This is the first book in the Sutton Capital Series by Lori Ryan. Back in May, I was part of a Book Blast for this book and regretted not being able to review it. When I saw a book tour open up for the second book in the series, Penalty Clause, I knew this would be a perfect chance to correct that oversight. Tomorrow the book tour and review for Penalty Clause will be posted, so make sure you stop back by!
This book starts with an introduction to Jack Sutton, the CEO of Sutton Capital. He is currently in a bit of a pickle. Jack's parents had a wonderful marriage and set a great example for Jack to follow. Jack just hasn't been in a big hurry to follow their example. When his mother died 5 years before, she set up a stipulation in her will that Jack had to be married within 5 years or the proxy for her 45% chunk of the shares of the company would go to Jack's Aunt Marby. As the deadline neared, Aunt Mabry has threatened to use the strength of her own shares and the proxy to oust Jack as CEO and install her son, Chad. Chad of course, has no interest in the position, but his mother is not listening. If this issue makes it to a vote, the repercussions could harm the company no matter what.
The prior week, Jack had lied to his Aunt Mabry by saying that he had a fiance who she would meet before his deadline. He was trying to buy some time for himself and his other cousin Andrew to come up with a plan to preempt her ability even with the 45% chuck of shares. Now, they are down to only a few days left before Jack must produce a wife and still no ability to stop her. Until Kelly walks through the door with a bold proposition. She will be his wife for one year in return for tuition to Yale Law School.
See, Kelly has been accepted, but without some means to supplement her meager scholarship, she won't be able to afford to go. Kelly's best friend Jennie, is Jack's temporary secretary and has been listening in via the intercom in Jack's office. When she tells Kelly all about the latest juicy gossip, Kelly decides to make a bold and brash proposal. When she walks in, Jack thinks that Andrew has found a last ditch answer and is shocked when he finds out he knows nothing about it. After a little bit of negotiation, Jack accepts Kelly's proposal.
As I read this book, the beginning felt just like a 'marriage of convenience turned real' themed book. Not that this is bad, I really enjoyed Jack and Kelly getting to know one another and falling for each other. If that had been all that happened in the book, it would have been a sweet and humorous read. But just as I thought we were all settled in and just waiting on the 'I Love Yous', the author threw a major curve ball at me. Suddenly we have mystery and thriller elements taking over. Holy Shitake Mushrooms! Now I was on the edge of my seat and biting my lip trying to figure out what was happening. IT WAS AWESOME! I totally wasn't expecting it and it took this sweetly funny book to a whole 'nother level. Looking back I can see it coming, but otherwise the author did a great job of dropping hints and foreshadowing without giving anything away. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.