Title: Married for a Month
Author: Cate Sherwood
Length: 171 Pages
At a Glance: Read Married for a Month when you need a pick-me-up of the hearty eyes and shmoopy feels variety.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Best friends since high school, Chase Bradley and Alec Montero are opposites in almost every way. The one thing they can agree on, though, is that marriage is for suckers.
Everything is going their way until a drunken bet leads Alec and Chase to the altar. Their temporary “I Do’s” aren’t as amusing in the sober light of day when they find themselves thrown into married life and everything that goes with it.
The question they have to ask themselves now is, can their friendship survive being married for a month?
Review: We’re all familiar with the meet-cute trope in genre romance, yeah? Well, Cate Ashwood’s delightful Married for a Month is the mate-cute™, which is what I’m officially going to start calling the friends-to-lovers/fake marriage trope, which is so well done here and just dares you not to be giddy after reading it.
Chase and Alec have been besties for years in spite of the fact it doesn’t seem like they have all that much in common—apart from them both being single. Chase is the guy who has a job he’s great at and passionate about, but when it comes to his personal life, he seems content to Peter Pan his way through the grownup stuff. Alec, on the other hand, owns his own business and can even feed himself things that don’t come from a box or from a takeout menu. The one thing they do have in common, though, is that marriage is not a life goal either of them aspires to, which, of course, makes them the perfect target for a little wager. Their happily wedded friends dare the guys to pretend to be married for a month, full immersion domestication, so they can see for themselves, firsthand, some of the benefits of having a best friend who also is there for you in every single way, every single day. See? The mate-cute. What could possibly go wrong?
There’s something lovely and soul-satisfying about sitting down with a book and knowing what you’re getting into—not in an “ugh, how predictable” way but in a comfort read way, which is exactly what Married for a Month is—a great little comfort read. I loved Chase and Alec, both individually and, eventually, as a couple of guys who’d taken a drunken bet but were committed to seeing it through because, how hard could marriage be? Pfft. They learned. Boy, did they learn both the good and the bad of having someone in your space 24/7, the easy and the difficult of becoming someone’s touchstone and partner.
While Ashwood could have milked the angst for everything it was worth in this storyline, I so appreciated that she kept the conflict in line with the risks Chase and Alec were taking with their friendship as the end of their month together drew closer…and their feelings for each other crossed the line. What started out as a joke ended up not being so simple. The guys set out to prove their friends wrong, to show them that marriage isn’t the be all and end all of a full life, and then ended up learning that to win this bet would mean going all in or risk losing each other for good. Ashwood does such a terrific job of stringing along the slow-burn without sacrificing the reader’s patience—the chemistry between these two is so tangible that you know once they give into it, it’s going to be off-the-charts sexy. And man, is it ever.
While there is a full cast of characters in Married for a Month, the focus of this novel is 100% on Chase and Alec—friends and family and co-workers play their parts well, but nothing detracts from the bet, their day-to-day lives, and the changing dynamics of their relationship, which means the story flows effortlessly along. I sat down with this book on a Saturday morning and finished it in a matter of hours—I couldn’t put it down, especially once the guys decided to take things to the next level. No strings attached. But who are we kidding? There are almost always strings. The building of the accidental domestic bond that these two guys developed was sweet and, best of all, believable.
My recommendation? Read Married for a Month when you need a pick-me-up of the hearty eyes and shmoopy feels variety. It’s so much both of those things, and I adored it.
You can buy Married for a Month here: