The Italian's Token Wife (Harlequin Presents)

The Italian's Token Wife (Harlequin Presents) - Julia James Impoverished heroine who cleans bathrooms for a living is shocked to encounter Hero at his home while she was working. Her shock is compounded when Hero soon proposes a temporary marriage for a large sum of money that would provide a more comfortable life for her & her baby son. Hero's cold indifference & his father's obvious displeasure with her makes her temporary wife status harder to bare. But Hero's change of heart ushers an unexpected relationship b/w them. Heroine isn't sure how lasting their new r/s is though.

The only good things about this book is that it's emotional pull (bit of angst at start & mostly frustration after that) & it's technically written well enough.

Everything else was bad. Romance was unlikely & the characters were unlikeable. Hero was a self-absorbed, unfeeling, & prejudiced manipulator. He regarded downtrodden heroine & her baby s nothing more than instruments in his one-upmanship with his father. He ignored them the 1st 4 days of their marriage & thought her pathetic & hopeless. Heroine, on the other hand, was a very insecure doormat who thought Hero was so much better than her. She settled for any positive response Hero would give her, namely, that he stopped looking at her repulsively. She thought she was lucky that he later found her attractive after her makeover he pushed her to do. I didn't believe in the permanence of Hero's sudden change towards heroine either. He completely ignored her & her baby for 4 days of their marriage & suddenly began attending to her & her son. This change was primarily driven by some guilt he felt after overhearing his father verbally insult heroine due to the info Hero about her. He also found out that she was not merely content being a bathroom cleaner but had other aspirations & educated herself by reading books. The biggest change in his attitude towards her was her looking more attractive after her makeover. Their romance was very much physically-based on his part & fantasy-based on heroine's part. Their r/s was very unequal, with heroine awed that Hero would even find her remotely attractive & Heroine arrogantly agreeing with how lucky she is to deserve his attention.

Minimally recommended.