Just Married by Natasha WestJust Married? by Natasha West is a lovely romance centering around a marriage of convenience between a TV star from the US and a British bookshop owner.

Emily is a British bookshop owner who was just dumped by her fiancé. Nursing her (not terribly)  broken heart she jets off to the US to have a weekend of fun in Las Vegas. In the spirit of living a little she tries some alcoholic drinks that don’t taste that great but hey, why waste?

While at the bar she meets Ruby, a gorgeous c-list actress who immediately grabs Emily’s notice, even though Emily is pretty determined not to have anything to do with romance.

Ruby manages to be less than charming and yet she also persuades Emily to enjoy her time int he US with some more alcohol. When they wake the next morning it turns out they are married, even though neither of them remember it. But what else could a marriage certificate mean?

At first they are both shocked by the discovery but then Ruby realises that this could be a great career move and get her the press coverage she needs to move her career towards movies. A reluctant Emily finally agrees to go along with the ruse – after all, there isn’t much waiting for her at home.

But when two people who are attracted to one another get hitched, then no matter what the intentions, hearts always get involved.

The Characters

Ruby is a rising star. She is a great actress stuck in a dud role and trying to break out. At least, that is what her mother/manager is telling her she needs. In fact, one gets the feeling that her mother is WAY more invested in pushing Ruby’s career than anyone else.

Until now, Ruby has had no reason to go against her mother’s wishes but titans clash when Emily enters the picture and Ruby’s heart is on the line.

Emily Is a funny, book-smart woman who finds herself displaced in the US. She is wildly attracted to Ruby but finds herself unwilling to stake her heart after so recently having it pummelled by her ex fiancé. She is also really British and so she is desperate to maintain control. One example is how she puts in place rules for the fake marriage such as only three kisses will be allowed during the ruse of a relationship.

The Writing Style

I do love Natasha West’s writing style. Her use of language is great fun and her wit made me chuckle throughout as the characters push and pull towards and away from one another.

The marriage of convenience trope is probably as common in lesbian fiction as the use of comfortable shoes is for lesbians and yet West gave this some fun and unique twists and turns.

The Pros

I enjoyed the drama of it all. It had all the fun of Hollywood, lies, clashing cultures and a forbidden romance.

The Cons

No cons.

The Conclusion

If you want a fun read with a great writing style then this is an excellent choice. The characters were sweet and stupid (in that great way of romances) and funny and annoying (also in that great way that makes you want to keep reading).

It’s a solid romance which hits all the expected marks of this trope, so give it a go. Who knows, you may just fall in love too.

Excerpt from Just Married? by Natasha West

‘Hey, ask anything you want’ Ruby said. She meant it. This stranger had quality to her that made Ruby want to be an open book. She wanted Emily to thumb her pages, run a finger down her spine, maybe bookmark a few pages that were of particular interest. She just hoped she’d be the kind of book Emily might want to read to the end, that she wouldn’t become bored before the first chapter was even done.

‘OK’ Emily said seriously. ‘Why are you talking to me right now?’

‘Huh?’ Ruby asked, thrown.

‘I mean, you came in here, sat down and saw me, had a go at me and then asked me to have a drink with you. Why?’

When Ruby had told Emily to ask her anything, she thought she might ask about siblings, hopes and dreams, other assorted getting-to-know-you bullshit. But she was getting down to brass tacks, it seemed. Ruby kind of liked it. Still, she didn’t want to seem like some horn dog who was trying to get into Emily’s pants (though that was at the back of her mind), so she tried to spin her answer to a less salacious version. ‘I thought you looked interesting.’

‘Interesting? What does that mean?’

‘I guess I looked at you and I thought you looked like a person I’d want to talk to.’

‘Oh’ Emily said. She looked disappointed in the answer.

‘Is there something wrong with that?’

Emily shrugged. ‘No. Of course not.’

Ruby had stumbled here somewhere. But what had tripped her up?

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Bits and Bobs

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