|The Marriage Mistake by Jennifer Probst|
November 6, 2012
Simon & Schuster
Source: borrowed from NetGalley
Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.My Review:
Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed….
I have not read the first two books in this series, so this was my first time meeting these characters. But I'm happy to say that this shouldn't be a deterent for anyone else wanting to check out these books. You don't have to know how the other couples got together in the previous books. They are not in the book heavily and knowing the intricacies of how/why they got married makes no difference in enjoying the bigger story, which is all about Max and Carina. So I think you could start this series with whichever book you want.
Max and Carina have that awkward we-grew-up-together-and-I-should-see-you-as-a-sibling-but-I'm-actually-in-love-with-you thing going on. Carina has moved to New York from Italy to learn the ropes of the family business with Max training her. Yep, let the sexual tension begin. Max and Carina have their own past insecurities also hampering them. Carina is the insecure youngest child who really isn't anything like her siblings and is trying to find herself. Max was abandoned by his father as a baby and has commitment issues, fearing he'll be like his father. Plus they are surrounded by overprotective family members.
I enjoyed reading about Max and Carina. I liked them as individuals and as a couple. I thought the beginning of the story could have progressed a little faster. I'd have liked to see more "marriage" parts. I'm a traditional person, so I liked that they were "forced" to get married. It was interesting how they couldn't seem to get themselves together at the same time. They seemed to have a harder time being honest with themselves than honest with each other. But they did have a great chemistry going. The sex scenes were graphic at times and steamy, but they didn't overwhelm the book, although their tension between these moments seemed a little forced at times. But I did appreciate the chocolate scene (wink).
I actually enjoyed reading about what was going on with Max and Carina mentally and emotionally more than their hot and heavy moments. I loved that they made each other better people without really knowing it or trying. They just fit together. It was an enjoyable read filled with themes like overcoming your past, believing in yourself, taking chances, being honest with yourself and others, following your heart, fighting for love.
*Personal note: This book includes some graphic adult scenes and situations. I'm married and feel comfortable reading this. If I weren't married, I wouldn't, but that's just my personal feeling.