Synopsis: If a girl had to dream up the perfect Valentine’s present, this guy was it. Gorgeous, dangerous, and doesn’t play by any rules but his own, the girl who got involved with him knew there would be a price. Hallie likes a challenge and doesn’t mind his offer to pay her big bucks to pretend being his wife for a week. Not the most traditional proposal for Valentines day, but Hallie had never been the traditional type…
Plot: The novel itself mentions being a black comedy of errors, due to cultural difference, misunderstandings, and subterfuge. It was a bit of a fish-out-of-water situation with double the romance. While some instances were predictable, the story line meandered and teased itself into being a delightful read. Hilariously improbable, but that just made it all the more enjoyable.
Location: The story mostly takes place in Hong Kong, with the beginning and end set in England. The Locales don’t play much of a role other than the occasional bit of scenery as the characters and situation drive the story.
POV: While told in the third person, the story follows the three perspectives: Hallie, Nick, and Jasmine. The latter, a teenager who accidentally caused a turning point in Nick’s life that then affected Hallie, and this certainly brought all three of them together. At first it was disconcerting to have that third view, but it did add interest to what could have been a one-dimensional plot.
Romance: There were two love stories taking place, that of Hallie and Nick’s faux marriage, as well as Jasmine and Kai’s star-crossed relationship. While seemingly different, these relationships actually parallel each other as both girls have been sheltered in their own way while the men love them enough to give freedom. Nick has humour and generosity, while Kai is all patience and honour, making both heroes in their own right.
Character: Clea is Nick’s mother and a delight, so I would love to see her character again. However, it is Hallie’s older brothers who have sparked my interest and deserve their own books. There are instances in this novel that leaves room for expansion on all four of the boys –two in particular.
Relationship: Once Hallie meets Jasmine the elder immediately feels a kinship. The two quickly form a friendship that resembles sisterhood with caring, honesty, and a desire to protect from harm. It is always great to see female bonding in books rather than the more drama-filled antagonism. This friendship, plus the epilogue scene, leaves a lot of room for a sequel that this pair could get up to mischief in again.
Memorable Moment: The “Great Wall of Pillows” is a delightfully ridiculous scene. It’s a moment of absurdity turned into a chance to banter instead of show anger, frustration, or awkwardness. This scene is a great opportunity to show Nick’s playful sense of humour.
Quote: “What a thoroughly delightful shop! Why I have never noticed it before, I have no idea. And then when you started talking to the shoe I just knew I had to come in.”
Verdict: It is February and the perfect time to be picking this book up and giving it a read for yourself! I thought it to be quite cute and just might see about getting my hands on more books by this author…