I had a really hard time falling into this romance. The primary reason? I thought the hero was an arrogant jerk for the first three quarters of the book. I wanted to like him. I think maybe I was supposed to like him. But it wasn’t happening. The way he treated his heroine was second only to the derision in which he clearly felt for her. This is a guy who left his new bride for almost two years, barely giving a thought to what her life would be like without him. THEN he comes home high on his own achievements, only to berate her for her personal growth. And as the story goes on, he bounces back and forth between neglect and disdain. I wanted to set him on fire.
John isn’t all bad. He’s been kind of overlooked and accommodating his entire life. His trip to China really has done wonders for his self-esteem and fortitude. He wants to help his country and he is doing just that with his job in Foreign Affairs. Unfortunately, he doesn’t recognize that Mary’s new strengths do not diminish him.
Mary’s gotten pretty good at managing a household. Apparently, though, her true gift lies in being able to draw people in such a way that the portraits reveal elements of their true nature. It’s a gift that has been mocked and ignored her whole life. I know I was supposed to feel bad about that for her, but I couldn’t help but think it was kind of lame as a plot device. (And let’s be clear, that’s exactly what it was.) Mommy didn’t care about her super art and neither does John. But you can be sure that it’s going to make a big difference before the end of the book!
The villain was weak. The plot was uninteresting. The characters did not inspire my emotions and the romance… well, you already know how I felt about that. This one just wasn’t for me.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Married to a Perfect Stranger
by Jane Ashford
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca