- Title: Wife by Wednesday
- Author: Catherine Bybee
- Length: 223 pages
- Price: 10 for paperback, 1 buck in e-format
General Plot: Blake Harrison needs to get married immediately or he will lose his inheritance, including the title of Duke, and all of the lovely money that goes with it. He arranges to meet with a businessman, a matchmaker who sets up arranged marriages under strict contracts and definite ending dates. However, the businessman turns out to be a businesswoman, and Blake falls instantly in lust with her. He convinces her that they could marry under the same strict requirements she would set up for someone else, and he pays her handsomely for the inconvenience. Much to both of their surprise, they fall deeper and deeper in love until neither of them want to end the relationship, but are afraid to admit it.
My Review: I started reading this story because it sounded vaguely like my novel, rich titled guy hires a matchmaker, etc. However, that’s where the similarities ended, so I was able to take a deep breath and relax. This was a really good story, actually, and I would highly recommend it. I think the characters are believable and since they get married practically before they kiss, the sex scenes are legitimate. I do think their relationship develops reasonably well and at a good pace and the issues of her becoming a Duchess, but just for pretend, are handled well. I think the threat to both of them should their ruse be discovered is also handled with a deft touch, and all in all, I think Ms. Bybee did a good job with a modern approach to an old plot device.
I thought the issues that kept them apart at first, her distrust of men in general and his fear of allowing someone into his life to stay, were clear and drew some real empathy from me as a reader. They both had horrendous childhoods, but in different ways, and as so often happens, that comes back to bite them in the tush. I do dislike it (and I’ve been seeing it so much lately) when the hero seems to have never-ending money to throw at the heroine. The amount of money he bribes her with and the sheer luxury of all of his homes, private plane, limo, etc., sort of bugged me. Maybe because I’ve always been struggling in my life I can’t really relate to that, but that was one thing that annoyed me about the plot. Everybody has to have some limit somewhere, Duke and Duchess or no.
Anyway, I thought the end of the story, which can so often be the part of an otherwise good book where things fall apart, worked. Oh, I wouldn’t say I was shocked or anything by what eventually happened, but I did definitely feel bad for both of them and was anxious for things to resolve so they could stay together.
The Tingle Factor: There is a lot of great sexual chemistry in this book between Blake and Samantha. At first they have to fake it for the press and the staff, etc. But then they realize they really are attracted to each other and decide to embark on an affair “with a definite ending date.” They do have sex on several occasions, but I think it is handled in a nice way. The sex scenes are involving and not filthy or overly smutty. And there is a lot going on between them that isn’t sex. They do actually talk, come to know each other, and love each other, and for me that’s the greatest aphrodisiac of all.
Tingle Scale: 8/10