Review: M.J. O’Shea – Marriage of Inconvenience

51fzwntf1lAuthor: M.J. O’Shea
Reviewer: Shereadsalot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Summary:

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?

Review:

A lot of Dreamspun Desires have the fake-to-real relationship tropes.

I’m not mad at it.

You can find this in M.J. O’Shea’s “Marriage of Inconvenience“.What’s this book’s take on the classic trope?

Jericho Knox is a Hollywood actor that is trying to break from the teenbopper mold. He’s thirty, handsome and is a decent enough actor. Just one thing, his public person as a womanizer is a lie, a carefully constructed lie to hide the fact that he’s gay. He doesn’t want to remain in the closet any more, and one night’s foolish indiscretion causes him to finally come out to all. That’s where our other protagonist steps in, 25 year old public relations assistant, Kerry.

A sweet guy who is starting to see how much of these celebs are merely puppets and his company are the ones pulling the strings. When he’s called in to save Jericho’s job, sparks fly between both men…and not in a sexy way. Jericho is an asshat and goes out of his way to be one. Kerry obviously has his work cut out for him. When Kerry and his company concocts a fake relationship and engagement to provide stability for the public, Kerry is forced to be the fake love interest.

What I’ve come to realize, M.J. O’Shea excels well asshole characters. I think all of my fave stories from her feature a jerk main character.

The story is readable. The ingredients are there to make a decent enough story. I think my contention is with the rougher first and last third. I’m #teamgrump all day every day, but any grump in a romance needs to have either believable turnover or at least show that they fully care about the person they care about.

Jericho Knox….I’m finding it difficult to buy his story and his HEA. He told the reader more than showed any redeemable qualities. He’s a jerk but on a scale of despicable things to do to a person, he’s not downright cruel. He’s just spineless, a privileged weak person who takes and doesn’t really give.

If there were ever a story that needed an epilogue, I think Marriage of Inconvenience does. This is my first time ever question the HEA of a Dreamspun Desire title.

Kerry despite his publicist job isn’t as worldly, doesn’t use vices as a crutch to self-care and doesn’t go out of his way to be bitter. I can easily see Jericho splitting because he gets triggered or he gets mad enough that he reverts right back to that bitter man we see for the majority of the book when he showed something.

I think Kerry deserved better, despite having a few things in common with Jericho. Kerry read more genuine. Jericho had the jerk part down but his growth or rush into a love that is told but I’m not co-signing on. I loved the secondary characters. They provided a nice cushion in this fluffy-ish mix. The story has a few love scenes (it read a little one sided since it meant more to one guy than the other)

Overall, it fits the Dreamspun mold. If Jericho gave an inkling of growth, I’d have totally rated the story higher.

An easy enough read with a fun trope. I do like the Hollywood spin on it, just not feeling Jericho. (Even though the guy on the cover is drool-worthy – it’s one of my favorite so far from the house line)

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