Title: Marrying The Muse
Author: Kari Castano
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: 31st August 2023
BLURB from Goodreads
How far will a romance-wary thriller writer go in order to save her career? Simple: she finds herself in a fake marriage with a playboy billionaire.
Olivia Harris, master of penning thrillers that could scare the socks off a hardened criminal, is facing the literary equivalent of a horror show. Her agent drops the bomb: publishers want romance, not thrillers. So, she's expected to switch from writing about cold-blooded killers to hot-blooded lovers. Just one tiny problem - Olivia wouldn't know romance if it hit her with a dozen roses.
Meanwhile, billionaire tycoon and renowned playboy, Alexander Kingston, is facing his own crisis. His playboy antics have finally caught up to him, and his grandfather is done turning a blind eye, threatening to snatch away Kingston Enterprises and his inheritance unless he ties the knot. But where on earth would he find a bride in this eleventh-hour scramble?
Enter Fate, who apparently thinks it's a stand-up comedian, flinging Olivia and Alexander together again after a previous one-night-stand. Seeing an unexpected solution to his problem, Alexander takes a wild shot and pitches Olivia a proposal that is more business than bended knee.
Will they dare to venture into the unknown or is the absurdity of their agreement doomed to upend their own rebelliously romantic hearts?
I really like this book cover its colourful and light which compliments the book well. The cover depicts the two main characters, Olivia the thriller writer and Alexander the wealthy playboy. I think the cover works well and gives you the feel of a romantic comedy which the book is.
The very cynical Olivia Harris is at her friend Cynthia’s wedding as she feels obliged there as Cynthia attended her own wedding years ago. They were more school rivals than best friends but she felt it the right thing to do to attend the wedding. Oliva finds herself on a table of mostly loved up couples, cooing at each other and planning their next holiday in Hawaii. Weddings aren’t really Olivia’s comfort zone having been married and now divorced is bad enough but even more hurtful is that her ex-husband came out as gay and has run off and is currently playing happy couples with her brother!!
So Olivia isn’t into weddings, in fact she isn’t into relationships she’s more into one night stands, no strings and no complications!
Olivia starts drinking the champagne thinking the only way to get through this is to be somewhat tipsy or flat out drunk! Olivia then notices a rather good looking male who also seems to be alone and single. Did Cynthia do her a huge favour when doing her wedding seating plan?? Olivia & mystery hunk soon strike up a string of chat & banter. Eventually Alex invites Olivia up to his suite and they end up in bed. The following morning Alex is a bit shocked that Olivia has left without leaving her number, that’s what he usually does!
Olivia is on a high she had a good evening with Alex but she’s soon brought down to earth with a bump when her literary agent Jane tells her that thrillers are no longer what the public want. She informs Olivia that she needs to write a romance. When Olivia protests that she’s not romantic Jane tells her maybe its about time she changed that, then maybe she would get some inspiration for a new hit book
Alex is the grandson of Charles Kingston owner of Kingston Enterprises and he is used to being the playboy with a different woman on his arm and in his bed on a regular basis. He is used to the finer things in life and getting his own way with women literally falling at his feet. However, his Grandfather thinks its time he settled down, got married and started a family. So much so he writes Alex out of his will. Unless Alex is married and on his way to starting a family within the next year, Alex will lose everything he has worked hard to build at Kingston Enterprises. Alex tells his personal assistant Simon to write up a list of eligible and suitable women so that he can interview them with a view to proposing a marriage of convenience.
It's whilst Alex is “interviewing” one of the short listed women at an expensive sushi restaurant that he “bumps” into Olivia again. He makes her a proposition which she laughs off but later when faced with debt, a thriller no one wants and in need of a romance story inspiration she reluctantly accepts. The contract has quite strict terms and there would be a scandal if it ever came to light that their relationship was anything but real.
Wow! I found the book witty, snarky and laugh out loud funny. I quickly adored the sassy Olivia and her tit for tat way of dealing with Alex. The characters aren't all fun and laughter though. Like "real life" people they have their baggage with Alex having years of nightly nightmares and flashbacks to the car crash and attack that killed his parents and almost killed him too. When he learns that when Olivia is in his bed he can sleep all night, he of course wants this to continue. Olivia has a bad track record where romance and love is concerned betrayed by not just her husband but her brother and most of her family when they took sides in her divorce she isn't looking for long term love.
I really enjoyed how the characters started out as reluctant fellow wedding guests, to a one night stand to then a marriage of convenience contract. Their romance is anything but straight forward with Sierra, Alex's childhood friend jealous and determined to get rid of Olivia as she wants Alex for herself. Then Olivia accidentally meets up with an old school friend who she feels attracted to. The pair soon find themselves protective of each other. There’s a really funny scene in the book where Alex and Olivia have been coerced into going to a family get together held by Olivia’s family. When Olivia’s brother purposely does something in an attempt to upset Olivia, Alex doesn’t hesitate to jump to protect her, with rather amusing consequences. Just when it looks like the pair are going to admit real feelings for each other and start a real relationship, Sierra manages to make it look like she has been sleeping with Alex and thinks she has won when Olivia runs away from the relationship but when she is rebuffed by Ales as vengeance she leaks the details of the contract between them to the press, Alex doesn’t hesitate to once again go on the offensive to protect Olivia.
With misunderstandings and lots of mess ups along the way, the path to love is a bumpy one for Olivia and Alex, then they have to decide is it love or just the contract holding them together.
Summing up, a great laugh out loud in places, feel good, romantic comedy which I read in just two reading sessions. I honestly didn’t want to put it down.