TBR Challenge Review: The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan

This month’s TBR Challenge theme was arranged marriage/pretend engagement. I figured I had a few arranged marriages in my TBR but I had no idea I had so many pretend engagement books – there were about 5 to choose from – who knew? lol

WHEN A GOOD-GIRL DIVORCÉE Playing by the rules has left Samantha Monroe with an AWOL ex-husband, maxed out credit cards, and the task of raising three children on a hairstylist's salary. It's time for a new game plan. When Sam learns that politician Jack Tolliver needs someone to play the part of his fiancée for six months in return for a generous paycheck, she's ready to sign up on the spot.

Jack needs Sam and her kids to help tone down his image from womanizing cad to dependable dad. But he was expecting Sam to be a frumpy single mom, not a wickedly smart, sexy redhead. Keeping nosey newshounds from discovering that his engagement is a charade is going to be a tough job, but one mind-blowing kiss from Sam and suddenly Jack is ready to put in all the overtime necessary…

Now, with scheming opponents itching to bring Jack down, Sam's ex returning to stir up trouble, one stubborn pre-schooler, two squabbling teenagers, a crazy dog, and some out-of-this-world sex, Jack and Sam are discovering that playing make-believe can be complicated—but not nearly as much as falling in love…

Three years ago Samantha Monroe’s hubby told her he was gay and then left her with two kids and one on the way. She’s worked her ass off as a hair stylist to try to be a good and attentive mom while keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. But she’s exhausted! When her friend and hair client, Kara, approaches her with a proposition she takes it. But she’s not dumb redhead, she makes sure that the details are hammered out to her liking and that her kids are taken care of.

The proposition? Pose as a senatorial candidate’s fiancé for six months. She gets to move in to the family mansion, her kids get to go to private school and she gets a monthly stipend – what could be better?
The reason behind the whole farce? Well, the senatorial candidate is considered a playboy and a misogynistic pig. The voters don’t want someone like that as a Senator and so Jack’s “people” came up with the scheme to show him in a better light – more of a family man.
The problem? Even though Jack is warned to only “act” like he’s in love with Samantha – the pair can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other.

So the details of the game are hacked out and everyone is satisfied – but when Jack first meets Samantha he feels “different” about her than he has other women. He tries to stay away but he can’t and since Samantha hasn’t had sex in 18 months – and even then it was really bad – she’s up for playing some bedroom games with Jack.

Now Samantha for being as smart as she was really fell hard and quick for Jack and I had to think that maybe she should have waited longer – but Jack was quite the ladies man and knew how to work it so Samantha came over to his way of thinking. Jack – for all of his reputation was a nice guy. We were told that he was this awful man who just played with women but we never really saw that in his interactions with Sam. From the moment he met her he was a nice, polite guy. Yeah, he had sex on the brain all the time but really, how is that different from any other man? lol The two of them together were quite lovely.

I would have loved to have seen more interactions with Jack and Sam’s older children but they showed him more with her 3 year old and I guess the toddlers are harder to deal with.

In the book we also met Christy who had a huge bone to pick with Jack since he really treated her badly and since she was a journalist with her own show she took that position and used it to get back at Jack for all his previous wrong-doing. I didn’t like this woman or what she was doing at all but that was the whole point so I guess it was written well since it put me on edge. :)

Overall a really cute book.

Rating 4 out of 5


orannia said...

Great review Tracy. I never realized pretend engagements was a trope. I love the arranged marriage/marriage of convenience trope :)

Tracy said...

Thanks honey. I never really thought so either but apparently there are a lot of them out there. :)

nath said...

Been a long while since I've read this book. I think it was the first SD that I've enjoyed :) But not sure if it would hold up nowadays...