Review: Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee + Giveaway

treasured by thursday by catherine bybeeFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Weekday Brides #7
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date Released: August 18, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

My Review:

Treasured by Thursday is a fantastic ending to the Weekday Brides series.

It’s also kind of a rough ride. I felt so much for Gabi that I had to stop in the middle for a bit. I like her a lot and didn’t want to see anything else bad happen to her, even on the way to her happy ending. But I couldn’t hold back long and finished the book in one evening. I just couldn’t wait to find out how the author managed the happy ending.

This is a story that starts out with an unlikeable hero, a scarred and reluctant heroine, and a whole lot of secrets. Even for a very much arranged marriage-of-convenience, it was obviously going to be an uphill battle to get to an HEA.

It doesn’t help that the hero starts out being an arrogant ass. He gets better.

seduced by sunday by catherine bybeeWe first met Gabi in Seduced by Sunday (reviewed here). In that story, Gabi is not the heroine. She’s the victim. And her victimization is what makes all the various forces of the Alliance rally round to save her from her from the mess she dropped into, and keep her brother Val and his new love Meg (the Alliance matchmaker in that case) from getting killed by the very evil dude who used Gabi.

At the end of that book, as Gabi is just barely beginning to recover from all the very serious shit that happened to her, she takes a job with the Alliance. She has to start over, away from the island where she was so protected that she was too innocent to figure out that her dead husband was using both her and her brother’s connections. She has to learn to stand on her own feet away from her brother, too.

Unfortunately for Gabi, her first attempt to handle an Alliance client all by herself almost makes her a victim again. Because Hunter Blackwell won’t take no for an answer, and is more than willing to blackmail Gabi with information about what happened to her last year. He thinks he’s giving a “black widow” just what she deserves, instead of what he is really doing, which is abusing Gabi all over again.

But Gabi, in her need to stand on her own, lets herself become Hunter’s pawn, rather than involve the Alliance or her family, who might have a chance at getting Blackwell to back down or back off.

Blackwell has no thought for the consequences of his actions to anyone but himself. He’s a selfish bastard. Whatever qualms he has about forcing Gabi into this mess he easily suppresses by believing that the end justifies the means.

But Blackwell’s motives show that he isn’t quite as coldhearted as he makes himself out to be. And Gabi’s way of topping from the bottom in all of their interactions proves that she is not the little victim she was last year.

Unfortunately for them both, her late and completely unlamented husband, or at least his nefarious business dealings, reach out from beyond the grave to ensnare Gabi one last time. And Hunter Blackwell discovers that the woman he married for his own convenience has not-so-conveniently captured the heart he thought he no longer had.

Escape Rating B+: I was thrilled to see Gabi get her own happy ever after. After everything she had to deal with in Seduced by Sunday, she certainly deserved it.

I’m not so sure about the way that it came about. As Hunter and Gabi get to know each other, and especially when Hunter forces her into their marriage of convenience, he is far from likable. He’s a bastard and an arsehole and it felt like he was victimizing Gabi all over again. He was using her, and didn’t give a damn about her feelings. He discovered just enough about her past to hold it over her head like the Sword of Damocles, but not close to enough to figure out that he was putting her in more danger and increasing her trauma. I cringed a lot during this part of the story, because I just didn’t want to see Gabi get abused again.

That standing up to him, even within the confines of their arrangement, finally got Gabi to heal all the way was a saving grace. But I never warmed up to Blackwell, even though she did.

While Blackwell did eventually save her, it was from danger that he helped to put her in. And he had help from the Alliance. I’m not sure that was enough to redeem him as a hero.

Which doesn’t mean that I wasn’t on the edge of my seat through the whole book, hoping that he would come around and that Gabi would finally get out from under the shadow of her dead husband’s criminal activities.

But I liked Gabi a lot. I also felt terribly sorry for her in Seduced by Sunday. I didn’t enjoy seeing her become a victim again at the beginning of Treasured by Thursday. But I did love seeing her finally get her own.


Treasured by Thursday tour graphic

The tour wide giveaway is for a $100 Amazon Gift Card, a print box set of the bride books, and 2 $20 Amazon Gift Cards. The rafflecopter is below…

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