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Thursday, 18 October 2012

REVIEW: Contract for Marriage by Barbara DeLeo


Contract for Marriage by Barbara DeLeo

Publication Date:September 15th 2012
Publisher:Entangled Publishing
Kindle Edition
Useful Info: Goodreads, Author's Website

Pregnant and alone after her ex-lover’s death, magazine editor Ruby Fleming’s not about to give up her home to the man who broke her heart—until she discovers her mother left half of the estate to somebody else, and she realizes she’s trapped.

Property tycoon Christo Mantazis wants the one thing his riches can’t buy—the villa where his mother has lived and worked as housekeeper for forty years. That it’s the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner’s irresistible daughter stirs up old memories, and now he wants her more than ever.

Contract for Marriage's premise makes it sound like it's the perfect book for me. Cute, romantic and perfect for a light reading. And although in some departments this story delivered just that, in some others I was kind of left unsatisfied, wanting for more.

The first chapters of this story were a little bit too fast paced or rather too crammed with details that could have been presented later on in the narration and as a result I was left with a head full of unnecessary details. I was only in the second chapter of the story and I kind of needed to take notes to keep up with every new detail I learnt concerning the relationship between the two heroes and their families... It's not that those details weren't needed, I just felt that I could learn them later on along with the story. I kind of felt like I was reading an UF novel more than a contemporary one with an intricate world building. It wasn't that heavy, but you get the picture.

Another thing I found a little overwhelming at the beginning of the story was death's presence. The deaths occurring from the very beginning were just too much for me. Wasn't it enough that both Ruby's parents are dead, should the father of her unborn child die as well?They were all pretty young and died unexpectedly (apart from her father who I don't think I saw mentioning how he died or at what age). And to top things of, Christo, the hero, also had to fight cancer as a teenager, almost dying himself and not able to have kids because of his chemotherapy. All that is just too much. I was expecting a light read, not reading about so much death (yeah, I have a thing with death, I don't really like reading about it...)

So, you get that I had a little of a rough start with Contract for Marriage concerning some details of the whole story, but as I continued on reading, I had a hard time with the main couple as well. Ruby, is sweet and all, but she's too coward, too depending and ready to compromise without a fight. Christo's proposition to take care of her and her child in exchange for a marriage is one she accepts without much thinking. Take into consideration that she believes that he has wronged, betrayed and humiliated her in the past and the easy way she accepts to marry such a man just to have security for her and her child is something I just can't understand or like about her.

Christo on the other hand is the kind of hero I wanted to like because he was sexy and arrogant and with a bad boy attitude I usually die for but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't like him. He was just too arrogant, too calculative and dispassionate. He talks about his marriage and the possibility to have a family like it's a business plan and not something he would love to have. The part of the book where they discuss the pros and cons of a possible marriage between them was nothing close to romantic. It was pure business for both of them.

As you can understand, no matter how much I liked the premise of the story, I just couldn't connect to it primarily because of the main couple and then due to a few details.

The writing style on the other hand is pretty good and although the character development could have been a little better in overall, Contract for Marriage was a pleasant story, one that I'm pretty certain that if I could connect to in more levels, I would really enjoy. As it is, it's a story I read pleasantly but I was left unsatisfied in more than one levels. And it's a pity because the potential for a great story is right there.

* This title was provided for review from the publisher.

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