GUEST REVIEW: Harlequin Treasury Marriage on the Rebound by Michelle Reid
I read Ried’s Gold Ring of Betrayal and The Bellini Bride after Dear Author’s recommendation several months ago and enjoyed them. When I saw that some of Ried’s backlist was being republished I purchased Marriage on the Rebound. I enjoyed the angst and the occasional humor in the story. I even liked Rafe once some of the back-story was revealed. What annoyed me was that the heroine in this book is not as strong as Ried’s others. Shaan is almost ‘too stupid to live’.
The story starts with Shaan reeling because her fiancé, Piers, has not just jilted her but also married another woman. His brother, Rafe, broke the news to her. He promptly takes over in typical alpha fashion and suggests that the best solution is to marry him. She completely shuts down after being jilted (believable) but allows Rafe to take over (?). Now I know Rafe is THE ONE but Shaan does not know this. She fully believes that Rafe does not like her because of her mixed heritage (her father was Lebanese) and she definitely uses the word racist to describe him. On top of that belief, she knows that Rafe never wanted Piers to marry her and did everything in his power to stop the wedding. Yet she allows him to convince her to marry him and go to Hong Kong. Oh, she also lets him DRUG her (It is just over-the-counter sleeping/relaxation aid, baby) because she is not dealing with the jilting well. Her ability to judge character is either genius or suicidal. If this was not Romance-a-land bad things would be happening.
They get to Hong Kong and Shaan grows a bit of a backbone and she starts to think. She realizes that Piers has always been an ass but she cannot figure out Rafe. Then sex happens with Rafe and her thought processes are disrupted again. They agree to try to make the marriage work because the sex is fabulous. Hilariously, Shaan is not sure of this because she was a virgin but Rafe assures her that the sex is special (Clue that Piers did not love her=Virginity intact).
Eventually, she realizes that Rafe’s goal is to not allow her to think at all about his brother or why Rafe married her. This goal makes it so that Shaan can only use her ineffective people reading skills to figure out Rafe’s motivations. She comes to the conclusion that Rafe married her to get revenge on Piers for marrying the woman Shaan thinks Rafe loves. Rafe lets her believe this because the truth would hurt his pride. Reid has dropped enough clues by this point for readers to figure out that Rafe fell in love with Shaan at first sight. Their first meeting is a classical ‘meet cute’. Shaan cannot figure this out.
Once back in England, things climax when Shaan sees Rafe and Piers’ wife standing outside of a hotel and comes to the conclusion that Rafe still loves his brother’s wife and not her. Rafe finally decides that Shaan cannot figure out the truth so he has his ass of a younger brother tell Shaan the story. Piers has always been jealous of Rafe and when he realized that Rafe loved Shaan he used his charms to woo her to the point of marriage (but he did not sleep with her because that would have been too evil). To save Shaan from marrying Piers, Rafe begged him to let Shaan go. Shaan is moved by Rafe’s actions to get her to love him. Finally, she apologizes to Rafe for her inability to draw correct conclusions and Rafe admits that it was easier on him for her to believe her misconceptions. HEA
Angst-O-meter for Ried’s books that I have read (1 being the highest):
1. Price of a Bride
2. Gold Ring of Betrayal
3. The Bellini Bride
4. Marriage on the Rebound
From Reader Tanya
Great review. I also read Gold Ring of Betrayal after Jane’s review and loved it. The heroine was on just this side of TSTL, though, so I’m not sure I can go much lower with this one. I do love the angst.
I recently read Reid’s The Ultimate Betrayal and couldn’t put it down. Normally infidelity is a red flag for me, and I almost put the book down when I realized that was the story line, but Reid managed to make both characters sympathetic, and I became very interested to see how they could resolve what had happened. The ending was a bit of a cop-out, but the book was a good, serious exploration of how two people grew into their marriage, within the constraints of the Harlequin format.
@Statch: I’ve read all the Reid books but I can’t remember this one. Was it an almost infidelity? Or the one where the wife learns about the cheating and then starts flirting with another guy?
@Amber: The female protag is quite passive in this.
@Jane, it was actually both! They have three young children; he’s a businessman whose colleagues don’t even know he’s married. He has a thing with a woman at work, and when the wife finds out, she starts taking art classes and has a flirtation with the teacher. Throughout the book she’s coming to terms with what the husband did, and with some growing up that she needs to do. I think what really got me into the book were the day-to-day details of what it felt like for her to live in the same house and continue a marriage with someone she thought had betrayed her. At the end, she finds out that the ‘thing’ wasn’t quite what she thought it was, but I also liked that the husband took his emotional betrayal of her seriously. It wasn’t just a big misunderstanding. Again, I don’t normally like this kind of plot and don’t read them, so I’m sure there are better examples out there, but I really enjoyed this one.
I loved Gold Ring but it was quite hard to suspend disbelief of her not knowing that her husband is the CEO of a company. But the emotional wealth of the writing stays with me over the years through multiple rereads.
I read this one when it first came out. I agree that Shaan was way too passive and lacking backbone but Reid’s heroines tend to be this way. What I liked about MOTR was the chemistry btwn H & h, I remember thinking that they “fit” even with the outlandish plotline.
I still can’t believe she’s gone. I never got to meet Penny in pesron, but I’ve certainly felt like she was a friend just from the time I’ve known her on the Presents authors’ email loop. She was always kind and gracious, and her stories of her life and travels entertained me to no end.I first read Penny as an impressionable teenager. Falcon’s Prey and Daughter of Hassan were two books that cemented my love of arrogant sheikhs. Penny was incomparable, and her loss to the romance community is immense.It’s hard to believe we will live in a world with no new Penny Jordan stories. Thank heavens she wrote so many books that we can all reread (or discover for the first time) again and again.Goodbye, Penny. You were one of my idols and one of the reasons I wanted to write for Presents. I’m glad I got to know you for the very few years I did.