Review: Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe00:00
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My rating: 4.5 stars
My rating: 4.5 stars
With his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing and there is only one solution: marriage.
Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who’d given her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love.
This book 4 in the Boys of Bishop series and I dare say one of the best. I discovered Ms O'Keefe's books by chance earlier this year and I absolutely loved this series. The stories appear to be variations of the small-town romance (a favourite of mine) but they stand out with their edginess, emotional intensity and depth of conflict and character development.
This book can be read as a standalone, but I'd recommend to read Never Been Kissed where we meet Harrison for the first time. Some of the events in the two books are parallel to some extend and what happens with Ashley (she is his sister) affects Harrison and his decisions about his life a lot.
Harrison and Ryan's (the heroine, despite the man's name) romance represents an interesting twist on the marriage of convenience trope. The couple go through so much together- starting off with a lot of passion and openness, going through total fakeness of their relationship and to finally reaching a well-deserved true HEA.
Harrison was a likable guy, the perfect politician on the outside, but troubled, empty and disappointed on the inside. He underwent a complete change throughout this story which altered profoundly his life. I loved the new person he became - loving, caring, open and honest.
Despite my appreciation for Harrison's transformation and growth, it was Ryan who stole the show in this story for me. It's a rare thing for me to like the heroine in romance more than the hero, but Ryan was fantastic. There so much depth and complexity in her character, it was a true pleasure to read about her. I liked how she was in her 30s - she had had a rough life, she had been through a lot, personally and professionally. I can compare her to Ty form Between the Sheets - she was trying to do the right thing, to put her past with its mistakes behind her.
The focus of the story is undoubtedly the relationship between Harrison and Ryan (it's more than just a romance, it's a sort of coming-of-age at an older age for both of them). Ms O'Keefe also explores a whole set of other relationships in all their complexity and dys/functionality - within the family, between parents and children, between siblings.
It's a intense story about love but also about guilt and forgiveness, about honesty and betrayal, about truth and pretend.
I'd recommend this book and the whole series to anyone who likes hot romances with depth of story and complex characters who are so very real.