on February 22, 2016
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It was a modern take on an arranged marriage that was supposed to lead to my happily ever after. The rules were simple:
1. Marry a complete stranger chosen for you by professionals.
2. Live together as man and wife for eight weeks while cameras record your every move.
3. Make a decision to stay together or get a divorce.
Call me crazy, but I had complete faith in the process, until I saw who was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
Austin James has never met me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. With no other choice, I say my vows and pray I can make it through the next eight weeks. Then I’ll leave. What connects us is my best kept secret, and I’ll protect it at all costs even if that means walking away from the only person I’ve ever cared about.
The longer this experiment goes on, the more I fall for him, and the more the deceit eats at me. When I lie awake some nights, it crawls up my body, tickling my skin, reminding me that underneath, I’m a horrible human being.
All negative adjectives, and all describe me.
He’ll never find out, taunts an inner voice. What’s worse is that it also tells me it’s okay to keep this from him. That the two of us can live out this fantasy unscathed and content. As delusional as my inner voice is, I find myself clinging to it like a leech, feasting on the lie.
I had no idea what to expect with this story. I was definitely not prepared for the twist and turns that this story took. I was pleasantly surprised at how enthralled I became. I judge my books by how I react to them. Did I stay up too late reading? Yes. Did I sneak in reading when I should have been doing my wifely duties? Yes. Did I read until the very last minute that I had to break speed limits to get to work on time? Maybe (hangs head in shame). I did all of those things. I had to know what was happening. I couldn’t stand it when I had to walk away from the book. It was never a good time and I would keep going over in my head the theories of what I thought was going to happen.
Can Austin be real? He was absolutely perfect as the hero in this story. There was only one part of this book where I did not like him, but I understood his reaction and I forgave him.
Jillian was a character that I instantly fell in love with. I love a heroine that overcomes her past and stays strong. She was witty, sweet, and I really enjoyed the connection between her and Austin. I think that Rachael wrote this story like an expert matchmaker.
This was my first Rachael Duncan title and I am going to rectify that quickly. If you haven’t read any of her titles yet, Hopeless Vows is an absolute must.
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