Lights, camera, lies. Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it's Kerry's job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho's partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it's up to Kerry to spin it. The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love - with Jericho's secret committed relationship. The one that doesn't exist. Yet. The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?
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I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
As an introvert, the idea of living my life in the public eye is terrifying. Having lived with an extrovert who was a local celeb of sorts, I have witnessed firsthand how draining it can be for a person whose life is subject to public consumption, even if it was something they wanted. Despite the understanding I brought with me when I began listening to Marriage of Inconvenience, I still found it hard at times to see Jericho in a sympathetic light. Granted, I easily related to Kerry’s introverted personality, his desire to work behind the scenes, and his abject terror when thrown in front of the camera, so each time that Jericho lashed out at Kerry, well, my thoughts toward Jericho were not all that nice.
With that said, my inability to find Jericho to be a sympathetic character much of the time did not keep me from enjoying the novel. Don’t get me wrong, because I did feel badly for the guy who was forced to live his life in the closet while he established his career, and I was angered on his behalf when the compromising photo was taken and tweeted – no one deserves to have that kind of private moment shared with the world without their consent. I was also sad for him because not knowing who he could trust made him assume everyone had an ulterior motive, and I was sad for the teen who was bullied in high school so badly that it made it nearly impossible for him to trust. But because Kerry was forced to bear the brunt of that baggage more than once, I found myself siding with Kerry, hoping that Jericho would live up to his promise, and, when he didn’t, praying he’d pull his head out of his arse and do right by Kerry.
Because Marriage of Inconvenience is a Dreamspun Desires novel, it wasn’t surprising that there were several very sweet moments mixed in with the angst and drama. The chemistry between Kerry and Jericho is obvious from the very beginning, but when they finally find their way past being roommates and pseudo-enemies and begin to embark upon a real relationship, they’re both rather cute about it, especially Jericho’s preference for cuddling. Solo did a very nice job with the narration, making it easy to discern the characters’ voices and conveying the myriad of emotions the men experience when they’re together. One of the reasons I only listen to M/M audiobooks is because the handful of M/F audiobooks I’ve attempted to listen to usually cause me to cringe when the narrator has to perform the voice for multiple characters of the opposite sex (especially during the sex scenes), and I’ve listened to both male and female narrators of M/F romances, so it’s not due to the sex of the narrator. The reason I share this is because I enjoyed Solo’s vocal performances of the handful of female characters, particularly Tara’s as she had a pretty good bit of voice time in the story. I found Marriage of Inconvenience to be a delightful romance and an entertaining way to spend a few hours.
Does anyone remember a movie from the 90s “Muriel’s Wedding?” Well, that’s what this story reminds me of.
Kerry is a “nobody” who ends up sorta kinda forced into an “engagement” with a douche Hollywood star. He never really wanted to be in the spotlight, only to do his job, but as the only gay guy in the office he’s forced to be helpful.
Jericho resents being in the closet, so he’s psyched when he ends up accidentally outing himself to the world but he thinks Kerry is a social climber, so he’s a dick to him.
It doesn’t take long for these two to find their attraction for the other but it does take awhile for them to have any feelings more than lust. There isn’t a lot of steam in this – less than some of the others in the Dreamspun series.
I thought that the writing was excellent, and the pacing good, but I never liked Jericho much or felt he and Kerry had a super strong connection. In the end I understood him better, but he spent a long time on my “why would Kerry put up with that” list.
In the end, it was cute and sweet, I liked it but it didn’t really “wow” me. I think that some of MJ O’Shea’s other books like her Insolita Luna Series are much better.
3.5 of 5 stars
John Solo does a solid job narrating this. He gives Kerry a lighter, but not effeminate voice and Jericho a nice Southern drawl. There are a few other secondary characters with accents and he does a nice job with them as well. John Solo is good with pacing and timing – the humor and the emotional parts, he definitely added to my overall enjoyment of this story by giving it a bit more depth and making it feel more lively. I definitely think this is the best way to enjoy this story.