This “married-for-a-business-deal” novel has its moments, but overall I felt let down by the heroine.
As part of a business deal, wealthy CEO Devon strikes a deal with another CEO: he will woo and marry the man’s daughter Ashley in order to run both businesses. It’s the kind of plot that usually makes me cringe, but I appreciated the fact that Devon actually feels guilty for his part in the deception instead of being the usual ruthless jackass.
What bothered me about this novel was the heroine. Not many pages are devoted to letting the reader know the real Ashley before she finds out about the deception and becomes despondent. She’s apparently supposed to come across as exuberant and thrilled by life, but to me she just seemed, well, a bit simple. At times I felt like I was reading about a grown man manipulating a woman with the mental age of a ten year old, which is creepy.
When Ashley does discover the deception, she finally starts to seem like a grown woman. She’s beside herself and begins getting regular migranes. She tells herself that she has a choice between leaving Devon or trying to become the sedate, mature woman he wants so he’ll fall in love with her. Her choice made me shake my head in despair.
It takes Devon a while to realize what the problem is:
She hadn’t cleaned and organized their apartment because she felt like it. She’d eradicated every hint of her presence there because she’d thought that’s what he wanted. She’d tried to become this image of the perfect wife to please him. He himself had thought he wanted her to.
This, too, made me cringe. She tried to eradicate her presence from the apartment because that’s how she thought she could be the wife he wanted: by being invisible. I just wanted to shout at her to grow a pair.
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This was the first Maya Banks novel I’ve read. Can you recommend others? What are your favorite Maya Banks books?
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