Lights, camera, lies.
Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it's Kerry's job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho's partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it's up to Kerry to spin it.
The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love - with Jericho's secret committed relationship. The one that doesn't exist. Yet.
The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?
©2016 M.J. O'Shea (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
As an introvert, the idea of living my life in the public eye is terrifying. Having lived with an extrovert who was a local celeb of sorts, I have witnessed firsthand how draining it can be for a person whose life is subject to public consumption, even if it was something they wanted. Despite the understanding I brought with me when I began listening to Marriage of Inconvenience, I still found it hard at times to see Jericho in a sympathetic light. Granted, I easily related to Kerry’s introverted personality, his desire to work behind the scenes, and his abject terror when thrown in front of the camera, so each time that Jericho lashed out at Kerry, well, my thoughts toward Jericho were not all that nice.
With that said, my inability to find Jericho to be a sympathetic character much of the time did not keep me from enjoying the novel. Don’t get me wrong, because I did feel badly for the guy who was forced to live his life in the closet while he established his career, and I was angered on his behalf when the compromising photo was taken and tweeted – no one deserves to have that kind of private moment shared with the world without their consent. I was also sad for him because not knowing who he could trust made him assume everyone had an ulterior motive, and I was sad for the teen who was bullied in high school so badly that it made it nearly impossible for him to trust. But because Kerry was forced to bear the brunt of that baggage more than once, I found myself siding with Kerry, hoping that Jericho would live up to his promise, and, when he didn’t, praying he’d pull his head out of his arse and do right by Kerry.
Because Marriage of Inconvenience is a Dreamspun Desires novel, it wasn’t surprising that there were several very sweet moments mixed in with the angst and drama. The chemistry between Kerry and Jericho is obvious from the very beginning, but when they finally find their way past being roommates and pseudo-enemies and begin to embark upon a real relationship, they’re both rather cute about it, especially Jericho’s preference for cuddling. Solo did a very nice job with the narration, making it easy to discern the characters’ voices and conveying the myriad of emotions the men experience when they’re together. One of the reasons I only listen to M/M audiobooks is because the handful of M/F audiobooks I’ve attempted to listen to usually cause me to cringe when the narrator has to perform the voice for multiple characters of the opposite sex (especially during the sex scenes), and I’ve listened to both male and female narrators of M/F romances, so it’s not due to the sex of the narrator. The reason I share this is because I enjoyed Solo’s vocal performances of the handful of female characters, particularly Tara’s as she had a pretty good bit of voice time in the story. I found Marriage of Inconvenience to be a delightful romance and an entertaining way to spend a few hours.
Does anyone remember a movie from the 90s “Muriel’s Wedding?” Well, that’s what this story reminds me of.
Kerry is a “nobody” who ends up sorta kinda forced into an “engagement” with a douche Hollywood star. He never really wanted to be in the spotlight, only to do his job, but as the only gay guy in the office he’s forced to be helpful.
Jericho resents being in the closet, so he’s psyched when he ends up accidentally outing himself to the world but he thinks Kerry is a social climber, so he’s a dick to him.
It doesn’t take long for these two to find their attraction for the other but it does take awhile for them to have any feelings more than lust. There isn’t a lot of steam in this – less than some of the others in the Dreamspun series.
I thought that the writing was excellent, and the pacing good, but I never liked Jericho much or felt he and Kerry had a super strong connection. In the end I understood him better, but he spent a long time on my “why would Kerry put up with that” list.
In the end, it was cute and sweet, I liked it but it didn’t really “wow” me. I think that some of MJ O’Shea’s other books like her Insolita Luna Series are much better.
3.5 of 5 stars
John Solo does a solid job narrating this. He gives Kerry a lighter, but not effeminate voice and Jericho a nice Southern drawl. There are a few other secondary characters with accents and he does a nice job with them as well. John Solo is good with pacing and timing – the humor and the emotional parts, he definitely added to my overall enjoyment of this story by giving it a bit more depth and making it feel more lively. I definitely think this is the best way to enjoy this story.
4.5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
Lily reads, writes, and reviews m/m romance.
John Solo has become one of my favourite narrators. He holds my attention and draws me into a story with his excellent character voices and wonderful style. His pacing and emphasis are always spot on. He gets the emotions just right and portrays the chemistry between the main characters superbly. I especially loved how Jericho’s voice mellowed as he fell in love with Kerry.
You always have to suspend reality for these Dreamspun fake boyfriend stories. However, this one was very enjoyable and was relatively plausible. It’s set in the supposedly glamorous world of PR for naughty actors who want to portray a different and more wholesome image. The unassuming PR twink and the bad boy (and previously closeted) Hollywood star come out and pretend to be in a relationship to limit the damage caused by an uncompromising photo of the actor. Thus putting a positive spin on his indiscretion to save his career and his next movie role.
I especially enjoyed the story from when the guys started living together and their relationship began to develop positively. I adored when Jericho and Kerry started to show feelings for each other to the end of the story. Their wonderful chemistry was shown well and John Solo’s voice changed accordingly so their scenes together became hot. Explicit scenes are deliberately kept low in this series. In fact the requirements are that “Sexual content should be restricted to no more than two significant events” and M.J. O’Shea made the most of the lovers’ time together to create some lovely steamy scenes. The trip to Turks and Caicos was delightful.
I didn’t like the persona Jericho portrayed at the beginning of the story and how he treated Kerry so rudely. Although I liked how his character changed over the course of the story—thus fulfilling the enemies to lovers trope.
There were a few minor details that knocked off that fifth star because some things didn’t add up for me. I’m not sure why the paparazzi didn’t twig that Kerry was on the PR team and it was all a hoax. Surely they would have delved into Kerry's background? Plus I still can’t fully understand Jericho’s reasoning for ‘breaking up’ with Kerry after a summer of happiness. Surely those fearful thoughts would have arisen earlier and he should have gone with the original plan until he started his new acting role in Canada. However, I loved the angst the separation caused for our two love-struck heroes because of this. Jericho was sort of in the closet and pretending to be straight with fake girlfriends at the start of the story, yet he went to gay clubs and got caught out. We didn't get much of a hint of his future behaviour.
Having said all this, I still enjoyed this addition to the series. These stories are best not taken too seriously. Overall, it’s a sweet and well written love story between two very different guys, who turn out to be perfect for each other after all.
Well done, John Solo. I loved listening to this story as much as I loved reading it. Jericho’s southern drawl was done to perfection and encompassed everything from his initial assholery to his eventual loving tone. Kerry’s voice was spot on as well, as the kind, more quiet character, but he also came off strong when he needed to. The voices of the rest of the cast were not all that different, with Cole and Robby sounding a bit OTT as college frat boys, but I didn’t care much about them. All in all a total win in both plot and narration.
Another hit for the Dreamspun Desires Series! I loved this!
It was totally unexpected too. I like this author and the blurb sounded okay, if not entirely predictable, but man was I in for a treat, and so will you when you pick this up!
The story revolves around Jericho, an actor whose publicist has been pushing the play-boy persona in the tabloids for years. Jericho screwed up big time and the PR company is at its wit’s end trying to restore his image so he doesn’t lose a big role in a hit TV show. Enter Kerry.
Kerry works for the PR company but he’s only a grunt. He doesn’t handle publicity for a client directly but is in charge of tweeting and updating facebook. Fun times right? Until he meets the description of the guy that forced Jericho to publicly come out and bam!
Jericho and Kerry are engaged and forced to play the happy couple for the cameras.
This was fantastic! I don’t know if it was the voyer in me, you know, the little bug that makes us all check celebrity gossip or what, but I absolutely loved reading about the fake photo shoots, the events they had to do, and all the staged stuff. I especially liked how true romance-y they had to be for the cameras when they hated each other’s guts.
Jericho was a big jerk to Kerry in the beginning, thinking Kerry conveniently placed himself in that situation to get his 15 minutes. Kerry also hated Jericho’s guts because Jericho was unnecessarily cruel to him.
But. It all started to change. They both actually developed feelings for one another and the touches starting coming even off camera. Jericho acted like he was courting Kerry, with long make-out sessions that ended in first base –on multiple occasions! When they finally became intimate, they were freaking explosive together! The sex scenes were detailed and mostly of the lovey-dovey variety but Jericho and Kerry’s chemistry was unbelievable.
This was a sweet, very low-angst romance that will hit the spot folks: True romance between two otherwise unlikely to have met people who fell in love and stayed in love. Sure, there was a little somepin somepin to cause a bit of drama towards the end but it was very obvious that it wouldn’t last long and it didn’t.
I am still shocked by how much I adored this and I will be rereading soon!
Pick this up to read about a hot, broody actor and the twinkie that sets him in his place!
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