Published by Harlequin Desire on February 4th 2020
Format: ebook, eARC
Much more than he bargained for…
“You want me to find you a wife?”
“No. I want you to be my wife.”
Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…
So, as part of my aim to read more romance, I’m taking part in the blog tour for Temporary Wife Temptation today, thanks to Harlequin. I really enjoyed the last Harlequin romance I read, but that was from the Harlequin Intrigue line, whilst this is from the Harlequin Desire line, something I’ve not yet ventured into.
The premise for Temporary Wife Temptation is simple – for their own reasons, Natalie and Garrett enter into a fake marriage, agreeing to stay publically married until both their goals are met. Temporary Wife Temptation takes that trope and spins it out well, drawing you in to a story that you can’t help but fly through.
Natalie Sobol is a feisty, take-no-nonsense career woman, and our story begins with her going to chase up Garrett Song, who may well be grandson to the founders of the company, but who has to sign HR paperwork just like everyone else, thank you very much. Of course, the two have instant chemistry, which is a bit awkward given the power imbalance between the two, and the fact that as Natalie works for HR, she’d be the first to point out how badly mixing business and pleasure can go.
If you’ve read the blurb for Temporary Wife Temptation, you know exactly what you’re going to get – an arranged marriage that starts off as business only, but rapidly descends into a will-they-won’t-they where you want to shake them both and tell them to just communicate already. Despite that, Lee adds enough depth to the characters to keep it interesting. From Natalie’s desire to adopt her niece, to Garrett’s traditional Korean grandmother, to their various friends and family members who get entangled in all the drama, there’s plenty here to add to the story and keep you wanting more. I loved Garrett’s Korean family, as well as Natalie’s self-confessed ignorance about her own Korean side of the family. While I can’t comment on the accuracy of the representation, I know this is an own voices Korean-American novel, and I really love that.
I really liked Natalie, and although I didn’t particularly like Garrett at first, he grew on me throughout the story, and I felt like he grew and developed more than Natalie did. I liked both their motivations behind the marriage. Their chemistry is quick, but the feelings develop more slowly, and I thought both the tender and steamy moments were done well. The plot is a little predictable, but that’s no bad thing – I know how every Disney movie I’ve ever seen ends, but I still love watching them again, living through the adventure and seeing all the details and twists and turns before the climax. Temporary Wife Temptation is the same; the predictable parts are balanced out by twists and turns, by steamy sexy scenes and touching tender moments. It’s a comfort read; you know what to expect, and it delivers well on that promise. My only real complaint was that the pacing felt a little off at time – I think because it’s so short? That meant we occasionally had time jumps where I’d have liked to see more about how things played out, or conflicts/resolutions that seemed to come a little out of the blue. Despite that, it was an enjoyable read, and I’m definitely intrigued about book 2, which follows new characters in the same circles.