ARC REVIEW: FAKING FOREVER (FIRST WIVES #4)

Shannon Wentworth’s biological clock is ticking, and she isn’t going to let her single status keep her from having a baby. When her wedding-photography business takes her to Mexico, she has every intention of finding a willing baby daddy to help her out. Until the bride goes AWOL, leaving Shannon to coddle the arrogant fiancé who has accused her of sabotaging his wedding.

Victor Brooks never could have imagined that he’d be on a honeymoon for one. Only here he is, taking a hard look at his life after the younger women he thought he loved walked out. The woman who volunteers to help him reflect is the last person he expects to be attracted to. Between the tequila, the sun, and one earth-shattering kiss, Victor finds Shannon a distraction too sexy to ignore.

They strike a deal: wait three months, cool off, and see if their tropical beach attraction is worth taking up when they go back home. Unfortunately, that’s just enough time for the past to come calling. All their best-laid plans are at risk. So is the last thing Shannon expected to matter the most: her heart.


Shannon is nearing 35 and divorced. She wants to be a mother but the clock is ticking so she plans to get pregnant from a one-night stand.

Victor is a workaholic and marriage is just a tick off a list to him. He is about to get married in Mexico, a wedding his wife hired Shannon as the photographer for. They first meet on their flight to Mexico, not pleasant for either of them. He is dumped at the altar and decides to spend his honeymoon all by himself. Shannon also stays back to execute her mission of getting pregnant.

I liked Victor and Shannon together. The banter and tension between them was great. Their flirting and fun times in Mexico were my favorite parts. The romance was completely believable.

But I have a serious problem with this story. Let me rewind to what I said right at the beginning – Shannon plans to get pregnant from a one night stand without even consulting the guy. Am I the only one who finds it so wrong? Getting pregnant involuntarily from a one-night stand is another thing. But intentionally engineering an encounter to get pregnant even if you never plan to see that man again? That’s just horrible! And what horrified me even more was how normally everyone took it when Shannon shared her plans with them. We find out about Shannon’s plan right at the beginning and I had to muster a lot of self-will to continue. I also had other small quibbles with the book, but none as significant. I just couldn’t get past this one thing.

If you, unlike me, don’t mind such plot devices and are in mood for some breezy romance, you can give this book a try.


★★★☆☆


 

ARC REVIEW : IZZY IN EL MAREO

Izzy’s trying to cope with life, love, and loneliness, but her fast life in Houston is rapidly spinning out of control.

So when the twenty-three-year-old American takes a job at an international resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, she hopes her old life is behind her at last—and with it, all the self-doubts and insecurities that have plagued her since childhood. She’s wondering if she’ll be able to survive in a new job in a strange country, but for now, the city’s breathtaking ocean views by day and sexy club scenes by night look like paradise.

Happy and energized by the unfamiliar sights and sounds of her surroundings, Izzy sets out to prove herself in the Spanish-speaking office. Soon she’s making strides at work, partying with new acquaintances, and all the while gaining confidence as she successfully navigates the local culture (and the men in it).

But soon the lines start to blur in paradise. Izzy misses her family and her boyfriend back home; she senses her new friends may be ignoring her; and when she travels for work, she feels insecure and out of place. Her self-esteem takes a hit. Confusion and disorientation set in. Returning to old habits—drinking, partying hard, and looking for love with strangers—Izzy is feeling more alone than ever. When an office gaffe threatens to ruin her much-anticipated trip home for Christmas, Izzy is forced to take stock: Was the whole move to Mexico a mistake? Can she find a way to get her career—and her life—back on track?


That huge blurb pretty much sums up the story.

Izzy moves to Mexico for a job. She suffers from culture shock and struggles to adjust to a new life.

This was a genuine coming-of-age story with a very real and flawed female protagonist. I could not empathize with her because of the decisions she takes and her reactions to certain situations. Izzy is immature and naive, especially when it comes to trusting people, especially men. Most of the men in this story are trash. Not that the friends are any better. Izzy really has a crappy sense of judgment. But thankfully, by the end, she finally comes on to her own. The one good thing about Izzy’s frustrating experiences were that they felt real. She is not averse to taking risks or making mistakes. While it made her a flawed character, but it was also sort of refreshing in a way.

This was a very situational story with no big twists or reversals. The flow of the story very much relied on Izzy and her experiences. I feel that the conversations and the dialogue could use more polishing. The author has definite potential as is evident in her descriptions of Izzy’s feeling of isolation and bringing to life the places and the setting. But I feel that better editing could’ve done the story wonders. Also, most of the dialogues written in Spanish are not directly translated. We get a gist of the conversation but never the exact words. As a reader who likes to take stock of the conversations and the words spoken, I was kinda annoyed.

Not a bad attempt by the author for her first book. But not a great one either.

Would I recommend it? I guess it’s worth giving the book a shot!


★★★☆☆


Publication Date: 5th March, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

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