Book Review: ‘Marriage For One’ by Ella Maise

Do you want romantic angst? βœ…

Do you want a NYC cafe setting? βœ…

Do you love reading about broody incessant fictional males that are hard core romantics and not at all like real men βœ… (we can always hope)

Marriage For One by Ella Maise was recently picked up and her four romance novels recovered by Pip Watkins and Simon & Schuster UK. And man, have they found a whip smart novelist!

A fellow book store regular recommended this to me on Wednesday and from the get go, I was hooked. She said she instantly fell in love with Jack and Rose’s story. Also mentioning that this was her favourite Ella Maise book she’s read thus far. Tick, tick, tick from me.

Rose and Jack are complete strangers, or so Rose thinks. She’s currently going through hell trying to navigate her Uncle’s Estate and Will, in which Rose’s is surprised to find a hidden clause. Her Uncle states that her husband will inherit a very profitable but empty building that she had all intentions of renovating into a cafe. However, the husband label hasn’t gone quite to plan in Rose’s life. Her ex-fiance dumped her over text (very sus, more on that when you read the book), her money hungry cousins are out to get any inheritance Rose is left with and squash her cafe dreams, and NOW, she has some grumpy, non-smiling lawyer guy proposing to her?!

Jack Hawthorne was not about to sit aside and let Rose lose everything she’d dreamed of, or be taken advantage of. Meeting Rose a year before, Jack had admired her from afar. Jack is one of the lawyers that closely worked with Rose’s Uncle, therefore he was aware of the current complications with the Will. Jack founded a secret and permanent idea. He would marry Rose out of convenience. He would be her husband. He would then inherit the empty building. Rose could open her dream store. No complications – a simple marriage for one. All Jack asks in return is for her to attend dinners, charity events and closing deals as his wife, giving the image of a ‘family man’ lawyer. He insisted this was good for his branding but there may or may not have been some secrets swirling around …

Shocked by the proposal and in disbelief, Rose finds her life changing immediately. Next thing we know, Jack and Rose are moving to together as a ‘married couple’ to his apartment. Rose is working day and night to finish painting, planning and baking for the cafe … with Jack’s surprisingly quiet and brooding help. They’re going to business dinners where Jack is unexpectedly quite good at laying on the PDA and passing them as a very happy newlywed couple. In private however, Rose is struggling to have any kind of get-to-know-you conversations with Jack as he resists her closeness. I liked hearing from his perspective every so often because it allowed us as the reader to see that he was trying his best to give her space and grow to like him on her own terms. Rose was slowly getting used to his frowning, gruff non verbal responses and blunt stares when her health takes a turn.

You won’t find any spoilers here book friends BUT I will say, Jack came through with the goods as a fake husband and a real one πŸ˜‰ I really liked the growth of their relationship and their humour. I liked the ever present romantic tension and do-they-don’t-they feelings. I didn’t feel like Jack was written as a coercive male figure in the relationship which was a real possibility due to the circumstances of the plot, however Ella Maise pulled it off. Some readers may disagree with me on this but hey, this is romantic fiction. We know what we’re going here to read.

Finishing this book in 48 hours, on little sleep and feelings of happiness about finding a book to devour – I gave Marriage For One β­οΈβ­οΈβ­οΈβ­οΈπŸ’« 4.5 stars!

Saturday 19th February

Where am I? I am currently sitting in the most gorgeous and welcoming bookstore/cafe called Bouquiniste, Kiama, NSW. This stunning space is owned by Clayton Zane Comber, talented writer and author (you can expect to hear a little from Clay on ‘Author Talks’ soon πŸŽ™πŸ“š) & his spectacular partner Hannah who has a wealth of knowledge in hospitality and publishing. What a duo ⭐️

What am I drinking? A delicious long back in a cup with almond milk & a mixed berry slice

What am I thinking? This weekend I am incredibly grateful and proud of myself. I decided to take myself on a holiday to Kiama, not only to catch up with a life long friend, but breathe in the beach and explore a place that I have admired for over a year now. Clayton and Hannah have created the most creatively accepting space for book and coffee lovers alike. They inspire me to keep my dream alive of owning and running my own bookstore/cafe one day – with floor to ceiling bookshelves, mood lighting, bright and eclectic decor, and above all else, a fabulous environment. I am so grateful for time to explore and grow my perspectives.

I recently discussed ‘Infinite Country’ by Patricia Engel at my Literary Lovers Book Club. This short novel expanded my knowledge and awareness of Colombian culture, common adversities, folklore and spirituality. As the reader, the change in perspectives is quite jolting in this novel. We move from hearing Tahlia’s story, of whom has just escaped a correctional school for an assault she committed, to then being thrown into her parents story. This allows you to connect and understand her disconnected and emotionally damaging childhood. There are a lot of one liners and paragraphs that I’ve appreciated in this novel – I tabbed and wrote quite a few annotations. I will admit that I can see myself recommending this to only a selective few readers, depending on their style and tastes of reading. I can appreciate the talent, personal connection and beautiful writing in this book, however it didn’t make as grand of an impact on me as other novels I’ve read this year.

Book Review: ‘Wandi’

‘Wandi’ is an Australian Junior novel that is beautifully written, descriptive and heart-warming. It shows pure connection between animals and humans. This new novel is perfect for ages 8 (good reader) and up.

Favel Parrett has broken into the Junior Fiction scene what a statement and her adult, award-winning literary writing really brings Wandi’s experiences to life.

Wandi is an a baby Dingo snatched from his home in the mountain. He is separated from his family and familiar surroundings with no idea of how to get back. A great eagle has clawed his back in the action of snatching him and Wandi is left injured and alone. He is soon discovered by a Human. This is the first Human that Wandi has smelt and seen before. His Mum and Dad always warned him of Humans, saying that they hunt dingos like Wandi for sport. It was cruel and unfair. Wandi was worried about this Human but the Human was kind, gave him warm hugs and made him feel safe and comfortable enough to fall asleep.

This Human lead Wandi on an important journey, one where Wandi was introduced to more dingos in a big dingo reservation. For a long time, Wandi felt different and like he didn’t fit in and that’s because he didn’t. He was special. He had special colours, special grub finding skills and special instincts. He was a rare species of Dingo that needed to be preserved. Wandi soon found another dingo – a female dingo, who was the same as him and had started to feel, as he did, that this new home wasn’t so bad. They got fed, they were comfortable, they had love and they were safe.

This story was SO beautiful – for both children and adults. It is short, snappy and displays such a strong perspective of what it is like, from an animals perspective, to be moved into a new home and environment. I really think that children will resonate with this story and find those special connections between animals and humans as something to learn from. It is also super important to mention and acknowledge that Wandi is actually a real dingo! He is a real Pure Alpine Dingo from the Victoria Highlands in Australia. He now lives a happy life at the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary in Toolern Vale, Victoria.