
Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.
Not what I was expecting, kind of disappointed, but still want to read more of Catherine Bybee’s books.
I think I would have liked this book more if Hunter wasn’t such a jerk (the nicest term that can be used) and if the relationship that develops between him and Gabi wasn’t so implausible.
Hunter is a self-made billionaire and ruthless businessman. If he wants something, he gets it by any means, even if those means destroy others. Most of his demons he solves with money. But his current secret requires a temporary wife, Gabi, whom he blackmails. As he gets to know her, discovers more of her secrets, and his attraction for her increases, he softens more and more into a “decent” guy and soon he’s doing everything to “protect” Gabi from danger he, for the most part, caused/set in motion. Even after learning all of Hunter’s secrets and understanding how he got to where he was, I still find it hard to trust and like him as a character.
The relationship is too one-sided with Hunter holding all the cards and Gabi trying to stay afloat as the demons of her past resurface. She’s survived so much and deserves a HEA; I’m just not sure if Hunter’s the guy. She hates him at first – and rightly so – but is also attracted to him. She slowly begins to like him as she begins to see the real mean beneath the billionaire playboy and does her best (albeit reluctantly at first) to make this temporary marriage work (find some peace they can both live with for the duration of the contract). This is why it feels so one-sided. As their feelings for each other become more real, Gabi seems to put in more than Hunter. I do respect Hunter for giving her space in the beginning after he learns the kind of relationship she last left behind. But by the end of the story, I’m still not sure about their relationship.
I think the conflict of the story is really good. It was a slow tease at first and then slowly inclined into greater detail. But the conflict didn’t really take shape until closer to the end. A good way to weave in the conflict. Yet, at least for me, the whole business with Hunter really overshadowed the impact of the conflict.
I really like Gabi. When she’s comfortable and in her element her character shines really bright. I just wish she had more chances to shine and grow. I also think it was a bit of a disservice making her too much a damsel in distress but I get it comes from a place of love. Her family and friends really care about her and will do anything to protect and support her after all she’s been through. And sometimes that’s what you need to really pull yourself out of the dark hole life has left you in.
This was a difficult review to write. I think Hunter’s character ruined the story for me but I still had a decent reading experience and finished the book in under two days. I still want to read more of Bybee’s books because the story and writing is good and keeps me interested from start to finish.