REVIEW: MARRIAGE FOR ONE BY ELLA MAISE

Marriage for One

☆☆☆☆1/2

Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You’d think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You’d think he must be madly in love. 

Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You’d think I’d laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part. 

It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I’d imagined for myself. 

I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time. 

It wasn’t long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn’t talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own. 

One second he was no one. The next he became everything. 

One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine. 

One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie. 

After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?

I had never read Ella Maise before stumbling upon this book and by stumbling, I mean that literally my entire Goodreads feed would not stop talking about this book. So this was one of those giving into peer pressure types of books, except it’s not quite peer pressure since no one directly told me to read it. So it’s like the pressure of mob mentality I guess. Like, you were all reading it and loving it so I gotta see what all the hype’s about. And the hype did not let this book down. This book is loved for a very good reason. It hit all the right marks for the type of romance book that Maise wrote here and while the synopsis kind of alludes to the story going one way, it actually ends up being something else entirely, and that’s something I love. I was honestly addicted to this story and had to just see how everything was gonna play out, therefore not being able to put it down. That’s how you know you have a good book.

THE GOOD

  • While I am a giant fan of the fake dating trope, for some reason the fake marriage trope just doesn’t call my name as much, even though it’s essentially the same thing except that it’s, well, legal and all. That being said, I do think that when a fake marriage is written right then it can be a great experience for me. And that’s what happened here. Even though the deal for the fake marriage between Jack and Rose was a bit insane, the story had to start somewhere. But even from the deal, from the very first moment you’re in Jack’s POV, you know that he’s doing this to help Rose more than just wanting some property. Did he take his crush a little to far? Maybe, but I think because of his character it was what he thought he was supposed to do but more on that later. What I loved out of this fake marriage was how Rose constantly referred back to the deal they made, of how she’s show up for him when he needed her to and do all those things they agreed on, but Jack essentially threw all of that out the window whenever she brought it up. He couldn’t care less about being seen with her or doing things because of their deal; he spent time with her because he wanted to and he took care of her because he was starting to develop true feelings for her. That’s the beauty of the fake relationship trope, either dating or marriage, the moment when they start catching feelings for one another but can’t tell if the other is still faking it. And Jack, bless his heart, tried to stay away from Rose as long as he could but really couldn’t because he was constantly drawn to her. And the slow burn! Ugh! I’ve experienced a lot of good slow burn romances in my day but I don’t think one made me physically ache from not seeing them together, even with their chemistry and own tension literally coming off the pages. Small talk and glances turned into actual conversation and touches, and forehead kisses became real kisses and before you know it, they’re in deep. I can’t believe I didn’t die waiting for their very first kiss. But it was worth it in the end. It hit all the marks I was hoping for in this relationship and made me incredibly happy. While I don’t love fake marriage as much as fake dating, I really enjoyed what Maise did here and thought it was executed wonderfully.
  • I expected not to really love Jack, since the synopsis described him to be cold and arrogant and something akin to the billionaire asshole character that I’m beyond tired of seeing in romance novels, but he surprised me. The thing to understand about Jack is that he didn’t have the warmest upbringing, meaning that his parents were pretty stoic and cold not just with each other but with Jack himself and that’s something that he was conditioned into feeling and becoming. He never knew what it was like to be loved or cared for nor did he know how to feel that way for another person and it’s why it was so hard for him to open up around Rose and be comfortable. It made me understand a lot about his character but I also think that while someone would perceive some of his statements as insensitive or somewhat rude, he was just being honest and didn’t understand the impact of what else his words could be perceived as. That’s how I saw it, at least, and while he could come off as being abrasive and ordering Rose around, he really wasn’t. That’s just how he is. He’s like a grumpy cat, in a way, but an adorably loveable one. I admired how he just wanted to help Rose and save her from a potentially horrible relationship, and how he couldn’t allow himself to catch feelings for her but did anyways. He’s respectable of her and her boundaries and shows he cares in his own way. I just really loved him and watching him develop emotionally. And then there’s Rose, who I admired so much for her strength and determination. It was always her dream to open a coffee shop and even though marrying a complete stranger was insane, it was the only way she’d be able to achieve her dream that was just out of her reach. But I also liked how she handled Jack in the beginning, of how she’d always try to pull him into conversations and try to make him smile, almost like trying to make the best out of their situation. And as they spent more time together, and she slowly learned how Jack showed his care, she began to understand him and develop feelings. She was like the happy chihuahua to his grumpy cat and they created a good balance between them. And like Jack, she never knew what it was like to be loved by a family or have a real home, not just a house, and that was something they were able to give one another. They got married in such a strange way but they were meant for one another, for sure.
  • It’s probably gonna sound weird for me to call a relationship that sprouted from a fake marriage as healthy, but this actually became an incredibly healthy relationship and it’s because they worked on communicating with one another and getting the relationship that they both thought they deserved. A lot of times when they’d talk, Rose and Jack would wonder about what kind of couple they should act like and how they could “show off” their relationship to others. Rose mentioned wanting light PDA and wanting to have certain couple traditions, like date nights or dinner nights, and Jack always gave his input. But things like that made me see how much they wanted this relationship to work, fake or not, and for it to not become something that their parents went through or just be one of those cold, loveless marriages. I loved watching them talk about doing things as a couple would, and how it seems like it’s something they’ll continue to do so they can be the best couple they can in this relationship. It’s something that I think of wanting and doing and it made me really happy to see portrayed here.

THE BAD

  • As much as I loved Jack and Rose and everything about their relationship and characters, it did slightly rub me the wrong way with what Jack did to get Rose in the first place. It’s not completely being a stalker but it’s a bit odd how he would pay off some guy, who’s actually a con artist so he had a good reason, to break up with Rose to potentially make a move on her but instead marries her, it’s just weird. It works for the story, but it’s a little weird. It’s not the dumbest or creepiest thing I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure, and it does fall back into Jack’s lack of understanding relationships and feelings, but I do think Rose had every right to momentarily leave him. But Jack does get props for explaining everything because communication has always been important in their relationship. It’s not the best thing I’ve seen, but also not entirely the worst so Jack gets a pass.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • I was so worried that this book would be one of those overhyped books and I’d be the only person who didn’t like it, but I’m so glad to be wrong. This book is one of the most intense slow burn romances I’ve ever experienced and hit so many good points in the fake relationship/marriage trope. I loved the way Maise wrote her story and her characters and I was truly addicted to it. I just wish I could get more of Jack and Rose’s story. That’s how much I loved it.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Marriage for One
Author: Ella Maise
Release Date: May 8, 2019
Pages: 520 (eBook)
Goodreads

Until next time,

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