This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin Desire
Released on February 4, 2020
I can always be enticed by a fake engagement ala arranged marriage scenario. But add other elements such as traditional Korean family, office romance, and new to me debut author…I had to snag it.
Temporary Wife Temptation is the first of the Heirs of Hansol series about a traditional Korean American family in the fashion industry. The first to get his story is promising businessman Garrett Song who honors his family right up to the point his grandmother announces she has arranged a match between the heir of her company and the heiress of an old money Korean family in the same industry. Garrett got burned early by love when his mother passed away leaving their family destitute and then the one woman he gave his heart to crushed it. He has no plans to marry, but he does want the CEO position in the family company and a contract with another business who values a married family man over a swinging bachelor. Time to find a temporary wife…
Natalie Sobol, daughter of an American GI falling for her Korean mother and then not wanting a thing to do with his two daughters, a mother and sister passed away, and now a legal fight to adopt her sister’s daughter, knows a thing or two about not wanting to chance the pain of a permanent marriage. Yet, her chances of adopting her niece grow exponentially if she has the powerful Song name and a husband to lend a certain cachet before the social worker, paternal grandparents, and the judge so a temporary husband is just the thing.
Only, Garrett and Natalie discover that pulling off the deception for others is simple compared to the deception going on in their own hearts once they are together.
All the things I was anticipating when I picked up this book took place. I liked both Garrett and Natalie and bought into their personal reasons to come together and it was fun seeing them fight the spark of attraction that grew deeper as they were together as a couple, partners in reaching their goals, and even as parents. The illusion became fact and, of course, that was the conflict of the story since both had reasons to fear something permanent, too. I loved learning more about Korean traditions which were there as background and even motivations at times without feeling cliche or dabbed in.
The romance went from sensual to steamy even while this pair were fighting attraction. The big moment was there and just as painful as I imagined, but it was a wake-up call to them both particularly Garrett who resisted love most of all. He blew it, but he did have a little help. He was stubborn and I wanted to kick him in the pants, but his sister and bestfriend lit a fire under him. Incidentally, looking forward to their story.
I really only had one niggle. The transitions were abrupt. The story would leap from one scene into the next in abrupt breaks in time where the old scene ended without resolution and the new scene showed it resolved in the interim and moved onto something new. I still got a sense of the romance development and how things came to be with the business and family stuff, but it was in summary after the fact at times. Some I didn’t mind, but others I felt needed to play out before my eyes so I could connect better with the story. Not a huge issue, but it was there.
In the end, this was a quick read full of spicy romance, engaging characters, and a fun fake engagement-marriage that hit the spot. I would recommend this for those who enjoy contemporary romance with a spicy Asian flavor in the sophisticated business world.
My thanks to Harlequin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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