The Wedding Agreement
Strictly Business, #3
By Elizabeth Hayley
ISBN: 0451475542 (ISBN13: 9780451475541)
Author’s Website: http://www.authorelizabethhayley.com
Review brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Love doesn’t always follow the same schedule…
Alex Walker doesn’t need a woman in his life. In fact, he doesn’t have time for one. Between his career in the FBI and the demands of being good father, romance is an unwanted distraction.
Likewise, Cassidy Mullen is fine on her own. The independent career woman has never had a husband in her plans—forget about kids. But when her friend Alex gets into a bind with his ex over their daughter, Cass finds herself suddenly playing the part of Alex’s stable, child-loving fiancée—and liking it a lot more than she’d care to admit.
Soon Alex and Cass can’t deny the real passion growing between them. But as fake affection turns into real love, Cass and Alex will have to make a choice: say “I Do” to their feelings or give up on happily-ever-after for good.
The Wedding Agreement is the third book in Elizabeth Hayley’s Strictly Business series. Having read book one and two previously, I was looking forward to this newest installment of the series. I was not disappointed. This third book is the best so far, in my opinion. I quite enjoyed getting to be a part of all the characters again: Lauren and Scott (best friends to Cass (Cassidy Mullen) and Alex (Alex Walker) respectively), Quinn, Simone, Xavier and Tim.
Alex and Cass are friends. They are actually more than friends…they are friends with benefits (though this little tidbit is not generally known among their group of friends).
The premise is that Alex’s ex-wife (Tessa) is going away for 8 weeks in the summer and is shipping their child (Nina) off to her parents. Thus Alex would not be able to see his child for the entire summer. Over drinks one evening, Alex and Cass concoct a pretend engagement to show Tessa that Alex is stable and has changed his workaholic ways and would be able to put their daughter first. This plan works and Alex gets Nina for the eight weeks. During this time, Alex and Cass are continuing on with the engagement charade. Picking venues, bands, food and the engagement ring – this engagement is moving ahead. And with this forward momentum, the relationship between Cass and Alex (and Nina) continues to grow. Will this turn into a real engagement?
I loved when Cass and Alex had a falling out and of course their buddies each stepped in to tell both Alex and Cass that they were being stupid! I knew a falling out had to occur to add suspense to the love story, but the way that the good friends handled this was priceless. The guys (Scott especially – Alex’s best friend) certainly read Alex the riot act and in no uncertain terms called him an idiot. Guess it just takes some guys longer to realize they are in love! The whole guys talking to Alex sequence was well done and I loved how Scott pushed Alex until he came to the appropriate conclusions about his feelings and what he should do going forward.
The gals staged an ‘interfriendtion’. The gals knew something was up and were worried because Cass had been avoiding them for over a week.
“Busy trying to heal a broken heart without your best friends. And without this.” Quinn reached into a bag she’s brought and pulled out a carton of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. “And these,” Lauren added as she pulled a stack of chick flicks out of her purse. Simone got up and came to sit beside her. “And, of course, this.” Simone wrapped her arms around Cass.
I quite enjoyed the way the split was resolved and in the end, true love seems to shine through.
The supporting relationships were well defined and inclusive. The co-parenting relationship between Alex and Tessa grew in a way that gives one hope that ex’s can co-operate and do what is best for their child (civilized co-parenting). I found the relationship between Cass and Nina delightful and a true testament to being a good step parent to be.
All in all, I enjoyed this third book in the Strictly Business series. As I read books written by Elizabeth Hayley, I appreciate her style of writing more and more. I do hope there is a book four to this series. Or I could branch out to her Pieces series.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*