REVIEW: Married to Murder by SC Wynne
The last thing Seth ever expected was to be involved in a marriage of convenience. After all, he’s not some trembling Victorian heroine. He’s just a guy who loves to surf and spend his days in search of simple pleasures. Life hasn’t always been easy for Seth, but he prefers to focus on the future and forget his dark past. But when he spends the night with sexy millionaire Tanner Trenton, their connection is powerful. When the sexy bachelor explains a secret dilemma he has, Seth can’t help but feel empathy.
When Tanner picked Seth up for the night, he didn’t intend on proposing. But he’s oddly drawn to Seth’s quiet energy and, most importantly, he’s got a deadline to meet; if he doesn’t get married by the time he turns thirty, he’s out of his inheritance. Unfortunately, he’s already twenty-nine and still not ready to get hitched. Seth doesn’t want to be tied down any more than Tanner does, so he seems like the perfect person for the job. They can marry but still maintain their independence. Their marriage should be the perfect solution, and it should be smooth sailing, right?
Unfortunately for the new couple, when Tanner’s father is murdered on the day of their wedding, things become exponentially complicated. It’s hard for Tanner to imagine that his quiet, serene new husband could possibly be connected to his dad’s death. But the more he gets to know Seth, the more he realizes he’s maybe not the innocent, fun loving guy he assumed he was.
This romantic mystery standalone is filled with suspicious spouses, secrets from the past, and lots of sexy times. HEA guaranteed.
Dear SC Wynne:
I read a couple of your books a while ago and figured I wanted to give your work another chance, and I am still eagerly searching for more mm mysteries so this sounded perfect. This book though was an exhibit A why more often than not I usually avoid obviously tropey romance (there are of course exceptions, but I won’t even click automatically on the book that promises “from enemies to lovers” trope any longer). I don’t mind tropes per se but so many authors just use them as short cut instead of doing them as a result of plot and character development that makes sense for this reader. Marriage of convenience can be tons of fun and requires significantly less explanation if this is a historical than if the story is a contemporary like this one. Even in a fantasy/science fiction setting it may work without much explanation.
But this book *is* contemporary. (The blurb also tries to fool you into believing that this is also a mystery, but do not fall for this as I did. There is a murder there, but very little mystery). And in a contemporary setting, I actually need to buy a set up that leads the reader into the marriage of convenience plot. I read stories where I enjoyed this trope but I need to buy the set up first and the writer certainly didn’t go out of her way to convince me .
What do we have here? Rich guy Tanner wanders into the surfer shop which Seth owns, likes who he sees and asks Seth for surfing lessons. Seth likes Tanner too and even if he didn’t, Seth is not in the position to turn down the extra money.
” The thing that had kept me in the shop was Seth himself.
On the surface he had a sexy surfer-dude vibe, and I was embarrassed to realize that made me dismiss at first as probably not very bright. But when I’d actually started talking to him, it was obvious he wasn’t dump at all. His blue eyes were sharp and intelligent, and his demeanor was calming. My decision to ask about surfing lessons had mostly been because I’d wanted to spend a little more time in his cheerful energy”.
They spend a fun day together during the lesson and then Seth reluctantly agrees to do dinner and lo and behold they agree to get married. No, really, they do – after one day of knowing each other. Tanner is not just rich, he is very rich. He runs the famous chocolate company which his grandmother founded and his grandmother set up the condition that Tanner must get married by the time he turns thirty to get his hands on the trust. Tanner is three months short of his thirtieth birthday. I was willing to buy the marriage as the condition of getting money, but dear God out of all people he can offer marriage to, he chooses the person he had known for *one* day?
Yeah he has doubts and voices them more like pays a lip service to them . They are sexually attracted to each other but once again they had known each other for one day? They both sound like absolute idiots – nice idiots mind you which is a plus but idiots nonetheless.
” You must know you sound like a lunatic, right?”
He didn’t look crazy. I had to acknowledge that. “We’ve known each other a day. Surely you have someone closer to you who would be thrilled at this offer.”
“Not really. Not anyone I would want around me all the time.”
“I’ve never seen any mailman.”
“Then a friendly server at your favorite restaurant? The guy who washes your car? Anybody you’ve known longer than a day?’
And as an aside, I am not the easiest reader to satisfy with the sex scenes, but the descriptions in this book ventured from flowery to just weird in my opinion.
” I slipped out of my jeans, and my cock pointed at Seth like a divining rod seeking pleasure.”
“His eyes were dark with lust and his breaths quick pants “
A big part of why I wanted to give this book a try was because the blurb promised a mystery. I was so very disappointed. The murder does happen at sixty percent. The question of who the murderer is fizzles for a couple of chapters and then the person confesses.
And the ending made me want to throw the book against the wall.