Review: The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan

The Right Bride by Jennifer RyanFormat read: ebook provided by Edelweiss
Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: The Hunted, #3
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Date Released: April 30, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn’t believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She’s perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren’t blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he’s promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.

No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he’s determined to see it through.

Will he find out in time that Shelly’s lying and Marti’s the one who’s actually carrying his child? It’ll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she’s his world and the only woman he wants?

My Review:

An idiot, a gold digger and a doormat walk into a bar…

That should be the start of a really bad joke. It’s also the plot of this train-wreck of a book, The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan. I say train-wreck also in the classic definition of train-wreck, you know something awful is happening, but you still participate in the “gazer-block”. I couldn’t put the damn thing down, in spite of how much I kept talking back to the characters in my head.

Usually with expletives.

Cameron Shaw is supposed to be a hot-shot business executive. He’s considered to be a smart guy. Really. Having a fling with lying, manipulative gold-digging Shelly because she looks a teensy bit like his dead wife is one thing, but taking it half a second past fling is beyond stupid.

Believing for a nanosecond that she might be pregnant is sheer idiocy, especially when she keeps knocking back martinis. And Cosmopolitans. And tequila.

Martina Fairchild is the perfect woman for Cam, except that he meets her after Shelly makes her baby announcement. Marti really does like all the things that Shelly pretends to like. Even more important, Marti is the one who is genuinely like Cam’s first wife the way it counts, on the inside.

And the real kicker: Cam’s daughter Emma loves Marti, but she’s downright afraid of Shelly, and with good reason. But does Cameron get a clue? No.

Even worse, Marti lays herself down, literally as well as figuratively for the idiot. While Shelly snags Cam in an engagement with her pretend pregnancy, Marti goes and gets herself really knocked up by the man after they bond over taking care of Emma.

Emma is innocent in this whole arrangement, but the grown-ups, not so much. The angst factor was beyond belief. Along with the melodrama. Marti and Cam also share a dying friend who is trying to beat Cam with a clue-by-four before his end.

Bring on the tissues. Cue the violins. Cam and Marti are both supposed to have been smarter than this. Five-year-old Emma must be the business brains in the Shaw family after all.

Escape Rating D+: I never thought there would be a use for a D+ grade, but this book is it. I wanted to scream at these people, page after page after page. But I kept on reading, at least partially because I couldn’t believe that these supposedly intelligent people got themselves into this mess. I think I wanted Marti to grow a spine and walk away.

All of Cam’s friends told him, over and over, that Shelly was a lying witch out for his money, and he refused to believe them. I’m not sure the adults in this story actually deserved their happy ending, but little Emma sure suffered enough to earn hers.

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