Title: Marriage of Inconvenience
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 214 Pages
At a Glance: I quite enjoyed reading about the scandalous lives of celebrities and how PR is a game changer!
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: 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?
Review: There are a few somewhat common tropes at play in this story, and it seems it was nearly the perfect recipe.
Jericho is a celebrity. An angry and bitter celebrity. He loathes the Public Relations (PR) side of the business and the “show” he has had to act out in the public eye to get his face seen and stay relevant. He is disgusted by the lengths his PR company wants him to go to, all in order to do the one thing he actually wants to do. Act. Unfortunately, his need to rebel puts him in a really bad situation which could affect the role he just landed, the one that could be a game changer for his celebrity status. And boy is it a whopper of a screw up. Enter his PR firm that he now needs to spin his mistake in a way that will please the general population, which will then please the directors of the TV show he is about ready to start filming. If they can’t do it, he can kiss his career bye-bye.
Kerry works for said PR firm and has a great idea to spin the scandal to gain the sympathy of the fans and offers up the perfect solution. It had the potential to be the perfect idea, until it is decided Kerry would be the solution. He doesn’t want to do it. He hates the spotlight, and is not a fan of Jericho. Whether he wants to do it or not doesn’t matter because this is Hollywood, and in the PR business one decision can make or break a career. Although not told outright, it is heavily implied that if Kerry doesn’t step up to the plate, his career is G-O-N-E. So, he grudgingly accepts.
Jericho and Kerry do not get along. And that is putting is very mildly. Neither one of them communicates in the beginning, and judge each other based on appearances and stereotypes. This leads to major problems. All the while when they are out in public, they have to be adoring and in love. As they spend more time together, they each become confused and fight the budding attraction they start feeling for one another.
I honestly don’t want to write too much more in fear of giving away some of the twists and turns the story takes with the progress of the relationship. I will say this is a slow-burn and has a very minimum amount of sex scenes, but when you get them, they are worth the wait.
One of the most enjoyable things about the book to me was the detail of the PR business. Sort of like an insider’s guide to PR. I was intrigued by how PR operates when crap hits the fan, how everyone scrambles, and the lengths PR representatives will go to in order to spin a story the way they need it to go: setting up one celebrity client to date another one at the perfect time of a movie/tv/album release, how the paparazzi plays a big role in the PR business, the war-room conversations. I found it fascinating and haven’t read a great too many books with that level of detail in the PR world.
The only real issues I had with the novel was the amount of angst and the extremely, IMO, immature and childish behavior on both our MCs’ parts throughout the book. I don’t mind when there is a little temper tantrum throwing, or bad decision—we all are immature in some ways—but for me it was a little excessive.
Even with the overdose of angst, I can say this was a very enthralling read. I knew eventually the two MCs would end up together, but the way their relationship progressed and the situations they ended up in had me engrossed, and I was looking forward to how the author was going to get these two guys together.
You can buy Marriage of Inconvenience here: