Review: Ella Maise’s Marriage For One

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Y’all I couldn’t wait to write this review. I’m just going to say it right up front: I absolutely loved this book. It’s already one of my favorite romances I’ve read so far this year (and possibly favorite all-time romance, ever). You should read it. If this praise hasn’t already convinced you – keep reading. I’ll do my best to convince you.

Synopsis
Jack and Rose are getting married. Throughout her life, Rose has had a dream to open up her own coffee shop. She wants to have a place she feels safe and one she can truly call hers. Her dream is almost a reality until its ripped right out from beneath her fingers. Yet, hope is not lost. Jack swoops in and after one odd meeting at his law firm – he presents the perfect solution: they get married. He proposes a loveless marriage for two years as the cover for a business transaction so that they can both get what they want. Is it too soon to say this is doomed from the start or will their marriage be more than business after all?

Will I like this?
You might enjoy this book if…

  • You enjoy the marriage of convenience/fake relationship trope
  • You love slow-burn romance
  • You enjoy having emotional depth in your romance

You might not enjoy this book if…

  • You do not enjoy the fake relationship trope
  • You prefer insta-love as opposed to slow burn
  • Trigger warning: deals with health issues, loss of a loved one, abandonment issues

Spoiler Free Review
Well I loved everything about this book, so let’s break it down a little. First let’s talk characters. I loved Jack and Rose. They are so well written. They aren’t perfect – they have strengths and weaknesses, just like anyone else. It made it so easy to fall in love with them and their romance, because they felt like people I could be friends with in real life. I also loved Rose’s strength. If you’re looking for a romance with a badass heroine – look no further. Her drive and ambition were unparalleled. I felt like I needed to get to work on my passions after reading this. Jack was amazing as well. Reading his journey and character growth – let’s just say he made me (happy) cry in the end.

In terms of the romance…it was slow burn at its absolute BEST. If you want to literately read a story where you’re able to read the characters slowly fall passionately in love, it’s Marriage for One. The slow burn intensified their romance and made the steamy scenes super steamy. There are also small gestures and intimate moments that may not seem like much at first, but each one had me swooning. It’s the little things that make this romance feel so full in the end.

The plot itself was amazing. There was romance (obviously) but there was also individual character growth and a bit of mystery surrounding the exact circumstances of Jack and Rose’s marriage arrangement. The pacing was perfect, and even though it was a longer romance (which I personally love), it kept my interest the entire time.

This book made me feel every emotion. Sad. Happy. Heart broken. Excited. Nervous. Scared. By the time the end rolled around, I had even cried which is so unlike me while reading. That’s how invested I was in this story and these characters. The ending made my heart so full, and I swooned so hard throughout the entire book. This book was everything romance is supposed to be and more.

My favorite part about the book was Rose’s character. I felt like we would be would be best friends in real life. She had such strength, but also incredible vulnerability. I loved watching her character grow and change and reading her journey as she went after her dreams. Rose is a character that everyone needs to read about. She taught me a lot.

Y’all what more can I say? You need this book. You need to learn about these characters. This is my top read of 2019 so far and it’s going up on my list of favorite romances ever. If you’ve read this, please let me know so we can chat. If you haven’t, let me know if y’all put it on your TBRs. I’m off to read another Ella Maise book because I love her writing that much.

Overall, I give this a 5/5. If I could give it a million stars I would.

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Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Steam: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Friendship: 5/5

Get More Info: visit Ella Maise’s website; connect with the author on Facebook; connect with the author on Instagram; find Marriage for One on Amazon.

Marriage for One is Ella Maise’s newest release, and it is a new adult contemporary. It released on May 9, 2019. It’s available to purchase now. As of 5/23/19 it is available on Kindle Unlimited.

About the Author: [1st person written by Ella Maise] I love nothing more than to escape real life to find those very few magical moments in a book. I love how it has the power of stealing your worries away, putting a smile on your face even when smiling is the last thing on your mind. Crushing on fictional characters is also another bonus. Through my words, if I can manage to make even one person smile, it means I’ve done my job well. Writing became my world and I can’t imagine myself doing anything other than creating new characters and telling their stories. You know how some things simply make your heart burst with happiness? A really good book, a puppy, hugging someone you’ve been missing like crazy? That’s what writing does to me. And all the hard work, all the sleepless nights, all the anxiety that comes with publishing…everything is worth it at the end.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.

 

Review: Daphne James Huff’s This Summer at the Lake

Daphne James Huff’s This Summer at the Lake is told in third-person POV as we follow our two main characters, Logan and Cassie. They are both spending their summer before college in a small Montana town. Logan’s only goal is for this summer to fly by so he can head off to college in New York. Cassie’s only goal for the summer is to have one last hurrah before she heads off to the college of her parents’ choosing. Yet, one eventful night pulls them both together and intertwines their lives in more ways than one.

spoiler free: I want to start off with what I liked about this book. For one, I really liked the author’s writing style. Personally, I have some difficulty with third-person POVs. It just feels more natural for me to read first-person as it allows me to feel as though I’m really connected to the character(s). However, Daphne James Huff wrote a very compelling third-person POV. I felt connected to the characters the entire time and genuinely invested in their development.

The author also weaved the mystery throughout the book quite nicely. There was foreshadowing from the very first chapter and this alone kept my interest throughout the story. It added an extra layer of interest to your typical YA contemporary love story.

With that being said, I do not recommend This Summer at the Lake for a multitude of reasons. My biggest qualm with this story is a plot-spoiler, so I’ll go in depth in the spoiler-section. Without spoiling it, there was an action taken by the main “hero” character, Logan, that was unforgivable (in my opinion). Honestly, it was unforgivable because the male love interest made this decision and he was supposed to love the female love interest, Cassie. I tend to have higher expectations for people to do the right thing when it potentially affects someone they love. Regardless, a normal human being shouldn’t have made the decision that Logan made. I know this is a very abstract critique, but it is hard to explain without spoiling it. Just know this plot point is a trigger warning and I did not like the way the author wrote it or the way the characters reacted to it.

Further, it was difficult for me to read through Logan’s character because he was so judgemental. This would have been ok if his character had developed throughout the story. Nope. He was judgmental in the beginning and judgemental at the end. He felt static, and this made his viewpoint less enjoyable to read.

Overall, I had to give this one 1/5. The issues I had with the book just made it impossible to enjoy on the whole and I can’t in good confidence recommend it to y’all. Even though there were elements there that I liked (it had the potential to be a very cute YA), it fell flat for me.

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This Summer at the Lake is a young adult contemporary, and it was published in January of 2019.

get more info: visit Daphne James Huff’s website; find the book on Amazon

spoilers ahead: So my main gripe with this book is the plot point surrounding the final party/climax of the novel when Spencer “slips something” into Cassie’s drink, which she doesn’t realize. Logan, instead of being a normal human being and a) stopping him b) telling Cassie c) preventing her from being harmed? drugged? d) all of the above… he instead thinks “let her deal with the consequences herself” (?????). Even though he eventually goes back to the party and confronts Spencer, he still ends up thinking he “Wanted to save her. Even when she had betrayed him. Why?” Perhaps because any decent human being would want to prevent someone from being drugged? Although, the worst line of all was “I was still so mad, and so drunk, I thought you deserved it.”

Yeah, sorry. No one – ever – deserves to be drugged and/or sexually assaulted. I almost couldn’t force myself to continue reading at this point, but followed through to see if the author could potentially fix this situation. Nope. This toxic victim blaming (even though Logan expressed regret/remorse/went back to try and save her) was horrible to read. Cassie pretty much instantly forgives him without a second thought. Like, she literately doesn’t care.

I can’t condone this type of behavior in anyone – and I certainly don’t want to see it in my romance novels.

To make matters worse, there was the entire situation regarding her father’s lawsuit/potential sexual assault on his female workers. This was not handled well. There was a lot of victim blaming and overall lack of responsibility on behalf of Cassie’s dad. I have no idea why the author thought it would be ok to bring up such a sensitive, important topic and then refuse to hold any of her characters accountable for this? It seemed like there was no resolution/finality on this issue either.

Overall, I think there are many, many other YA contemporaries out there that I would recommend instead. I think the author got it wrong here, and the actions of the characters were irredeemable.

Let me know if you all read this one or have any YA contemporaries that you’d like to recommend!

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. Netgalley and the publisher were kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.