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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review/Giveaway - The Marriage List by Jean Joachim

Title: The Marriage List
Author: Jean Joachim
Published: November 2011
Genre: Romance
Format: Ebook provided by author for review

Can happily ever after start with a list? Grey Andrews thinks so. After ten years of working, saving and investing, Grey finally achieved a level of wealth that allows him to do what he wants with his life. He needs a woman to share it with, but not any woman, the perfect woman. A woman who has the three essential qualities on his marriage list. But after three years of searching he isn’t any closer to finding her than he was when he started out. 

Carrie Tucker, an aspiring mystery writer and divorcée struggling to make it in the world of advertising, turned her focus from men to her career after dating too many creeps and losers. She’s finally earned her big break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the first female creative director in a hot New York ad agency. So what if it means working nights and weekends? It’s not like she has a social life anyway.Is the marriage list a failure or will a chance meeting at a fiction-writing conference prove the list to be the key to Grey’s happiness after all?

Disheartened by the complaints of his friends concerning their marriages, Grey sets out to find the perfect wife.  Ever since he was young he has wanted to be married and have a family, and has worked his entire adult life toward that goal.  He has lived and dated frugally in order to save the money for marriage.  I found this a bit atypical of most men, but the author made it believable and made it work for Grey.  I had no doubts this is what he wanted and that he was sincere about it.

Then we meet Carrie, who works at an advertising agency as a copywriter.  Her career is moving upward, and it is about to move very fast.  She takes on a much larger project which happens to put her into contact with Grey.  I liked Carrie in general.  She’s a young career oriented woman.  She is the type of woman who doesn’t mind unbuttoning a couple buttons before a business meeting.  To me, this kind of seemed opposite to the type of woman I thought of her as.  She seems like an intelligent and independent woman who wouldn’t need to resort to such things.  There were some other comments that kind of ruffled the feminist in my feathers, but after a quick reminder to my feminist side that women want to be empowered to choose their future, not have it chosen for them, and her choices were valid and her own.

Sparks and chemistry, fire between them ignites.  A business dinner date and then a couple of real dates later, and there is no doubt, they are both in it for the long haul – even if they don’t know that themselves. There are kisses that are deep and sensual, flirting that increases your heart rate.  I definitely enjoyed watching the progression of their infatuation into romance and love.  The sexual scenes were steamy and sensual. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this story.  I think Carrie and Grey are perfectly matched for each other.  When something happens and they are apart they are miserable without each other.  This is going to sound bad, but I really liked that.  I liked that there was something that tore this couple apart so that they could realize exactly how they felt about the other person.  I liked seeing them miserable because it showed me that they are perfect for each other.  I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance but doesn’t want something too graphic.  The storyline has a nice arc to it and I found the characters enjoyable. 

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Also, keep an eye out for Jean's next release!

The Renovated Heart
Can a broken heart be renovated like an old house? Kit’s life came to a halt when her husband slapped her with a divorce. Finding herself without a job or a place to live, she’s forced to take Tunney Nichols up on his offer of cheap rent for his parent’s house.The catch: she must allow him to renovate while she’s living there. Out of fear, Kit tells a lie she soon regrets as she is drawn to the sexy man plastering and painting his way into her heart.
Can Sarah forget the abuse from her late husband? Can she fix her heart and the hearts of her children?  With her two children in tow, Sarah relocates to be near her sister, she meets Jim, a neighbor and English professor. A mutual interest in writing, paves the way for a friendship that blossoms into romance. But is Jim the right man for Sarah or does her old college sweetheart still light her fire?