Author: Nadia Lee
Publisher: Four Isles Press
Release Date: 31 March 2016
Billionaire actor Ryder needs to marry for a year to claim his beloved grandfather's painting. Who better to help out than his big and beautiful assistant Paige? The rules are simple: give everyone a good show while keeping it strictly professional. But what happens when he can't keep his hands off his sassy, luscious "wife"?
Ryder and Paige were pretty awesome characters. I enjoyed reading about them quite a lot. Ryder was obviously very attractive but he had some very frustrating flaws. His inability to trust for one and both his and Paige's inability to communicate was so completely realistic that I loved it! It was exactly like life. It was fantastic to see such great characterisation. Ryder although pretty humble at heart was incredibly egotistical at times and often underestimated Paige.
I think I'd be remiss if I didn't address on of the biggest issues in this two part story. This book did a fantastic job of dealing with the issue of a woman's physical appearance within society. Although the romance genre has often been portrayed as the trashy sister of real literature, it's fantastic to see an author prove that so completely wrong. Literature has always been about sharing a message, be it a concept or idea, a dream or wish. Some of the best poems in history have been about war or politics, whilst some of the best fictional stories have spoken of women's rights and equality. A good story hooks it's reader in, but the best of stories after hooking you in, pushes you to think about something new. Perhaps society's expections as to our appearance is not a new realisation for most women but it's certainly worth the thought.
I found this book particularly challenging. I don't want anyone to take offence and so I'm choosing my words incredibly carefully. From the very beginning it was clear that Paige was not "model beautiful". She was not skinny. She had boobs and a bum; she had curves. That I could cope with. But I struggled to understand her size. In England where I live most people where double figured dress sizes so that didn't answer my question. I'm a size 10 in the U.K. which is quite an average size but I would say that although I'm not overweight I could be a healthier weight. So I couldn't determine if she was simply curvy or genuinely overweight. More importantly I struggled in my own mind to put Paige (if she was overweight) with Ryder (sexy superstar) and there was my first challenge because I devalued her in my own mind because of her weight. I was shocked with myself and quite disappointed. Then to see the way she was treated by other people who devalued her was truly humbling. Of course I'd never treat her that way but even I judged her and harshly for her weight. This book wasn't just a book about love and happily ever afters. It wasn't just a book about finding love but a book about what society demands of us and how damaging that expectation can be. Hats off to Lee because it's not often that a romance novel challenges me in this way.
There are so many reasons why I think you should read this book. The characters, the plot, the questions it inspires.