Bybee, Catherine. Wife by Wednesday (2011). 222 Pages. Self Published. $.99*
Rich, titled, and charming… And in need of a wife by Wednesday so he turns to Sam Elliot who isn’t the business man he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, engaging and spunky with a voice men call 900 numbers to hear.
Owner of Alliance, her matchmaking firm, and not on the marital menu… That is until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. All she needs to do is keep her attraction to her husband to herself and avoid his bed. But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and charm prove too difficult to combat. Now she needs to protect her heart so she can walk away when their mercenary life together is over.
“I need a wife, Carter, and I needed her yesterday.” Riding in the back of the town car en route to Starbucks, of all places, Blake Harrison glanced at his watch for the tenth time that hour.
Carter’s startled laugh rode on Blake’s last nerve. “Then pick one of the masses and walk the aisle.”
I probably would have liked this significantly more if I had not already read Match Me If You Can, which is a similar enough story that I couldn’t help comparing them. I’m sure I’m biased when I say that I feel like Susan Elizabeth Phillips did it better, not just because she had a higher page count in which to do it.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Catherine Bybee’s Wife by Wednesday. I liked it a lot, and couldn’t wait to see how things were going to play out. I didn’t want to put it down– and in fact, barely had to, since it was a fairly quick read– because I was so interested in exactly how things would play out. The marriage of convenience, or for profit, or inheritance, or what have you is not unique, but can be handled in interesting ways.
I enjoyed a lot about this book, not the least of which being that they didn’t spend forever dancing around their feelings, and their major misunderstanding didn’t stem from a refusal to communicate. I always get so annoyed when all the tension in the book stems from an unwillingness to communicate, and all it takes to resolve the tension is an honest conversation. Sam and Blake do communicate, and they do it well enough that though they do have a fight, they also talk about it, and resolve it like normal adults.
There is major chemistry between Blake and Sam. Actually, their chemistry is the driving force in their relationship, as they quickly fall in lust with each other while trying to make their marriage of convenience look like a love match. When they decide to slake their lust in as business-like a manner as one can, they find things spiraling quickly out of control, and into the realm of emotional complications.
My major complaint largely has to do with characters. There were several who existed for the sole purpose of being potential bad-guys. Their interactions with the main characters were limited or non-existent, and the story could have progressed without them. Or a few of them could have been condensed into fewer.
Still, it was a fun read, entertaining, if not ground-breaking. It didn’t annoy me, and didn’t make me want to kick the characters and yell at them for not talking to one another when a simple conversation would solve all their problems. Overall, I’d call it a good, quick read when you want something romantic. It gets a 3.5 out of 5; it was good, and I liked reading it, but it’s probably not one I’m going to come back to again.
* The Kindle edition is $.99. A print copy will run you $9.99