A Good Wife #1
Release Date: Sept 19, 2015
Genre: Adult, Dark Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 3 Bookworms
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Available now for preorder at the special price of 99 cents
How far would you go to set yourself free?
Drake Blackwell is successful, controlling, and hiding a violent family past. He just made his latest investment: Noriko.
Imported from Japan and wed to a stranger, Noriko struggles to stick to the rules of a Good Wife. Drake can't seem to love her, not the way she wants to be loved. She dreams of freedom beyond the gates of Blackwell Manor.
She meets Keir, a passionate young gardener who shares her desire to break free. He gets under her skin and ignites a fire in her she can't ignore. In the midst of her quiet desperation she thinks she has found happiness. And a glimpse of hope.
But this affair can't last...can it?
Although part of a series, this is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger.
WARNING: For ages 18+. There are scenes in this novel that infer or allude to physical violence.
After reading and enjoying Ms. Peach's Bound series, I jumped at her offer to review Girl Wife Prisoner. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. While I found the premise intriguing, I felt the execution of it could have been stronger.
Noriko is a young Japanese girl newly arrived in the U.S. She finds herself moving into a grand home complete with a staff and luxuries she couldn't have imagined. But there is a price for all these amenities. See, Noriko is a purchased bride. Her husband, Drake, is older. He's rich...insanely rich. He's also surrounded by rumors and suspicions concerning the death of his parents. And then there is Keir, the young gardener. He is smitten with Noriko until he realizes who she is. Once they become better acquainted though, he comes to understand she's not who he thought she was.
Like I said, the premise really captured my attention. And Ms. Peach created compelling characters. But I'd have preferred more backstory and character development. I didn't feel very connected to any of the characters. Noriko was a rather feisty and outspoken young woman. While I admire that in a heroine, it wasn't what I'd expect from a timid, young Japanese girl. She also vacillated between behaving maturely and very childishly. This was probably realistic considering she wasn't even eighteen but it had me curious as to who the real Noriko was. Drake, who would be considered the villain, wasn't developed enough for me to revile him. I didn't like him - he's distant, aloof, and doesn't always treat Noriko very well, but I never feared him. Yes, he did purchase a young bride. Yes, he wouldn't allow Noriko outside the walls of his compound. Yes, he showed hints he could be violent. But he was also tender with Noriko at times. Keir, who was my favorite character, was young and idealistic. He would have made a better match for Noriko under different circumstances. He does care for her and wants to protect her, even at the risk of dire consequences for himself. There is a spark between them that is obvious. But Noriko is tied to Drake.
I did enjoy the mystery surrounding Drake and how it played out between the characters. The knowledge of what had happened and the suspicions aimed at Drake did have me worrying for Noriko and Keir at times. I also liked the motivations behind Noriko's circumstances. It made her 'sale' feel not so despicable - at least on her part. I had several moments of heartbreak for Noriko, too. It seemed a pity she had to endure all she did. And then Ms. Peach threw a curve ball where I wondered just how many layers this girl had.
Overall, there were elements I liked and elements that could have been better. The story was good but better character development would have made it gripping.
Hanna is the bestselling author of the Bound romantic suspense series and the Dark Angel fantasy series. Although she writes in more than one genre she can’t write a book without weaving together a complicated plot and filling it with twists. She writes what she believes: good people can do bad things, ordinary people can do great things, and choose love above everything.
Eternally restless, Hanna has lived in Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Scotland, England, Croatia and Ireland – everything she owns fits into one suitcase. She’s planning her next move with her gorgeous (and understanding) partner right now.
If not writing, she can be found wandering a dusty market in Marrakesh or trekking a mountain in Peru, often using her travels as settings in her novels.
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