His Very Convenient Bride by Sophie Pembroke
Published by Harlequin Romance on January 6, 2015
Genres: Category - Harlequin, Contemporary, Romance
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From bridesmaid to bride...
Stepping into her sister's place at the altar beside gorgeous tycoon Flynn Ashton, Helena Morrison hopes saying ''I do" and uniting their two families will finally be enough to redeem her in her father's eyes. It has nothing to do with the fact that she's always held a special place in her heart for her childhood crush!
But after embarking on the perfect Tuscan honeymoon, their paper marriage dissolves to ash as an unexpected heat flares between them... Dare Helena dream that this convenient marriage could be the fresh start they've both been searching for?
Gosh, I hated this book.
This book is made of all kinds of sad and I ended up skimming from about 60% to the end – just to make it through. I do think that those people who can handle large amounts of emotional angst will enjoy His Very Convenient Bride much more than I did.
The heroine, Helena, decides to to marry the hero, Flynn, after her sister runs off with his brother hours before the wedding. Helena decides to marry Flynn for multiple reasons: to hopefully make her father feel she’s a better, more dependable/responsible person than she was in the past and because she used to have a small crush on Flynn. Flynn decides to marry Helena because he felt he needed to marry a Morrison and join the two families so that he could be considered legitimate in the eyes of his adoptive parents.
Helena really liked Flynn but she was much more motivated by her past – the bad thing that happened to her in the past and her need to redeem herself to her father. Flynn’s motivation was quite similar: he wanted to show his adoptive parents that he was just as good as their flesh and blood son.
It was just all so sad.
Flynn was adopted but his parents regretted the adoption after his mother became pregnant. He spent the rest of his life trying to show that he was just as good as his brother. He never felt loved and this was Flynn’s greatest motivation. Flynn felt he owed something to his parents because they took him in when his birth parents wanted nothing to do with him. This marriage to Helena would finally legitimize him in the eyes of his parents and cement his position as CEO of his father’s company.
Helena has been terrified of intimacy and children since she was 16. She’s been to counselors but was never able to overcome what happened in her past. Helena sneaked out of the house at 16 to meet a boy. She was plied with alcohol and raped by two boys she’d trusted. 🙁 The rape also resulted in a pregnancy. Her father blamed Helena for the situation, sent her away for the length of the pregnancy and the birth and she gave the child up for adoption. Her father decided that this situation occurred because she was a “problem” so their [barely there] relationship was completely fractured.
While Helena and Flynn are on their Honeymoon, they start to fall in love. He tells her all about his issues regarding his need to belong and she eventually tells him (in an extra dramatic scene) that she has a child that was put up for adoption. Flynn blows up, calls her names (monster, etc) and says that he felt sick with the thought of touching her. He never cared to ask why she gave her child up for adoption. The only thing they agree on is that they want a divorce.
Later, Helena is encouraged to tell Flynn about the rape and the circumstances of the adoption in order to reach closure. Flynn is horrified and disgusted with himself but Helena leaves. Later they make up and the HEA is achieved.
Damn. I hated this book. I hated that the MCs really had no chemistry with each other (for me, at least). In the beginning I felt horrible for Flynn but I also hated that Flynn was such a jackass to Helena. I hated that Helena had no backbone. I hated that both of their parents were horrible people. I hated that the only reason Flynn decided Helena was worth fighting for was that she was raped. The fact that maybe a 16 year old might not be the most nurturing of parents never once was an option. I hated that adoption was portrayed as evil [for the kid] except in the case of a rape.
This is the second HQN book written by Sophie Pembroke that I’ve read recently (the first being Snowed in with the Billionaire). The hero in both books were adopted and both heroes had major life issues due to being adopted. The hero in Snowed in with the Billionaire was raised by a loving family but his adoption was what spurred his success and the destruction of his relationship. The hero in His Very Convenient Bride was raised by jackasses who treated him like a red-headed step-child because he was adopted. I’m not sure what this says about either adoption or Ms Pembroke’s views on adoption but I can say that both situations made me…very uncomfortable. I know people who are adopted and they are disgustingly well adjusted and happy.