Author: Jennifer Probst
Format: Unedited arc
Review by: Onnica
Basic Story: Julietta Conte is successful, stylish and has a wicked business brain. Life is good and she has it all. Practically. Who cares if she’s single? She doesn’t, that’s for sure. So what if all of her family are happily married and she’s the last single one with no change in status on the horizon? Convinced that love is not for her, Julietta buries herself in her work, carrying on the family baking empire with determination. A brave new business venture arrives in the form of family friend Sawyer Wells. The dynamic and dashing tycoon wants Julietta on board for his new venture – her bakery to be present in all of his luxury hotels.
Julietta is reluctant to give up control of her company to this risky project, but it makes great business sense. Gradually she becomes aware of her attraction to the domineering Sawyer but she is clear that their union will be business only. Sawyer has no such qualms about mixing business with pleasure. He sees beneath the frigid façade and is eager to unleash the passionate side she keeps buried. As their mutual passion grows, Julietta realises that she isn’t frigid, she just hadn’t found the right man – but can Sawyer be that man outside of the bedroom, or will his personal demons come between them?
Why you should read this: Jennifer Probst has a lot of hardcore fans who adored books 1, 2 and 3 in the Marriage series. The power play between Julietta and Sawyer is full of energy, there’s plenty of heat between the pair and even though you know what’s going to happen, fans will be pleased with the outcome and the journey.
What you might hate: For me, the journey to get to the happy ending was a little laboured. Sawyer, tormented by his past is convinced that he can’t offer Julietta anything more than sex. This went on for quite a while. And then there was the whole plot with the mother forcing them to get married, under the pretense that it was for business, but really, it was because she knew best and did it with other members of the family. What is this the 19th century? I know it’s about an Italian family, with old-fashioned views but come on – arranged marriages are not sexy. I’ll confess, I haven’t read the earlier books in the series, so I really didn’t buy the whole mystical theme running through the book. I can only suspend my disbelief so far and it snapped by the end of this story I’m afraid. Also, Sawyer had this uncanny ability to read Julietta’s thoughts just by looking into her eyes and knowing all her secrets. Please. Guys are thick – even the more perceptive ones never know what’s going on with women!
Rating: 2.5/5 – There were some great elements here – the gradual thawing of Julietta and her owning her sexuality. Sawyer was pretty hot and his back story was interesting, if a little drawn out. A pleasant summer read, with a happy ending all round.
The Marriage Merger is out on 30th July.