Review: Wife for Hire by Christine Bell

Wife for HireHero: Owen Phipps is going to get revenge on the con-artist who stole his sister’s money and broke her heart. To get close, Owen requires a fake wife for three weeks. It might sound farfetched, but how is Owen supposed to get close when the slimeball is hiding at a couples resort walking around as the owner? Owen is going to figure out what angle was being played and expose it. The only thing he didn’t count on was falling for his fake wife.

Heroine: Lindy Knight isn’t quite sure about the man who shows up on her doorstep after she applies for a job. Lindy maces Owen within five minutes of meeting him, using her perfume, so she’s surprised to find herself hired to play the wife of this gorgeous man. When the couple activities at the resort turn intimate, Lindy has to remind herself that she’s playing a role, and not his actual wife.

Review: Who doesn’t love “fake marriage” romances (aka the marriage of convenience trope)? It’s very common in historical romances and less common in contemporary romances, because society conventions make it harder to setup properly. The setup for Wife for Hire is certainly believable and adds just the right mix of serving-up-justice and sexiness. The conflict between the hero and heroine is the issue of a committed relationship, so while both are feeling the sexual tension, Lindy asks Owen not to make a move unless he is certain he wants her for more than three weeks. But can Lindy do the same?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Wife for Hire

Why is it so Darn Hot When Commitment-Phobes Make the Commitment?

Guest post by Amanda Usen, author of Scrumptious

Oh, boy. Back in the day, before I met my perfect husband, I never met a bad boy I didn’t want to…date. Emotionally unavailable men were my favorite flavor. The more distant the man, the more I wanted to stand beside him. It started in high school when the uber-cool artistic senior drama dude took an interest, and then gave me my first taste of “it’s not you, it’s me,” a few months later.

I was hooked, so hooked I dated (off and on for THREE YEARS) a psychology major in college who responded to my every legitimate relationship complaint with “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Even my perfect husband appeared to be a bad boy when I met him. I call him my sheep in wolf’s clothing because he tricked me. (Thank goodness.) Oh, yeah, I had it bad. The question is: why?

What is it about the men who don’t want us, the guy we can have for a night but not a relationship, or the one that got away, that enchants us? And why is it so intoxicating when they finally succumb to true love? These questions fascinate me. Although I broke my bad boy addiction and am now unconditionally adored, I still live with the ghosts of boyfriends past. I can’t chase them anymore (marriage will do that to a girl) but I can bring them to life in my characters.

In Scrumptious, I deliberately set out to create the baddest boy of them all, Joe Rafferty. During his two years at Culinary Arts College, he slept with “every available female, a few unavailable ones, three mail clerks, and at least one chef-instructor.” Joe is a traveling chef-for-hire so commitment-phobic that the only thing that could get him to consider settling down is a deathbed command from his mother.

Enter Marlene Bennet, a love ‘em and leave ‘em pastry chef who imagines “a night with Joe would be an experience to remember. Fondly.” When he turns down her proposition, he becomes the ultimate challenge…a man whom everyone has had – but her.

What are the perfect ingredients of a bad boy?

In Joe’s case, he’s tall, dark and delicious. He’s such hot chef hardly anyone can keep up with him on the line. He’s left a trail of broken hearts behind him, so he’s jaded. Most alluring of all, he’s got issues, little holes in his heart just waiting for the right healing touch. In my opinion, that’s what makes a bad boy.

He’s attractive, talented, experienced and hurting, even if he doesn’t know it or won’t admit it – especially if he won’t admit it. If you can get that guy’s attention, then you are special. And if he decides you are the one, then you have triumphed where all else have failed. *Sigh* Triumph is incendiary.

But that’s just my opinion. I’m a sucker for a hot guy with a bored expression and the first one to admit I’ve got a competitive steak. What about you? What do you think makes a bad boy? And why is it so sweet when the “unattainable man” finally commits?

Buy: Scrumptious