Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Marriage for One
Author: Ella Maise
Format: Audiobook available on Audible Escape
Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You’d think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You’d think he must be madly in love.
Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You’d think I’d laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.
It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I’d imagined for myself.
I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.
It wasn’t long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn’t talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own.
One second he was no one. The next he became everything.
One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine.
One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.
After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?
Welp. I officially found a new novel to add to my list of all-time favorite romances.
I first heard about this book from Chandler Ansley’s BookTube channel – she mentioned it in her Kindle Unlimited recs, but it is also available on Audible Escape.
I was drawn to the fact that this was an enemies-to-lovers, marriage of convenience, slow burn novel – which are two of my favorite romance tropes and… oh my goodness… it was done so well in this book.
The one peeve of mine in enemies-to-lovers romance novels is when the “enemies” part isn’t believable. Particularly, when both characters are constantly thinking about how attractive the other is despite how much they dislike them. Granted, I’m annoyed by the constant eye-screwing thoughts in any romance novel (it’s like OK I GET IT, THEY ARE HOT, CAN WE MOVE ON WITH THE STORY, PLEASE?). It’s the most annoying when this happens in enemies to lovers.
This does not happen in this book.
When I read an enemies to lovers romance, I want them to actually hate each other – or at least be indifferent. Preferably, I’d like to actively dislike one of the characters… but I also want them to redeem themselves – or harbor a secret crush or pull a Mr. Darcy and just be misunderstood… SOMEthing.
I got exactly what I wanted from Marriage for One. Exactly.
This was such an achingly slow burn, which made the falling in love aspect that much more believable. The payoff of all the waiting and wondering was so, so worth every scorching page.
I loved how cold Jack was from the very beginning… and how he didn’t somehow suddenly change into an entirely different person in the middle of the book. Everything was so gradual and so believable. And, perhaps most importantly, I saw why his icy exterior slowly began to melt.
Above and beyond all of that, there is a sickness element that plays a big part in this novel as well. I had so much empathy for the character as they navigated all the medical hurdles and all the scary things and I especially appreciated how all of it affected the relationship.
I got everything I wanted from this novel and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Audiobook Performance: 4 stars
Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars
Re-read Worthiness: Yes!
Bookshelf Placement: Yes!
Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars