Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire #4) by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire, #4)The Marriage Merger by Jennifer Probst
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am hoping  the final edition is going to turn out better than this. The way it is written now? I cannot conclude anything else but: THIS NEEDS HELP!

Her sisters have found wedded bliss with their wealthy, wonderful dream men, but not Julietta Conte. She’s stayed on terra firma as top executive of the family’s corporation, La Dolce Famiglia bakery. Work is her passion, and her trendy Milan apartment her sanctuary . . . until Sawyer Wells, a masculine masterpiece in a suit, lures her out of hiding with an irresistible offer: an exclusive partnership with his international chain of boutique hotels.

Julietta’s been burned before—and trusting her brother-in-law’s friend, whose powerful gaze alone has her
rethinking the best use of a conference room, is the riskiest proposition. But with a once-in-a-career chance
to take the bakery global, will she mix stone-cold business with red-hot seduction?

It started out well, the magic behind the supposed love spell was very well done, and the angst Julietta was going through was concrete and absolute. In fact, it was so concrete that even before reaching 2% of the book, I found myself sinking into the misery that she found herself or placed herself in.

That said, the story continues on to Julieta meeting Sawyer. And this is the point where I suddenly found myself in a conundrum: to continue or not to continue.

Alas, for a book that starts out well enough, I find that by 4%  I was anxious to get it over and done with. (Yes, I was actually looking!)

We have to understand that this is an ARC I am reviewing and not the final edition. That said, here are some points that I want to address hoping knowing I can trust Ms. Probst, her editor and her publisher to edit this thoroughly and come up with a final copy that reads better than this. (And I am not even going to mention the typos going on all over the place - this is an ARC after all and I expected it to have these many typos.)

1. The initial meeting between Julietta and Sawyer was supposed to be "electric." I read through the supposed electricity but got distracted by the insertion of smutty fantasies that literally had no bearing on the plot - unless I am mistaken and this is a smutty short novella? The result was stopping myself from pressing the fast forward button. By this time I knew I was in trouble, but a promise is a promise and I am going to persevere.

2.  "He wanted her." and "A heady contradiction like the woman herself."

I am sorry, but seriously? I was beyond shocked when I read these words! I have been reading romance novels and novellas since grade 5 and I can no longer count the books  where I had read these exact same words written over and over again - in M&B, Harlequin, Silhouette, even Barbara (freaking) Cartland!

3. The BDSM undertones as reflected in some of the light but LENGTHY! scenes (holy cow people! 45 pages worth of ONE! I repeat: ONE! sex scene?) was well done. JUST SHORTEN IT PLEASE - my eyes are bleeding! And may I add that my Kindle's fast forward button nearly got stuck!

4. Julietta is a submissive, so ergo: Sawyer is a dominant. This was well done but was quite formulaic to the typical D/s relationship in novels. However, I must state that some of my acquaintances who do practice the lifestyle are quite adamant in their opinion that this is NOT the way it is in reality.

4. Although it took some time to iron out their differences, they finally did - as to be expected from any romance novel. Again, this seems to be a formula the author is following, and  thank goodness this was well done.

5. Some sort of twist to the plot came up out of nowhere that literally made my head spin - and not in a good way. Where on earth this came from, I have no idea, DESPITE the fact that it was well written in and thought out by the author.

For a dominant executive, Julietta came on weak. For a  male dominant/alpha male, oh well, Sawyer was lacking but came true to his character. This was probably the worst surprise of them all. I honestly am skeptical about the whole HEA thing here. I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel, DESPITE the fact that this is an HEA. I may sound like I am contradicting myself here but basically, this is the conclusion I reached.

I do trust Ms. Probst though, and the people she works with. I know that they can tweak this ARC and make it come out not only better, but stellar. It is a great plot, just not bearable at the moment.

Review based on an ARC from Netgalley.

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