Review: The Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday

engagement gameReviewed by Janell

I freely admit that I am a fangirl for this series. The men are non-annoying rich guys and the women are competent and full of self-esteem. So much smartness and insight! I’ll try not to quote everything I highlighted.

Marcus is the head of an ad agency. Rose works at a save-the-environment nonprofit. He sends her a donation, she accidentally sends him a letter to her friend instead of the form letter thank you. He looks up her picture, realizes she would really piss off his father, and with a little bribery and blackmail, they’re fake engaged. Did I mention fake boyfriends are my favorite?

It so happens that Rose is Indian and Marcus is Jewish. I love how this was blended in as a minor thing.

“But being Indian isn’t why you like bright colors, is it? That’s like saying I’m rich because I’m Jewish.”

Later,

“But what about bacon?” he asked. “How do you live without bacon?”

“I thought you were Jewish.”

“I’m not that kind of Jewish. And I thought we were post-ethnic stereotyping, you and me.”

Rose is on a quest to get a boyfriend before she turns thirty, and that’s just a couple of months away. She chooses a different guy from an online dating site every week and goes out on Thursday nights. Her screen name is ByAnyOtherName86 (get it?), and she tells Marcus that the only guys who got the reference thought that Romeo and Juliet was romantic. “I was like, dudes, they were teenagers, and they died.” First, I appreciate the use of “dude” in a sentence; and second, props to Rose for knowing the rules of romance.

Marcus can’t really be Rose’s boyfriend because he doesn’t do relationships. Yes, he’s one of those guys. It’s not because he doesn’t want to settle down, it’s more because his father is a heartless bastard and Marcus doesn’t want to hurt anyone the way his father hurt his mother. So Marcus listens to Rose talk about her dates, and he also helps her foster a dog, and he totally falls for her in the way that a guy who doesn’t know what love looks like falls in love. Cluelessly, I mean.

Rose and Marcus make great friends. They also kiss a few times, but it takes a while for them to do more than that. This brings me to my only complaint about the book, which is most likely the fault of publisher guidelines about length or story structure: the characters don’t really fully get together until the very end. Personally, I prefer my characters to be totally into the relationship for a while and then get separated, and then back together. This format is push/pull, will-they-or-won’t-they up until the very end. What I’m saying is, I would have liked more. The epilogue almost totally satisfied me, but if the author wanted to write something twice as long, I’d be even happier!

This is the third in a series, and you should totally read the other two (reviewed here and here) because they are fun and hot. But you don’t have to, this book works as a standalone.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by Entangled

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Engagement Game
by Jenny Holiday
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Publisher: Entangled

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