Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Convenient Marriage

Javier D'Alessandro needs a British passport to say in England and adopt his orphaned niece. He meets 37 year old Sabrina Kendricks who needs an injection of capital to boost her ailing business. He offers to give her business whatever assistance he can in return for marrying him; once the adoption has gone through successfully they will have an amicable divorce and go their separate ways.

It was nice to read a marriage of convenience plot with characters who were not antagonistic and were actually making an effort to respect each other. Another thing different in this story was that Javier was 30, whilsts Sabrina was 37. It's was a nice change to have an older woman, though Sabrina does have quite a few hang-ups around this which get tedious quickly. Javier and Sabrina are basically strangers who find themselves living together and trying to look after a grieving 11 year old girl. They don't really know what to do with each other. On one hand, Javier is grateful for Sabrina and wants to make her happy. Sabrina is attracted to Javier and cares deeply for his niece, but is wary of letting herself get too involved when she is aware that their marriage is a temporary one.

I found Javier a little bit annoying. He gets frustrated that Sabrina doesn't want to have a sexual relationship with him, basically accusing her of being frigid and scared to live passionately. However he himself acknowledges that he only wants a physical relationship with her; after the grief of losing both his sister and his brother-in-law, Javier is afraid of caring too deeply for anyone. Sabrina's concerns about their relationship are quite valid. The purpose of their marriage was to allow Javier to migrate to England, providing more stability for his niece. If Sabrina gets too close to either of them, what will happen when they break up? I kept expecting Javier and Sabrina to discuss this, but the conversation never happens. As for Sabrina, I found her to be quite bland. When Javier's sexy ex-girlfriend appears at the breakfast table (after having spent the night), Sabrina jumps to the obvious conclusions and has a brief spark of life. Unfortunately, this is very short lived and ends with her apologising to Javier. Sigh. No backbone at all.

Overall, this was bland and disappointing. It had potential and was generally pleasant to read, but  not really worth the time.

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