Contracted: Corporate Wife

Contracted: Corporate Wife - Jessica Hart I really like this "sweet" Harlequin romance. I come back to this book every once in a while because it does a nice job of unveiling the characters' feelings for each other in under 200 pages. It's nothing groundbreaking as far as Harlequins go, but it's a quick and fulfilling read about a more mature couple (30-something divorcee and her 40-something boss) and the (totally unbelievable, but that's okay) marriage of convenience they contrive to enter into, each for his/her own reasons. Their arrangement is actually a set-up for cheating, but it didn't bother me in this instance because, while the H does go on a few dates, ultimately, nothing physical happened and he clearly wasn't emotionally invested in this OW.

Lou is Patrick's no-nonsense and uber-efficient executive assistant, and one evening while they're away on business and celebrating over dinner, they enter uncharted territory in discussing their personal lives/having a personal conversation outside of the office. She has a bit too much champagne and blurts out that he should consider marrying her if he's so fed up with all of the gold diggers who are chasing him. What would Lou get out of it? Financial security for her and her two growing teenaged kids. Let's just say that, instead of forgetting it (as Lou primly asks Patrick to do the next day, when sober), Patrick marinates on this idea, brings it up again at some point, they discuss it, and eventually they end up hitched. Patrick is supposedly "free" now to fool around, but even though he goes on a few dates, he can't seem to get excited about any of these young women whom he normally would be dating. Instead, he's finding he'd rather spend time with his new family in his palatial London house, which somehow feels like a home now that Lou and her kids have brought life to it.

Being one of the "Harlequin Romance" line, this book has no explicit hanky panky, but there is plenty of tension and heat between the H and h. I've read a few other books by Jessica Hart, and I've noticed she does the MOC trope often. She pulls it off well in this one. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.